Every woman knows her menstrual cycle is a natural process that enables her to create life and maintain a healthy reproductive system. However, the side effects of this cycle can be inconvenient and downright painful. Be that as it may, you don’t have to suffer through the pain without some relief. Here are 3 simple and natural ways to mitigate the uncomfortable symptoms of your menstrual cycle.
1. Apply Heat
Warming up the contracting muscles in your uterus is crucial to relieving the pain in your abdomen. For quick relief, run a warm bath. You can also add essential oils like lavender or peppermint, as well as Epsom salts for even more relaxation and pain alleviation. For an all-day remedy, try a heating pad. You may have a compress lying around the house that you can freeze or heat, but I find electric heating pads to be the best solution for constant relief. Instead of reheating your compress every few minutes, putting strain on your body over and over again, just plug in the heating pad and flip the switch for a consistent flow of warmth.
2. Get Active
Trust me, I get it. The last thing us women want to do when we’re in pain is engage in physical activity. But light exercise and stretching can actually release endorphins and loosen your contracting muscles. Reduce your pain with a brief walk, swim, or some gentle stretching. Various stretches and yoga-like poses can be found online. Try some different positions to find what brings you the most relief. Not only can this reduce your pain, but it may also restore peace and calming. Consistently exercising throughout the month can also lessen the pain you experience during your menstrual cycle. Invest in your long-term health by exercising for 30 minutes a few times a week and experience further relief. If you’re struggling to get some sleep due to the pain, try propping yourself up with pillows. Finally, various pressure points may relieve tension, which can also be found online.
3. Try Natural Pain Remedies
If you’re looking for an alternative to synthetic pain medications, try essential oils like lavender or peppermint. Stay hydrated with water and water-rich fruits and vegetables to reduce bloating and discomfort. Peppermint and herbal teas may also be soothing to the body. However, avoiding caffeine, processed foods, alcohol, and soda can be effective ways to decrease bloating, cramping, and discomfort. Maintaining a well-balanced diet all month long can also reduce uncomfortable symptoms throughout your menstrual cycle. Eat regularly throughout the day, whether you snack or enjoy a full meal, to avoid increased irritability. Exchanging saturated fats for healthier, unsaturated fats can also nourish the body. Healthier fats can be found in foods like olive oil, fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. Fatty foods to avoid are animal products, especially dairy, which can increase bloating and discomfort. If you do consume dairy, though, opting for a low-fat or fat-free product is a good option. Fish oil or vitamin B1 supplements may also be a good way to increase your healthy fat intake. Of course, you should always consult with your doctor to determine what methods are best suited to you, especially if you have preexisting conditions or take medication.
Extra tip: If you don’t have one already, get a free period tracking app on your phone. This will help you predict when your next cycle will start, allowing you to take preventative measures, such as making or canceling certain plans in advance, packing emergency supplies, and stopping the pain before it starts.