In today’s blog we are joined by health and wellness lifestyle blogger Kimora from KimoraChanel.com. Kimora shares with us her top self-care tips to help you have a better monthly period experience. Since we are all about having a better period here at The Better Period, I am so excited for Kimora to share this with us. Be sure to check out Kimora’s blog and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest to keep up to date with all of her great health and wellness content.
My name is Kimora and I’m a motivational health and wellness lifestyle blogger. I blog over at KimoraChanel.com where I create content for anyone and everyone looking to live a more fulfilled life by learning how to build their confidence, adopt a health conscious lifestyle, and find comfort in their own skin through the power of wellness.
Hands up if you dread that one week out of the entire month, every month, where you have to involuntarily participate in shark week. And by involuntarily participate in shark week I mean you have to embrace what it is that mother nature does to our bodies, and let her occupy for your body for a week.
I’m talking about your period.
It sucks at times, right? The bloating, the excessive eating, the fatigue, the mood swings (unless you’re like me and you constantly have mood swings), and of course the cramps. Cramping is the worst!
Experiencing these symptoms every month can really take a toll on our bodies. For some women, like me, it causes them to become completely immobile for at least the first day of starting your period, and then it’s just a rollercoaster ride for the rest of the week.
Of course, you try all the natural remedies that you have immediate access to that you can think of. Tea, chocolate, a heating pad, massaging your tummy, taking a hot shower, taking over the counter medication to help with cramps, and of course even just sleeping off the pain. However, the fact of the matter is that while these techniques do help and can be effective, no one likes to have to rely on them every month to help them get through their period.
Especially when you’re out living your best life (or at least trying to) and you don’t want your period to get in the way of it.
So, what do we do about it? Is it even possible for us to have a better period experience every month?
While my first thought is HELL NO, I’m actually here to tell you yes. It is possible to have a better period experience every month, and I’m going to share with you how.
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Do These Exercises
Believe it or not exercising on your period can probably be the best thing you can do for yourself. While I will be the first to admit that it’s a very awkward and sometimes uncomfortable experience, I will also be the first to admit that it can be very relieving of pain. Especially if you cramp like a mother during your period.
There are plenty of exercises that you can participate in to help with having a better period experience but honestly, you’re going to want to engage in the softer, easier, and more subtle exercises. These are exercises that are not going to require you to twist and turn your body in confusing contorting ways, are not going to cause you to sweat up a storm, and most certainly will not leave you in pain afterwards.
Check out the list below!
Exercise #1: Walking
The last thing any woman wants to do when she’s on her period is move. This is due to the fatigue that we all feel while on our periods, especially at the start of our cycle. I get it, trust me I do. However, we can’t just give in to the power of being lazy. We have to fight it and one of the best and easiest ways to do so is to just simply get moving.
I suggest walking. This can be a very light and short walk or it can be a very intense and long walk. Whatever you are feeling like you can do I say do it. Just get moving and try to walk for at least 10 minutes, at which point you may be feeling good enough to want to keep moving a little bit longer (or not). This will help in relieving yourself of cramps and in some cases can help in fighting off that fatigue by giving you some energy to do more than just lay in bed with the heating pad all day.
Exercise #2: Yoga
There really are only two yoga poses that I personally feel like work wonders for you when you’re on your period. Engaging in yoga while on your period can help in reducing breast tenderness, relieving yourself of cramping, and can even help with all day fatigue. Those poses are child’s pose and the forward bend pose.
Child’s pose stretches the lower back muscles. This pose is great for relieving any pain you may sometimes feel in your lower back when you are on your period, especially at the beginning of your cycle. This pose has also been known to help reduce feelings of anxiety, which if we’re being honest, we can sometimes feel very overwhelmed during our period, even if there’s nothing to be overwhelmed about.
We’ll blame it on the hormones for now.
Click here to learn and see how to engage in child’s pose.
