Instead of loading up on the ice cream and wallowing in cramping hell for hours on end, your period can represent a time to slow down, reflect, and take care of yourself. Perhaps the best way to counteract intense menstrual cycle symptoms involves just going easier on yourself, taking time for self-care, and being gentle with your body. During your period, you’re at your most intuitive, mindbodygreen explains, so taking the time to journal and look within may be a great addition to your monthly routine.
The outlet notes that during your flow, your right and left sides of the brain are operating in unison, making way for clearer communication and awareness. By giving you insight into various areas of your life that you may want to change or enhance, a journaling practice during this time might be a new habit that you want to incorporate.
But, it’s normal for your energy levels to drop, so if you’re feeling exhausted, it’s better to rest than add to your to-do list. Rather than grinding away on the treadmill, do lighter movements such as yin yoga or walking, the outlet suggests, to help your body recover. After all, your body is shedding part of itself — if it was your arm, would you be super keen to spend hours in the gym? Probably not.
Another self-care item to check off your list during this time is a massage or any type of body work, Vogue recommends. Furthermore, since your cycle is a time of cleansing within, it’s a good idea to aid in this release through saltwater baths or long, warm showers. Paula Mallis tells the outlet, “You’ll want lots of baths and showering, not from a place that we’re dirty, but a place of supporting the cleansing.”
Additionally, as you bleed, your body’s iron and zinc levels can begin to dip, according to mindbodygreen. Stock your fridge with iron-rich foods like seafood and seaweed to give your system the boost it needs. Add protein and healthy fats to your diet for a fully nourishing meal that will have you feeling supported. Plus, naturally anti-inflammatory substances such as turmeric can relieve pain from menstrual cramps as well, the outlet suggests. So, making your own golden milk or adding the spice to your dinner may take the edge off of an otherwise painful time.
Lastly, an orgasm can help loosen tight muscles and bring on much-needed relief throughout your whole body. Health notes that orgasms spur oxytocin production in the brain, bringing a sense of comfort alongside pleasure. Slowing down when you get your period is vitally important for your mental and physical health — make sure to support yourself in any way that you can!
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