Making periods painless

Published On: April 19, 2019 08:40 AM NPT By: The Week Bureau

The aunt flow is hardly ever kind. But there’s no avoiding it. On an average, a woman spends 10 years of her life menstruating. And cribbing and complaining won’t change a thing. However, if your periods tend to be extra painful and you feel bloated and lethargic during your periods then we have a few tricks and tips to help you get by.

Eat good food
To get through one’s period, one must be in the best state of health. If you regularly exercise, you might have noticed that you don’t get too many cramps when you are menstruating, with some exceptions. However, for the rest of us who like to curl up on our couches rather than go for a run, cramps can be extra cruel. One way to deal with this is by consuming good, healthy food. Try eating more fruits and veggies. Enjoy a warm meal of rice and dal, and tons of veggies. Keep the food simple, without much oil and spices. You should also work towards getting a good portion of fruits every day you are menstruating. All this can help you steer away from food that can cause you extra pain like junk food, too much sugar and other salty food items. You can blend up a smoothie or cut up some carrots if you feel like snacking during the day.

Avoid caffeine
Many of us have experienced bloating during our periods and it is perhaps the most annoying part of having your periods.  Caffeine also makes you retain water and can give you that achy, cramp-y feeling, so it’s best to cut it out of your diet altogether. It is one of those things that can really bloat up your tummy and make you feel uneasy. Did you know that caffeine isn’t just in coffee and tea? It’s also in sodas and chocolate. So it is best to avoid them, as it adds extra discomfort to an already painful experience. Good substitutes are ginger ale, smoothies, herbal tea and herbal iced tea, or just plain water. If you’re craving chocolate, grab a small piece of dark chocolate instead of a big candy bar. Women should avoid caffeine especially around the time of menstruation because it restricts blood flow and increases tension and anxiety. The caffeine we are talking about here is the caffeine present in heavy sodas or fruit juice that are store bought. 

Sleep well
Imagine having cramps and body aches and, on top of that, not getting enough sleep. The next morning, by the time you reach school or office, you will have zero energy left and will have a hard time keeping up. So it’s extremely important to sleep well when you are on your periods. Teens need eight to nine hours of sleep per night, especially when they have their periods. Getting enough sleep will help you wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. If you experience stomach pains while trying to sleep, try sleeping in a fetal position as it is supposed to control blood flow and reduce cramps. It takes pressure off the abdominal muscles and reduces tension, which in turn minimizes cramps and can also help prevent leakage as your legs are squeezed together. Also, the best way to get through your period faster is by sleeping through it. 

Hug a heating pad
A heating pad can work wonders of you are having severe cramps. The cozy warm feeling of a heating pad on your tummy is extremely soothing when cramps are getting to you. Heat can soothe your muscles and thus ease your discomfort. Putting something warm on your lower abdomen, like a hot water bottle, heating pad, or warm washcloth can help relax your uterine muscle tissue and that will help in lessening cramps. If you don’t have the time to rest with something warm on your stomach, try taking a hot shower. It should have the same effect. You can drink something warm, like hot water or green tea, to help relax your muscles internally too.

Stay hydrated
It might seem odd that you need to drink more water when you’re feeling the most bloated, puffy and full. But the more water you drink, the more easily you will eliminate the water building up in your body. Drink eight to ten glasses of fluid like water, juice or milk throughout the day (not all at once). If you need to move about a lot, be sure to carry a water bottle with you. This will help you stay hydrated throughout your busy day. If loss of blood during your period leaves you feeling exhausted and weak, you might be dehydrated. Even mild dehydration can make you feel tired and sluggish, physically and mentally. So, keep track of your water intake, especially when you are on your periods. For this, you can download an app that reminds you to drink water at fixed intervals of time. You also get water bottles at stores like Remax in Kathmandu that will buzz every two hours reminding you to chug some water.

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