We’re not sure what nature was thinking when it thought giving us women monthly periods was going to be something we’d find bearable on a regular basis. Seriously, what the heck, Mother Nature? Having said that, getting your period sucks. There’s just no way to say that eloquently. As someone who has always had hideous monthly cycles and refuses to take artificial hormones, I’ve found a few natural, drug-free ways to manage this very challenging period of time. (Pun intended.)
Everything is exasperated during “that time of the month” and dehydration not only leads to lethargy, but it can also make an already grumpy PMS-ing woman more grumpy. While it’s good form to always drink plenty of water, when you’re PMS-ing or on your period it’s even more important. Carry a big bottle of water around with you and chug away to stay hydrated and as a result, less grumpy.
Don’t Be Hangry
“Hangriness” (hungry angry) only gets worse during PMS and your period. We know how easy it is to get too busy and forget to eat, but when you’re PMS-ing or having your period, skipping meals can turn a normal hunger pang into a red-eyed monster. Don’t skip meals! And most importantly, forego junk food despite your cravings. It’s especially important during your period to choose healthy food options. If you’re having a chocolate craving, skip the ice cream and opt for antioxidant-rich dark chocolate. Or if you’re craving french fries, try baked potato chips instead. There are plenty of better ways to indulge your cravings without eating junk food! A great app to try that will suggest healthier options is foodtweeks. This awesome app has a library of just about every food and can help you find better alternatives. You can download it here.
Natural and Herbal Supplements
Naturally occurring supplements are what I turn to first when it comes to remedies. I’ve personally had great success with herbal supplements and DIM (a naturally occurring estrogen metabolizing supplement). Hormone balancing herbs such as wild yam, passion flower, dong quai, licorice, red raspberry, black cohosh, and fenugreek can really help calm PMS and menstrual symptoms. I have used both Solaray Female Hormone Blend capsules and Nature’s Way DIM-Plus with success. However, talk to you doctor to learn about the best treatment.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is something you should always prioritize -especially when you’re having PMS symptoms. A full night’s rest can greatly reduce mood swings and menstrual pain. There’s nothing worse than having your period and also being sleep deprived. So, leave the office early, skip that Netflix marathon and hit the sack early. Your body and mind will thank you!
Yoga and exercise will help reduce menstrual pain and help clear your moody mind. Make it a priority to take special care of yourself during this time. Regardless of how tired or busy you are, you must, MUST take time to exercise. When you’re having a raging case of PMS, it can roll over into everything in your life and affect your work, sleep, relationships, and general well-being. There’s just no logical reason to put your wellness aside, no matter how busy you are. Just 15-20 minutes of yoga, walking or cardio can make a huge difference.
Relaxation & Self-Love
Again, you must treat yourself with extra care during this time. That means eating healthy, getting enough rest, exercising, skipping happy hour, and taking “me” time to relax and de-stress. During PMS and periods, our bodies are going wild with hormones and require special TLC. Meditate, get a massage, go for a nature walk or do any activity that puts your mind at ease. It’s also important to be extra kind to yourself during this time. Moodiness, hormonal fluctuations, and rampant emotions can make you feel out of control and confused. Try not to make any big decisions when you’re PMS-ing or having your period. It’s best to wait it out and see how you feel once your cycle has passed.
Heating Pad/Hot Shower
Heating pads and hot showers do wonders for menstrual pain and PMS symptoms like lower back pain, cramps, and pelvic pain. Light a candle, turn out the lights, and jump in a hot shower for 20 minutes to help naturally relieve menstrual pain. You’ll come out in less pain and super relaxed. A heating pad is also a great, drug-free way to help relieve menstrual pain naturally.