Periods are difficult enough to deal with as is, but many of us also have to deal with the added burden of period cramps. It's easy to want to curl up into a ball when you're cramping up, and there are definitely times when it's more than okay to do so. However, just because you have cramps doesn't mean it's the end of the world. This is a time to be extra gentle with yourself and engage in self-care practices that will help you be more in tune with what your body needs.
Although self-care might look different for everybody, there are definitely a few tried and tested activities that you can try right now. Below are some of our favourites!
Do some light yoga
Exercise is a great way to relieve period cramps, and light yoga may be just what you need to get rid of those dull aches. Gynaecologist Suzanne Trupin emphasises that because yoga relies on deep breathing, this helps counteract oxygen deprivation in your tissues — one of the main culprits behind those nasty cramps. Even stretching for just five minutes can do wonders for your body, while also making you feel super relaxed and ready for the rest of your day.
Prepare a good snack
What's better than a yummy snack after a quick sweat session? While it may be tempting to reach for those bag of chips in the pantry, taking a bit of time to make yourself a bite to eat makes your meal feel extra special. A smoothie bowl is both delicious and nutritious, and not to mention ridiculously easy to make. Just blend your favourite fruits, some yogurt, and then top your bowl with some granola and oats!
That said, you can also give into temptation and snack on dark chocolate. This indulgent snack is great for easing period cramps thanks to its stores of vitamins A, B1, C, D, and E, as well as antioxidants such as phenol and flavonoids. As if we needed more reason to munch on this sweet treat!
Teen Vogue recommends dressing up when you're cramping as a way to help you "feel good about yourself when your body may physically be feeling worn down."
The trick is finding clothes that are both comfortable and stylish; wrap dresses or casual shirt dresses are cited by Pretty Me as classic styles that are sure to have you looking your best. Even if you're just staying at home, choosing to forego your sweatpants for a cute dress may be just the mood-booster you need.
Take a hot shower
There's no better way to unwind after a long day than with a hot shower. This is a classic cramp-day cure that works wonders by easing up tension in your muscles and stimulating blood flow. To really make the most out of this time, you can also reach for your favourite-smelling soaps and body scrubs to make this shower as relaxing as possible.
In the same way that you can take hot showers to relieve cramps, ingesting a comforting mug of hot tea may do the same. As far as tea variants go, ginger and cinnamon are your best bets for their pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties; our previous post on How to Reduce Period Pain and Bloating even cites ginger as a superfood that will help reduce water retention too.
Of course, some people may find ginger tea a bit too strong for their liking: peppermint and chamomile are also good options.
Period cramps are a hassle to deal with, but you're more than capable of handling them. With these tips and tricks in mind, you'll be having that self care day of your dreams in no time! And if you're looking to feel better as soon as possible, why not try some of &Me Period Chocolates? Happy snacking!
Specially written for andme.in By: Reya Judith
Reya Judith is a lifestyle writer by day and aspiring photographer by night. When she isn't busy writing an article or brushing up on her editing skills, she's probably cooking one of her mother's classic recipes.