Cramps. Pain. Chocolate…lots of chocolate. Tears. Headaches. Bloating. CHOCOLATE.
If you’re anything like me (or half of the population who gets a period every month), then you know what I’m talking about.
When it comes to your time of the month, it can seem like all traces of healthy habits and eating with love and intuition go out the window.
Who cares that it’s only 10:30 am?! I WANT CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM!!! (me in my head hehe)
But, after doing some reading and researching, I realized that PMS and the days of our periods actually shouldn’t be that uncomfortable…more on this in Alissa Vitti’s book Woman Code. There are so many things in our modern world that are hindering our body’s natural rhythm, and it’s time to shed some light on how to have better periods.
Read below for my top 10 tips to enjoy your time of the month a bit more.
1. Allow your body to go slow. Think about it…your body just spent 3 weeks preparing your uterus to house a baby. And then there’s no baby. So the uterine lining sheds…there’s a lot going on!!! If you’re able to, try to take it super slow on the first 1-2 days of your cycle. Sleep more, cuddle more, stress less. Allow your body to reset – that’s what it’s asking for and that’s what it’s DOING whether you like it or not. Try to block out the hustle and bustle of your modern world and let your body hibernate for a minute.
2. Keep moving. Even though you sometimes want to roll up in a ball when the cramps strike, movement can actually help you feel better. Take some gentle yoga flows and long walks. If the pain is really bad, use a heating pad on your tummy and/or back and cozy up with some tea. CBD can also be a great natural pain reliever.
3. Add magnesium. This is a super important mineral in our bodies, and it’s often depleted. I find that adding magnesium to my diet in the form of pumpkin seeds, cacao, avocados, and bananas really helps my cravings and hormonal acne during that time (sounds like a perfect smoothie recipe to me)! Some people may choose to use a supplement as well, so make sure you do your research when choosing your supplement of choice.
4. DRINK! Water and herbal teas (especially peppermint and ginger) are great for bloating and skin health. Keep a reusable water bottle with you (my fave from Healthy Human linked here; discount code: KALEANDKRAVINGS10) and drink warm tea at night. It’s my favorite way to wind down every night, and this ritual feels extra comforting during my period.
5. Use essential oils. Lavender essential oils SERIOUSLY calm me down, and reducing stress during your period (and always tbh) will help those PMS symptoms subside. Dab a few drops on your pillow before bed, on your clothes when you get dressed, or on your wrists mixed with coconut oil throughout the day. I also love this women’s oil blend from Ancient Nutrition linked here; coupon code: kaleandkravings. You can even mix a few drops of oil with a carrier oil (like coconut oil) and rub it on your body where you’re experiencing pain. Never ingest oils unless the bottle indicates that it’s safe to do so.
6. Switch to nontoxic products. There are tons of chemicals and free radicals floating around that are messing with our endocrine systems. From nail polish to perfume to makeup to shampoo, our hormones seem to constantly be fighting an uphill battle against harmful toxins. Choose a natural deodorant like Primally Pure (coupon code: kaleandkravings) and consider switching to nontoxic makeup and skincare (linked here). You may not physically notice a huge difference, but I promise your insides will thank you.
7. Eat yummy chocolate. As stated above, cacao is actually a superfood that I love to include in my diet daily! When creating treats for yourself (whether it’s your time of the month or not), opt to use a chocolate that has undergone as little processing as possible (pure cacao is the best). Check out this mug cake, banana bread, brownies, or cookies. Not in the mood for a paleo treat? Don’t beat yourself up for going straight for the Hershey bars! Just recognize the choice, mindfully chew and enjoy the chocolate, and register how it makes you feel. If candies and refined desserts make you feel more bloated and irritated, take a step back and consider trying something with less processed ingredients. If you feel fine, cool! Candy won’t kill you, and being able to assess how different things make your body feel is a valuable life skill to carry with you forever.
8. Take a bath. I loveeee taking baths with Laki Naturals Epsom salts. This is another amazing way to get magnesium (yep! your bod absorbs it from the water!) and can be extremely beneficial for stress reduction, pain management, muscle recovery, and overall relaxation. Listen to my podcast episode with Tiffany, the creator of Laki, for more on magnesium salts here!
9. Set boundaries. It’s ok to say no when you need a break. It’s ok to stay in on a Saturday night and rest. It’s ok to cancel your 6 am spin class and sleep in. Whether it’s your time of the month OR NOT, setting boundaries is so crucial. See where you can set boundaries at work and maintain a comfortable work/life “balance”. See where you can set boundaries with your family members who are sometimes a little too needy. See where you can set boundaries with your SELF – chill on the self-judgment and the super high expectations you set for yourself. Take a step back, say no to things and thoughts that don’t light you up, and choose to say yes to positivity, light, and love.
10. Have gratitude. Alright real talk – the fact that you get a period and have the potential to create new life is freaking beautiful!!! Yeah it can be messy, yeah it can be painful, yeah it can suck, but I am SO grateful to get my period every month. It’s a sign that my body is healthy. It’s a sign that I am fertile. It’s a sign that there is hope and rebirth always cycling through me and this earth. Appreciate the unreal phenomenon that is the human body, and say thank you to your gorgeous self.
Note: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, and I might make a small amount of commission from your purchases.