The forward bend fold helps to stretch out your lower back and hips. This is great especially since those who usually have the worst period experience every month tend to experience a lot of pain in those areas of our bodies. This pose is great for not only stretching your hips and your lower back, but it can also help you feel more grounded and less dizzy (if dizziness is something you experience while on your period).
Click here to learn and see how to engage in the forward bend fold.
Exercise #3: Stretching
I love stretching and I think doing it while on your period is honestly the best time do it. Stretching helps to relieve the body of pain symptoms, like cramps, muscle strains, and even those awkward body aches. Stretching before bed can even also help you get a better sleep at night, especially when you’re on your period and may have a hard time sleeping at night. It’s simple, it’s easy, and it literally can be done in the comfort of your own bed.
Check out this video of some of my favorite stretches to do every night before bed.
Get plenty of sleep
While experiencing fatigue on your period is a given for most women, it can severely impact our sleep cycle. I don’t know about you but I have found that I tend to sleep more during the day than I do at night when I’m on my period. Why is that? Honestly, I have no idea why but for the most part I don’t question it. Not only does it help me recharge my body, relive myself of pain, and give me the perfect excuse to skip out on minor responsibilities for the day, it’s always the easiest way to catch up on sleep.
The only thing I would say is you don’t want to miss out on those 6-8 hours of sleep throughout the night. So, if you tend to sleep more during the day than you do at night while on your period try engaging in some of the exercises listed above during the day, and doing some stretches at night. This will help to tire out your body and by time you’re done stretching (after a nice hot shower) your body will be relaxed and ready to sleep like a baby.
Ok here is something we all can relate to. The excessive amount of eating that we feel the need to engage in just days before starting our period, and sometimes even while on your period. This part sucks big time because we find ourselves constantly eating and most of the time, we’re not eating the right type of foods for our period.
You may be thinking what type of foods should you eat while on your period. Well the answer is simple, stick the healthier choices, like fruits and vegetables that are packed with loads of vitamins and natural energy boosting properties. Check out the list below for some ideas.
- Oranges relieve you of muscle strains and cramps. This is the result of the calcium that oranges contain.
- Bananas reduce water retention and bloating. They are also a great source for increasing your mood and energy levels.
- Watermelon is the natural sweetness that you want in your life during your period. It helps with providing you with energy and fights fatigue.
- Dark chocolate. You don’t have to give this bad boy up for a week. This delicious treat helps to regulate serotonin levels (your happy hormone).
So yes, while digging into that big bad of Doritos may seem more ideal, it’s really not going to make your period experience any better. Go for foods that are going to give you more energy, not the foods that are going to encourage feeling fatigue.
Water, Water, Water
You don’t want to be exhausted let alone dehydrated for the week, so make sure you are drinking plenty of water. Low levels of estrogen and progesterone causes our bodies to poorly attempt to retain water. This is why we often times feel bloated and extremely uncomfortable. I will say as an avid water drinker I have noticed that when I consume more water I don’t feel as bloated during my period when I don’t.
In fact, I have noticed a lot of slight differences in taking the extra time to fuel my body with water during my period, then when I completely neglect it. I’m telling you now, if your go to drink during your period is anything other than tea and water, you’re doing this part of self-care wrong! Tea is great for cramps but water is a MUST HAVE for the entire week of your period.
So, don’t neglect it, I promise you’re gonna it!
In a nutshell:
- Engage in exercises that are fitting for your cycle. Every woman has a different period experience so naturally there will be different types of exercises that are going to be more beneficial and effective than others. However, the goal is to get moving and stay moving.
- While we all experience fatigue while on our periods it doesn’t have to completely disrupt our sleep cycle. Try to be more active during the day and relax your body at night to get a better night’s rest.
- Junk food is great and all but you’re going to want to keep your energy levels high. Go for healthier choices with more natural energy boosting properties.
- Just drink your water! It may not have an amazing taste like sugary drinks but I promise you it’s going to help you have a much better period experience.
If you want to improve your period experience by changing up the period products you use, be sure to check out these favourite previous blog posts: