Anyone who’s experienced their period knows that cramps are no joke. The unpleasant experience, which often comes with PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome), can range from mild to wildly excruciating. So much so, it can interfere with our everyday activities.
It’s no question that cramps are, no matter their intensity, are a pain. Of course, there are popular methods to assuage your period pain, like satisfying our endless stomachs or staying glued on the couch. While most of these methods may seem a good idea, it’s only instant gratification. They can actually worsen the case.
Although it’s impossible to completely avoid cramps, there’s hope yet for pretty-much-pain-free periods—if, of course, you put these 10 tips and tricks into practice.
1. DON’T stuff yourself with salty or fatty foods.
We’re all too familiar with the food cravings that come with our periods—suddenly, consuming a massive cheese pizza to ourselves is the most satisfying idea in the world! While our periods seem like the perfect opportunity to stuff our faces with any salty or fatty food we set our sights on, it could possibly worsen our cramps.
Salty foods increase water retention, while fatty foods contribute to prostaglandin production—or lipid compounds that cause our uterus to contract (A.K.A., cramps).
2. DO indulge in a piece of (dark) chocolate.
Yes, chocolate—dark chocolate! The snack not only produces happy hormones, it’s high in magnesium, a mineral that’s often associated with easing cramps. Indulge in a piece (or two) to satisfying your cravings and alleviate your period pains. As always, everything in moderation!
WE RECOMMEND: Coco Dolcé 65% Dark Chocolate (45g), P110, Coco Dolcé 65% Dark Chocolate (100g), P220
3. DON’T perform intense exercises.
If staying completely still isn’t a cramps-friendly past time, neither is an intense workout. While there is no proof that says working out on our period is wrong, our cramps can make us particularly weak and/or uncomfortable—a perfectly valid excuse to miss an intense session.
4. DO light exercises.
Of course, we’re not saying to miss a workout entirely. While curling up on the couch and watching Netflix seems like the obvious choice, a small amount of light exercise can have an impact on our mood and cramps. (Honest!) Opt for low-key yoga or a light cardio exercise, like walking.
5. DON’T Stress.
Stress, whether you’re on your period or not, affects us all negatively. According to one study, women experiencing stress early in their menstruation are more likely to have cramps and mood swings. Why? Stress amplifies cortisol, which may have an impact on PMS symptoms.
6. DO make time to unwind.
When you’re in pain, rest and relaxation are of utmost importance. Hugging a heating pack helps make the process of unwinding that much easier. The warm sensation of a heating pack not only eases cramps, it’s also shown to have the same impact of a pain-killer. Plus, many packs contain aromatherapeutic properties can induce a calm state of mind. Soon after, you won’t have a single worry!
WE RECOMMEND: Kimochi Aroma Medium Herbal Pillow (6x8 Inches), P370, Kimochi Aroma Large Herbal Pillow (6x17.5 Inches), P570
7. DON’T consume too much caffeine.
In many ways caffeine can help ease symptoms of PMS, such as alleviating PMS-induced pains (it’s an instant cure (https://beautymnl.com/bloom/articles/8-facts-about-coffee-you-probably-didn-t-know) for migraines, after all). Ingesting too much, however, has the opposite effect. It can potentially irritate the uterus and increasing cramping.
8. DO opt for tea.
Although we know it’s impossible to cut out coffee forever, a cup of tea is one alternative on particularly “cramp-y” periods. The warm liquid can lessen pain, and—depending on what your sipping—it can reduce cramps. The Teaconcept Woman Tea (Regular), for instance, is made for the job. It contains evening primrose, elderflowers, and raspberry leaf, ingredients that all promote hormonal harmony.
WE RECOMMEND: Teaconcept Woman Tea (Regular), on sale at P900 (limited time only)
9. DON’T ingest alcohol.
Not forever, okay? Just when your uterus is on revolt. Alcohol is a known depressant, which may intensify the PMS symptoms you’re already feeling. It also dehydrates you, making you more likely to submit yourself to salty and fatty foods—which, as we said in No. 1, are cramp-inducing perpetrators.
10. DO catch up on shut-eye.
Opt out of the party, forget the #FOMO, and consider your period a moment to yourself. Stay inside, put on a rom-com, and catch up the sleep you’re most probably missing already. Clocking in 6 to 8 hours of shut-eye can work wonders. It not only alleviates stress, it also reduce PMS symptoms, including cramping. When you have trouble falling asleep (as we all do), have a cup of tea to help put you to bed. Jasmine, for one, has properties that calm stress and anxiety. Before you know it, you will be out quick as a light!
WE RECOMMEND: Sekaya Jasmine Fair (50g), P500
While experiencing cramps is standard, it’s possible to manage the symptoms at home. If symptoms persist, speak to your healthcare provider as soon as possible. It’s may be something more serious is ongoing.
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