These period hacks will help you feel a little less like murdering someone for breathing too loudly each month.
No matter how many times it comes around, each time I get my period I find myself surprised at just how (WILDLY) inconvenient menstruation is.
Without fail, you can catch me spending seven days a month shocked and offended at my bodies betrayal
I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you about how crippling period cramps can be, or delve into my personal fave, debilitating leakage freakage. Then there’s the emotional rollercoaster of PMS.
Sometimes, having a period can feel more like a punishment than the ‘miracle’ we’re told it is. Thankfully though, we’ve scoured the interwebs to bring you a whopping 32 period hacks that will dramatically improve your experience surfing the crimson wave.
1. Heat helps!
When a hot water bottle is applied to your aching uterus, it switches on heat receptors in the area and blocks your bodies ability to recognize pain. Not only is it super cozy, it’s scientifically proven to have similar relief properties as a pain killer. Your hot water bottle is about to be your best friend.
2. Catch some extra Z’s
Seven out of 10 women experience sleep disturbances when its that time of the month. This combined with a loss of blood, aches and dreaded period pain is enough to drain even the most energetic of babes. Hit snooze on that alarm clock and let yourself catch a few extra Z’s, chances are you’ll need them.
3. (Light) exercise
I know that the last thing you’ll feel like doing when on your period is exercising but hear me out. Light exercise (such as yoga) can help increase blood flow and assist in warming up and stretching the pelvic muscles. This can help alleviate cramps and balance out your mood. If your cramps have got you cranky, give this a go!
EDITOR RECOMMENDED: Modibodi Activewear Leggings. Don’t let pads or tampons get in the way of a good workout!
4. Water over wine
Sorry ladies, but your Friday afternoon glass (or bottle) or rose could be making your period worse. Alcohol is a depressant and it messes with your blood sugar at the best of times. Adding alcohol to the ROLLERCOASTER that is period hormones may seem like a good idea at the time but you could be in for a bumpy ride. I don’t know if you’ve ever had a hangover and your period at the same time but I 10/10 would not recommend.
5. Step away from the salt
Now I love eating salty comfort food as much as the next girl when Aunt Flo comes to visit but fries will not leave you feeling fresh. Consuming salty foods can often increase the duration and discomfort of bloating (if that’s even possible). It might be best to hold off on those fries for a few extra days.
6. Have a cup of coffee
Caffeine has anti-inflammatory properties and can assist in the relief of period pain. The caffeine in coffee also can counter-act the lethargy you often experience in the first few days of your cycle. If you needed an excuse to snuggle up with a warm cup of joe and a hot water bottle, this is it!
7. Ditch the dairy
Foods such as milk, cheese or even ice cream contain an omega 6 acid that can actually make bloating worse (and more painful). If you’re experiencing discomfort it might be time to opt for a dairy free tub of Ben and Jerry’s. Your uterus will thank you for it.
8. Increase the iron
As you lose blood, it stands to reason that you lose iron too. Many women experience lethargy and fatigue when menstruating so it’s important to make sure you are replenishing your iron levels when on your period. Eating leafy greens, red meat or even iron supplements can help your energy levels, making it easier to get on with your day.
9. Calcium supplements are crucial
A 2009 study showed that women who took two calcium supplements a day (for the duration of their menstruation) experienced less period related fatigue and depression than women who didn’t.
“A number of studies have shown that getting plenty of calcium can help ease mood changes related to severe PMS, although we don’t know exactly why,” Carol Livoti of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists explains.
10. Take a bubble bath
The science behind this one is pretty similar to the hot water bottle but who doesn’t love a good bubble bath? The warm water will help decrease the severity of cramps and will ease any tension in the rest of your body. It’s the perfect way to de-stress and de-spasm that uterus.
11. Acupuncture is AMAZING
Acupuncture has been proven to decrease the duration, intensity AND severity of period symptoms. This is an amazing way to naturally ease the pain of the period without medications.
12. Preparation is the perfect period hack
There’s nothing worse than leakage freakage except having it and realizing you’ve run out of tampons. Always try to stock up BEFORE your cycle starts so you don’t run into any sticky situations. Brands such as Modibodi now sell period-proof undies that can save you a world of pain (and absorb up to 2 tampons worth of fluid). You’ll never have to worry about spotting again!
13. Tea Time
Herbal teas are a cozy way to soothe and stomach pain you might be experiencing as you, uh, go with the flow. Chamomile tea is great for easing cramps and peppermint is amazing for settling the tummy. Don’t worry, I’ll pop on the kettle.
