We don’t need to tell you how much periods and PMS-ing blows. Everyone hates it but if you’re prepared you can make it through these hell-ish days without praying for God to smite your uterus once and for all. Here are a few ways to make the trauma we go through 12 times a year a little more bearable:
Don’t wait to medicate Don’t wait until you’re doubled over in pain before you decide to take a pain killer. Plan ahead and you could avoid cramps altogether. The first two days are usually the worst but if you take a pain killer (or two) with every meal you can get through them without necessarily wanting to rip out your entire reproductive system in agony. If your cramps are really bad have a pain killer before bed. There’s nothing worse than waking up at 3am to take one and having to writhe around in early-morning pain while you wait for it to kick in.
Turn to raspberry tea If you aren’t a fan of popping pills you could try the herbal route that some women swear by. Raspberry tea contains tannins and fragarine, which are both helpful to deal with common PMS side-effects like nausea, cramping, diarrhoea and throwing up (it really is a special thing to be a woman, hey?). Drink cups of this tea regularly at least a week before your period is due, or better yet just get into the habit of drinking it every day for long-lasting health benefits.
Try some exercise Doing a couple of burpees is probably one of the last things on your mind as you grumpily clutch a hot water bottle to your tummy, but it can really help. Try to stick to your routine of at least 30 minutes of exercise a day (you do that, right?) throughout your period. Even just walking on a slightly inclined treadmill will do the trick. If it’s making things worse then please stop and try some period-specific yoga moves.
Keep track of things Download an app like Clue or Eve to track your period. This way you can plan ahead i.e. no white panties this week/you can’t drink on this day because you’ll be high AF on pain killers/don’t go near your super skinny jeans on this day because you’ll be bloated and will feel bad about yourself etc.
Drink milk and eat cheese Vegans look away now. It’s not like you’re going to question this one but calcium has been linked to reducing cramps and other symptoms of PMS. In the days leading up to and during your period fill up on smoothies, yoghurts, cheese wheels (you have to eat the whole wheel, it’s in the rules) and milk. It’s going to help, and who are we to fight science?
Play the pain away Some women get super horny on their period, some have a more ‘red means stop’ mentality about it. If you aren’t too thrilled at the idea of having period sex with your partner (or if you’re single and don’t know if you and your booty call are *quite* at that stage yet) then just DIY. The endorphins will lift your mood, an orgasm will distract you from your cramps, and it’s been proven that there is a link between having sex and making your body less sensitive to pain. It’s all good stuff, so stop moaning about your period and start moaning about something else.
Be conscious of what you eat Avoid salty foods as they will exacerbate any bloating. Keep yourself stocked up on protein to keep your energy levels up as you tend to get extra exhausted during your period. Try your best to ignore your strong cravings for fatty foods and load up on vegetables (a study has found that a low-fat vegetarian diet is actually the best diet for reducing PMS symptoms).