6 days of (attempting to) combat period pain..
That dreaded time of the month had come again and my first thought was, “oh great, 6 days of pain ahead”. But this time, I wanted to turn that thought on its head!
I was going to attempt 6 different ways on 6 different days to tackle period pains.
DAY 1: Exercise
Exercise was one of the top recommended pain reliefs while I researched…and the one I was dreading the most.
Day 1 is a full of cramps and misery, so I thought why not try the method that supposedly increases endorphins the most.
I did a gentle walk first thing in the morning, followed by a dance workout in the afternoon. Surprisingly, it worked! Not only did it relief some of the cramp pain, but it distracted me from my period for 20 minutes. Definitely start of with a gentle workout though, as I was aching after the more intense dance one!
DAY 2: Avoiding sugary and salty snacks
Let’s face it, all we want to do on our periods is lounge around and eat the most chocolate possible. After eating a whole bag of popcorn on day 1 and getting stabbing pains, I decided that day 2 was going to be a healthy day. Annoyingly, I can report back that it actually helped. Eating more than my usual amount of fruits and vegetables not only reduced pain, but it really lifted my mood and made me feel more motivated. However, not all chocolate was out of the picture. Dark chocolate is high in potassium, which is ideal for helping period cramps, so this was the perfect treat for the day!
DAY 3: Eating bananas
For Day 3, I was away for a hen do and my stomach decided it hated me. With a full day of activities ahead, I was scrolling through any method to help at 8am. I cannot usually stand bananas, but with its benefits including reducing bloating and boosting your mood, I was ready to try it. I do not know if this was a placebo or what, but it did lessen my pain. While it did not completely get rid of the cramps, it was eased and I was able to put my period to the back of my mind for most of the day.
DAY 4: Using a heat pad
My heat pad is a LIFESAVER. After a non-stop weekend, lying down with my heat pad and watching Netflix was perfect. Heat relaxes the muscles of your uterus, so I highly recommend it. A hot bath also does the trick and is great for some relaxing time to take your mind off the pain.
DAY 5: Meditation
I don’t know about you, but I have never been great at meditation. My mind wanders with the many tasks I have to do that day and I find it hard to keep still. A friend recommended the ‘Headspace’ app to me, which was full of guided meditations. While my mind still drifted at times, I found it easier to focus with someone else guiding the meditation and it did distract me for the 5-minute session. I was still aware of the pain, but mainly my focus was on the instructor and I felt much calmer after.
DAY 6: Stay hydrated
It may seem an obvious one, but let’s face it, none of us drink enough water. Fluids can ease muscle cramps and 8 glasses of water are recommended. I decided to mix it up with peppermint tea, as it is supposed to increase calmness and help you to feel soothed. I don’t know if this one worked as day 6 of my period is not too bad, but I think that I had less pain than usual. Though if this was another placebo, I’m not sure.
If I had to pick the most effective methods, I personally found that exercise and eating healthier helped. The gentle walk provided a great distraction and eating more fruits really boosted my mood.
Hopefully some of these methods can help you out!