Self-care activities can help us to feel relaxed and calm. Try these period self-care tips during your monthly menstrual cycle!

With bloating, headaches, mood swings, period cramps and tiredness, it can be hard to get through the monthly menstrual cycle. If the pain is simply not manageable, it is best to reach out to a doctor. But for mild pain or to ease the premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, you can opt for some self-care tips during period. Self-care is all about doing the things that can help to live well and improve your health. Let us share with you period self-care tips.

What is self-care?

Self-care means engaging in activities that make you feel relaxed and calm, and leave you rejuvenated. Whether it is engaging in a hobby you enjoy or simply spending time in nature, the idea is to do the things that help you to be relaxed and healthy.

A woman having period pain
Listen to your body and give importance to self-care during period. Image courtesy: Freepik

Why should you give importance to period self-care?

Dysmenorrhea or period pain mostly affects women under the age of 25 across the globe, according to a 2019 research published in the Journal of Women’s Health. So, practicing self-care during can help you relieve pain and stress, especially during your period, says obstetrician, gynaecologist and fertility specialist Dr Nirmala M. During this time, your body is constantly working. This makes it even more important to listen to what your body and mind are telling you. So, prioritising self-care is of utmost importance.

How can I take care of myself during period?

Women are often conditioned to be on the move and continue their daily tasks, embracing period pain and discomfort as a normal part of life. But sometimes, it is okay to slow down and indulge in period self-care.

Self-care was found to be common among young women, during a 2019 study published in the PLOS ONE journal. But they were not necessarily choosing the most effective options for pain management. Researchers concluded that educational interventions which discuss the incorporation of effective pain management strategies, such as using heat and exercise, should be offered. These are likely to reduce the negative impact of period pain on young women.

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You may want to eat more junk food or drink a lot of hot coffee, but these can only worsen your pain. Here are some period self-care tips to follow:

1. Use a heating pad

Lying down on your bed with a heating pad resting on your belly is a great form of self-care during your period. You can apply heat to your abdomen or back to relieve pain, as heat can help relax the muscles contributing to period cramps.

A woman with a heating pad for period self-care
Heat can help to deal with period cramps. Image courtesy: Freepik

2. Drink plenty of water

Staying hydrated is important for overall health, but becomes more so when you are down. This will not only ease cramps and help with bloating, but will also sustain your body’s energy levels to carry out essential tasks, says Dr Nirmala.

3. Eat a balanced meal

You meal should be filled with fresh vegetables like carrots and cucumbers, fruits like oranges and melons that are rich in water, and nuts. These will help you stabilise your energy levels, reduce the feeling of tiredness, and even help with period bloating.

4. Rest

Getting sufficient rest and sleep are equally important. This helps your body to relax and reset, while reducing stress and fatigue, which are common premenstrual syndrome symptoms.

5. Exercise

Don’t do high-intensity exercises. Instead, go for a light workout session or engage in any gentle physical activity like walking or yoga. This is not only beneficial for your physical health, but also helps to boost your mood.

6. Prioritise relaxing activities

Everyone has a different way of relaxing. Some like to read or listen to music or meditate. Pick one of these activities, as they can have a calming effect on your mind. They can help divert your attention from period pain to something else.

7. Switch to safe period products

It is of the utmost importance to find sanitary products that are the right fit for you. Be mindful of choosing menstrual products that are unscented and non-irritating, suggests the expert.

8. Do not overschedule your calendar

Don’t overdo things, and leave as much free time as possible to focus on taking care of yourself. If something urgent comes up, give yourself permission to say “no’ and stay home to rest.

9. Spend time in nature

You can go out for a quick walk or simply sit on a park bench under the sun. Spending time in nature can help boost your mood within minutes.

10. Take a warm bath or shower

If not a heating pad, you can simply take a warm bath or shower. This is one of the easiest and best ways to feel nourished, calm, and relaxed, says the expert.

While these period hacks can help, you must remember that every person’s experience is different. So, it is up to you to figure out what works for you when you are going through the monthly menstrual cycle.

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