14. Keep track of time
Don’t be caught by surprise! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been caught unaware by an unexpected period. Making a little note in your diary or even using a period tracker app can help get track so you don’t get stuck in a sticky situation.
15. Go for a swim
Going for a gentle swim can help relax the muscles and reduce aches and cramps. Don’t let your period disrupt your pool time! Treat yourself to some cute period friendly swimmers! You won’t have to worry about any leaks or tampons so you can focus on feeling better.
EDITOR RECOMMENDED: SET ME FREE ONE PIECE SWIMMER
Get it HERE.
16. Dark chocolate is a dream
When on your period, your bodily store of magnesium starts to run low. Dark chocolate is a delicious way to rebalance your bod and satisfy that sweet tooth. Go forth my loves and eat a block! (Heck, eat two!)
Orgasms don’t just feel amazing, they’re also a natural muscle relaxant and painkiller, so break out that vibrator and get your buzz on when the red river flows for some natural relief.
18. Don’t skip your skincare
Skincare is extra important around your period, due to the hormonal fluctuations during menstruation that can lead to breakouts and oily skin. Try making a natural DIY face mask while you’re on your period – it’s a relaxing form of self-care and it’ll make your face less likely to freak out around that time of the month.
19. The potassium period hack
Bet you didn’t know that the humble banana is a powerful weapon against period pain, did you? Thanks to the high amounts of potassium found in your fave yellow fruit, it helps fight water retention and bloating and eases cramps. Sounds like as good an excuse as ever for a banana split if you ask us!
20. Wait for your wax
Don’t make the mistake of going for your wax the week before your period. During this time, your pain threshold is at it’s lowest an your skin is less resilient, making it more likely to react or tear.
21. Make magnesium your best mate
Magnesium supplements are a must in the pantry of every person who has a period thanks to their powerful ability to dull cramps and soothe and relax muscles. Magnesium bath salts are also a great way to ease aches when Aunt Flo is in town. And, who doesn’t love a good bath?
22. Say goodbye to stains
If you’ve ever had a period, chances are you’ve dealt with period stains. Removing period stains from your underwear and clothing can be a real bitch. Unless you have this hack, that is! Next time you suffer a little leakage, don’t freak. The best period stain remover can be found in your cupboard. Simply cover the stain with some baking soda or crushed aspirin. Then make a paste by adding a little water and leave to sit on the stain for 30 minutes before popping in the wash.
23. Vitamin E(asy)
Another must-have vitamin for anyone with a period is vitamin E. It’s great for reducing period pain.
24. Lots of lavender
Invest in a lavender spray for a more restful sleep when your period hits. The scent of lavender on your pillow at night has been shown to improve many people’s ability to relax and catch some Zs.
25. Stay hella hydrated
You can use all the tricks in the book, but if you don’t slurp up H20 throughout the day, chances are you’ll be in a world of discomfort come period time. Hydration is key to staving off bloating, improving period-related sluggish digestion and keeping headaches at bay. Make sure you get in eight glasses every day.
26. Bite the bullet and take a pain killer
If all else fails, reach for a combination of ibuprofen and paracetemol when period cramps hit. The two painkillers don’t interact, and so can be safely taken together for a more powerful painkilling effect. Just ensure you follow the packet instructions and consult your doctor before trying anything new.
27. Swap your skinny jeans for slacks
Tight pants and periods were not meant to go together, period. Restrictive clothing can make cramps and discomfort from water retention worse, so do yourself a favor and invest in some breezy slacks you can wear during that time of the month.
29. Put a towel down
If you suffer restless nights sleep during those first couple of nights of your period due to a particularly heavy flow, ease your mind by laying down a dark colored towel before you go to bed.
30. Elevate your legs
Elevating your legs during bad cramps can help ease the pain by encouraging blood flow, so prop them up with a couple of fluffy pillows while you surf Netflix.
31. DIY Sock heat pack
No heat pack? No worries! You can make your own at home with an old sock and a couple of cups of dry, uncooked rice. Fill the sock with the rice, tie a couple of knots at the end and then heat in the microwave for one to two minutes.
32. Get a massage
Aromatic massages are amazing for easing pain, stress, water retention, an more. So convince your SO to treat you to one or visit your local massage parlor. Your uterus will thank you.
Featured image via shutterstock.com.