Knowing your body and responding to its unique needs is a huge act of self-care. During your menstruation time, your body goes through some changes that can give you cramps, headaches, sore muscles, certain food cravings, disturbed sleep, and a bad mood. Here are mentioned some holistic self-care tips to help you smoothly sail through your period.
1. Move your body
Exercise helps you release endorphins that work for boosting your mood, improving blood circulation, reducing stress, decreasing bloating, and combat cramps and headaches by relaxing the body and mind. Aerobic or cardio exercise at low intensity such as swimming or walking and different stretching, breathing, and meditation practices help.
2. Eat healthy
Cravings increase during your period because of raised progesterone levels that are associated with a bigger appetite. Although you are craving foods like chocolate, and cheese and taking them in moderation will also give you relief sometimes but too much can result in bloating, water retention, irritability, and poor concentration. Instead of this aim for foods that:
- Support the menstruation process
- Replenish nutrients lost in the process
- Give warmth and comfort
- Help the body re-new and re-energize
Some tips are:
- Having fiber-rich foods: promotes healthy digestion to reduce bloating, stabilize blood sugar levels and curb cravings. Good options are beans, whole grains, almonds, apples, sweet potatoes, artichokes, and blackberries.
- Having protein-rich foods: keep blood sugar levels stable, reduce cravings and mood swings along with improving energy levels. Good options are almond butter, chickpeas, beans, quinoa and lentils.
- Have iron-rich foods: replenish iron lost during the bleeding process, and helps with oxygen transport, blood re-building, and boosting energy levels. Good options are Pumpkin seeds, lentils, beans, quinoa, dried prunes, spinach, leafy greens, dark chocolate, and kelp.
- Have healthy fats: reduce the intensity of period pain, anxiety, and mood swings. Support steady blood sugar levels, and high energy and curb cravings by giving a full feeling. Good options are nuts, avocado and flaxseed.
- Have magnesium-rich foods: reduce fatigue and stress and calm period cramps. Good options are spinach, kale, almonds, pumpkin seeds, watercress, dark chocolate, and quinoa.
- Have calcium-rich foods: reduces fluid retention, mood disorders, food cravings, and menstrual cramps. Good options are nuts, tofu, and bok choy.
- Have frequent small meals with whole foods: regulate cortisol levels and help combat mood swings.
- Have relaxing teas: soothe achy muscles and effectively reduce vomiting or nausea feeling. Good options are turmeric and ginger tea, chamomile, and peppermint tea.
- Stay hydrated: fights fatigue reduces headaches, enhances brain activity, regulates hormones, and digestion to reduce bloating.
- Limit coffee, alcohol, too many salty, sweet and spicy foods: reduce bloating, nausea, diarrhea, headaches, cramps, and mood swings.
3. Give yourself warmth
Heat therapy is an effective way of reducing pain. It relaxes the muscles, gives comfort, and increases blood flow.
Some good ways are:
- Placing a heating pad or hot water bottle on your abdomen or lower back
- Adding layers
- Take a warm shower or bath maybe with some aromatherapy to give a relaxing feeling Massage your abdomen
- Take a warm beverage like soothing teas or hot water
4. Have plenty of ZZZs
A good night’s sleep regulates the cortisol levels to keep your mood and blood sugar levels stabilized. Sleep also reduces the tired feeling during periods by repairing the body and mind. Aim for 8-9 hours of good night’s sleep. Go for a fetal position or be on your side to reduce cramps by taking the pressure off the abdominal muscles. Create a peaceful environment by removing distractions. You can even use a diffuser with lavender oil for promoting sleep and relaxation.
5. Show some mental love
Keep a check on what your body is wanting right now to relax. It can be simply getting rest, having a spa day, meeting some loved ones, or reading a good book. Everyone is different, you must know what makes you relax and follow it.
It may sometimes feel overwhelming to care for your body during your period but doing so is linked with many physical, emotional, and mental benefits. The self-care tips positively impact the period by reducing the frustrating symptoms to keep you energetic and in good mood during this time of the month. Consult your health care provider before making any drastic adjustments in your routine.