Periods. They suck no matter what. No matter if you get the worst cramps in the world or you PMS for two weeks before, nothing really makes periods better. A heating pad and Advil were probably designed for terrible cramps, but realistically, we all still need to live our normal lives. Unfortunately you don't get to skip out on life just because you have your period, even though it should be a rule.
However, there are a few things you shouldn't do when you have your period. With your period can come cramps, and cramps are no fun at all. Doctors have actually said that menstrual cramps are as painful as heart attacks, and we're definitely not disagreeing!
So whether you deal with cramps or not, you still probably get a couple of symptoms that are annoying to deal with. Headaches, mood swings, the unbearable exhaustion, we all get it. There are some things that can easily relieve those symptoms, but more than 40% of women deal with period cramps. While all you want to do is lay in bed and do nothing, there are a few things you should do to help with the pain. And a few things you should not do.
Should: Have An Orgasm
You heard that right! Even though it may be the last thing you want to do, having an orgasm actually relieves all kinds of pain. Because orgasms releases endorphins, which is known to make us happy, you'll forget about the pain. Orgasms also relax us, as climaxing makes the blood flow increase. Also, if you have trouble sleeping during your period, orgasms induce sleep.
Shouldn't: Drink Alcohol
Maybe you want a glass of wine to take the pain away. But you're probably making it worse! When you drink alcohol, you retain water and bloat. And bloating makes you feel worse than you already do. You can also become dehydrated while drinking alcohol, which the body needs to relieve pain. So if you are going to drink when you have cramps, make sure you're drinking a glass of water for every drink you have.
Again, probably the last thing you want to do when you're on your period. However, you don't need to take a CrossFit class in order to feel better. Taking a brisk walk outside can help the blood flow, and will definitely make you feel better! Or if you feel super anxious around your period, trying out a yoga class or just doing some minor stretches at home can help relieve the pain. It's rare to take it too far while exercising on your period, however, if you're feeling lightheaded, nauseous, or have any symptoms that could alter your workout, I would take a few days to rest. But if you're up for it after taking an Advil or resting, no harm can be done by getting those endorphins flowing!
Shouldn't: Consume Caffeine
I know, what? Am I crazy? But caffeine actually makes your cramps worse because of how dehydrating caffeine is. If you look forward to your morning coffee, you should switch to tea without caffeine for the week of your period. Not only does caffeine dehydrate you, but it also messes with your sleep which is already hard to get when you're on your period.
Should: Take A Bath
Looking for an excuse to buy a Lush bath bomb? This is it! Taking a hot bath can soothe and relax tense muscles, which is what your muscles do when you're on your period. Don't be afraid to fill the bath with lavender essential oils on top of your cute bubble bath or bath bomb, as that helps to relax as well. Also, if you have trouble sleeping, doing this before bed is great to tell your body it's time to wind down and get ready to sleep for the night.
Shouldn't: Eat A Lot Of Dairy
As we all know, dairy isn't the best for us. If you're a cheese lover or you love ice cream during your period, it's actually best to stay away from dairy especially during that time of the month. You become more gassy when you have your period, and that's also a side effect of dairy. So mix those two together and you're a bloated mess whose cramps are even worse.
Should: Take Magnesium Supplements
Magnesium is a natural pain reliever, so it just makes sense that it would help throughout your period. While you should be taking magnesium every single day, make sure to take it when you're cramping up too. Low magnesium levels can really affect a woman's menstrual cycle, especially if you are getting anxious around your period. One way to tell if you're taking too much magnesium is if you get diarrhea, so keep track of that.
Shouldn't: Get A Wax
Since you're already in pain, this sounds painful. However, when you have your period, your pain threshold is low because our estrogen levels are low. Avoid waxing, laser appointments, plucking eyebrows, and all of that "beauty is pain" stuff on your period. You have cramps, you're suffering enough!