I feel like they just need to be talked about and I’m gonna be the one to do it. This isn’t some sort of super secret topic. It’s a part of life that ALL females deal with, we just gotta embrace it.
But here’s the thing, periods still SUCK. We get crampy, irritated, bloated, moody, and personally my face breaks out like no other thanks to this wonderful monthly gift of nature. SO FUN, right?!
And I’m gonna be really honest here, my cramps are SO painful & they last forever. So naturally all I wanna do is curl up in a ball on my couch with a heating pad, my cat, a bunch of junk food, and binge watch Grey’s Anatomy for 5 straight days. Guess what? It doesn’t help my cramps at all. So annoying.
In efforts to stop cramps from pretty much ruining my life, I did a little experiment the last time Aunt Flo came to town.
AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT NOT TO DO TO GET RID OF PERIOD CRAMPS:
The day of her arrival, I felt like crap tbh. Like it was so bad I was holding my stomach and doubling over into a ball while I was AT WORK. I seriously couldn’t help it. Not exaggerating. So I took the rest of the day off (I know, I’m such a drama queen) and immediately got into my sweatpants and oversized t-shirt, buried myself under like 3 blankets, and broke out a pint of ice cream (which I obviously finished…duh). And I proceeded to lay in this position for about 5 Grey’s Anatomy episodes before I fell asleep at some point. I’m a picture of self-care, no? I spent the day wallowing in my pain & suffering without really doing anything that would actually improve my situation.
AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT TO DO TO:
So the next day I decided to do things a little differently. I woke up and immediately drank like 20 huge gulps of water before I even got out of bed. Then I took all my supplements for the day and took a hot shower (is it just me, or does showering feel even more tedious when you’re on your period?). I picked up some activated charcoal lemonade on my way to work and honestly my cramps were already getting better. But the self-care didn’t stop there! I got home and made myself a HUGE green smoothie with flax seeds & chia seeds and drank a cup of ginger tea (which is supposedly great for cramps). And lastly–get ready for it–I WORKED OUT. Yes, that’s right. I did a quick arm workout and then did some interval running on the treadmill for 30 minutes. You know what? My cramps were completely gone after that. Then I drank some warm water with lemon before bed and made sure to get 7 full hours of sleep. Y’all know I’m definitely not a morning person, especially not on my period. So if I don’t get at least 7 hours of sleep, I am a nightmare the next day. None of this is really what I wanted to do. At all. But I knew it would help my crappy period situation so I gave it a shot. And clearly, it WORKED.
SO, TO SUMMARIZE, HERE’S HOW TO GET RID OF PERIOD CRAMPS:
+ Working out is one of the best things you can do when you have cramps. When you exercise, more blood is pushed throughout your entire body, causing more blood flow to your midsection, which helps relax the muscles that are contracting.
Web MD tells us:
Exercise relieves cramps because it helps release beta-endorphins, which are internal opioids — your own “human morphine,” according to Kelly’s doctor, Gustavo Rossi, MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. “It produces analgesia [pain relief] and helps to burn the prostaglandins — chemicals released during menstruation that cause muscle contractions — much faster.”
Experts say the best form of exercise to get rid of cramps is aerobic exercise (running, biking, swimming….). So get up and MOVE, babes.
+ Take a hot bath or shower. Similar to how working out helps your cramps, warm water increases blood flow to your pelvic area as well which can relieve cramping. Plus who doesn’t love hot showers? Soooo relaxing….once I muster up the energy to actually get in the shower. I’m serious, guys, it’s SUCH a task.
+ Drink lots of water. I know, it seems sorta weird to drink more water when you’re already way bloated and uncomfortable. But the more water you drink, the easier it is for your body to get rid of excess water. So make sure you’re drinking at least 10 full glasses of water a day.
+ GINGER TEA=healer of all pain. I’m not kidding on this one though. As I said above, warm water (or tea) helps relieve cramps in general, even if you just drink it. But what real game changer is the type of tea. “Ginger has a long history as a natural pain fighter, and cinnamon is considered an anti-inflammatory that helps reduce the uterine spasms that cause cramps,” says Alyssa Dweck, M.D., ob-gyn in Westchester, New York and coauthor of V is for Vagina.
+ Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. 7-8 hours of sleep can do wonders for icky periods.
+ Eat mindfully & fill your body with healthy nutrients! I always double up on chia and flax seeds when I’m cramping. They’re a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and also contain Vitamin B-6 which will help with premenstrual cravings and fatigue.
+ DON’T mix Midol & alcohol. Y’all know I’m not a pill poppin’ type of person. I’d rather take the natural way to get rid of pains & aches in general. So I don’t really like taking Midol. But if you do take Midol to help relieve period cramps, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don’t drink alcohol!!! There’s acetaminophen in it which, when mixed with alcoholic drinks, is terrible for the liver.
What’re your little tipity-tips to help get rid of those miserable period cramps? Anything I left off the list?
Ohhhh the joys of being a woman. HAHA.