Like millions of women all over the world, there are months when I get period pains. When I was in my teens, I hated my period cramps so much especially during the summer. I didn’t like feeling bloated, irritable and lethargic. On top of that, I used to be in so much pain that I stayed in bed most of the day when my schedule allowed me to.
Nowadays, I find my period cramps tolerable because I found ways to cope with them over the years. Plus, I’m so lucky to have a fiance who always looks after me so he knows the drill when I have bad cramps. He gets the hot water bottle and the warm herbal tea with lemon ready for me. He also sets up the diffuser with essential oils so that I get that spa feeling in the house which helps me relax. I find it so funny that he knows (more than me) when I’m due. It’s so sweet because he reminds me about a week or so before my period is due not to consume salty foods or to take it easy with my activities. He’s super awesome and the sweetest man ever!
I used to take over the counter painkillers in the past but my brother told me to avoid taking too many of those so I had to find ways to help soothe and relieve my period cramps. I’ve listed them down below for you and I hope these techniques work for you too…
I make sure I exercise and stretch
Exercise is a great way to release endorphins a.k.a. ‘feel good’ hormones. Not only do they boost our mood, they also increase blood circulation. I love doing yoga when I’m on my period- it’s a light exercise routine anyone can do when you’re suffering from period cramps. I’m not sure about you but when my cramps begin, I tend to stretch anyway as a way of trying to relieve the pain. I massage my lower abdomen while stretching and I make sure I stick with my exercise routine if I can. Don’t force yourself to exercise if you don’t feel like it. Only do the exercise routines that you feel comfortable doing. There are other ways of relieving period cramps which I will list down below so if you don’t feel like exercising, you can try some of the other techniques down below.
I relax and watch my favourite movies and TV shows
When my period cramps are bad, it’s so hard to focus and ignore the pain. What helps to distract me from the pain are my favourite movies and TV programmes. When my cramps are so intense, I watch really interesting documentaries to take my mind off the pain I’m feeling. Sometimes I watch travel vlogs and National Geographic Channel documentaries or binge watch on my favourite Korean dramas. When I’m relaxing and enjoying an informative programme, my mind thinks of something else other than the cramps even just for a while. I like a relaxing room so we always have our oil diffuser on the go. I light a few candles and make the room I’m in as cosy as possible. Oh and of course, I wear my super fluffy dressing gown for extra comfort.
I always use hot water bottles
Hot water bottles are definitely life savers not just during the winter months but also when it’s that time of the month. I love holding this by my lower tummy when my cramps are bad. I hug this too to help me feel relaxed in bed. It’s so hard to relax when you’re feeling intense cramps but hot water bottles help alleviate the pain naturally. Make sure you don’t put on the hot water bottles close to you for too long to avoid heat marks on your skin. It’s not good to have constant heat on your skin. Make sure you also wrap your hot water bottles if they don’t come with a soft cover already. Sometimes, you can buy them with soft covers and sometimes you can buy just a plain rubber hot water bottle. If you’re using the plain rubber bottles, make sure you wrap them with something like a cotton shirt or a towel to avoid injury (because the rubber can get very hot) or make sure you’re wearing something thick to avoid direct contact with your skin.
You can get these hot water bottles in drugstores or home stores. They’re really inexpensive and you can use these as bed warmers for the winter. I always keep them by my feet or chest if I’m feeling cold in bed. What’s even more amazing is that the heat actually lasts a long time and stay warm for a few hours.
I drink herbal teas
Herbal teas are the best for detoxifying the body. They’re perfect for those people who also want to decrease their caffeine consumption or quit drinking coffee altogether. I drink herbal teas to help my body get warm when I’m having cramps. Sipping hot drinks help me relax so instead of reaching for coffee (which dehydrates the body), I prefer reaching for hot tea with lemon and ginger. I make sure I hydrate myself a lot when I’m on my period too. It helps the body get rid of those toxins and it’s a perfect way to cleanse the body from within.
I avoid junk foods
When I’m about to go on my period, I reach for food so much more. What’s worse is that I go for salty junk foods and chocolates too. As tempting as it can be, when I do get my period, I fight the urge to eat junk food because I know that I’ll end up paying or it by feeling bloated and feeling ill. When we are on our periods, we get bloated and there is nothing worse than consuming salty foods because it makes us retain more water. Avoid junk foods during this time of the month; better yet, cut them out completely. I’ll be honest though and tell you that of course, we can indulge in junk foods now and then (especially when you’re at the cinema) but try and really avoid junk foods when you’re on your period.
I don’t eat salty or sugary foods when I’m suffering from painful cramps. I go for green or fresh juices and as mentioned above, I love herbal teas with lemon. I prefer eating simple foods too like rice, chicken/fish with vegetables and I keep my diet simple.
I make sure I think of happy thoughts and breathe…
Nothing beats the power of the mind. When I’m in so much pain, I just lie in bed and think of happy thoughts. Sometimes, I think of the beach or fluffy cats and dogs. I try and relax to calm my mind and body by taking deep breaths. I try my best to fill my mind with happy thoughts and transport my mind to a happy place so I can think of something else other than the pain. I find that this is a very helpful technique to trick my body into believing that it’s not really in pain. Sometimes, this technique doesn’t work but it’s definitely worth doing to prevent yourself from getting upset over the pain you’re feeling.
If you suffer from moderate to severe period cramps, I advise that you consult with your doctor. Please check with your doctor too if you find that your period cramps start to become unbearable or is getting worse to rule out any other complications just in case. I hope that these tips and techniques work for you too!