Most women curse their periods. A few resign them to it. Well, there are few who celebrate their periods. It’s this last group that has it right. Periods are a sign that all is well with the magnificent, intricate, miraculous reproductive system. Changing your attitude about your periods is one of the best ways to deal with them.
How to deal with periods
However, there are other more practical ways to deal with periods too and we’ll be looking at some of them today.
Keeping a track of your periods
One of the reasons that women find periods so stressful is because they do not keep track of when it is due. So when PMS hits, they are taken by surprise and do not understand why they are feeling so bad. Figuring out your period date is not rocket science. It simply involves a pen and a piece of paper. Write down the date you get your period, then update that when you get your next period. Within a few months, you will know exactly when your period is due.
This will make you more in tune with your body’s cycle, which can really help to deal with the symptoms of periods, and it can also help you to prepare both practically and mentally for your period. This brings us to our next tip on how to deal with periods.
Preparing for your Periods
The obvious thing here is to get a sufficient supply of tampons or sanitary pads, whichever you prefer. Carry a couple in your purse, in all your purses actually; leave one or two in your office desk or gym locker. This is not excessive, it’s just good planning. You don’t want to be caught off-guard without protection.
The less obvious way is to plan the days before your period so that you are not stuck doing too much work during your periods. If you know that you are particularly cranky during your periods then avoid making plans for get-togethers or outings as these can sometimes make you feel worse.
If you have period cramps that do not go away with natural remedies like hot water bottles or yoga, then stock up on painkillers.
Do ensure that you have a bath everyday during your periods. This is no time to experiment with personal hygiene. Daily showers will help keep you fresh and will also help to get rid of menstrual odors.
It is a myth that you get really dirty during your periods or that you need to wash several times a day to keep your vagina clean. The vagina is already equipped with a host of good bacteria that are designed to keep the area clean. However, this does not mean there is no need to wash whatsoever. It simply means that you do not have to wash as often as you think. If you use tampons, then there’s no need to wash more than twice a day. If you use sanitary pads, you should wash every time you feel the need for it. The frequency will differ from woman to woman as period flows vary. Remember not to overwash and avoid soap, vaginal deos and douches.
You should ideally wash every time you change your tampon or sanitary pad. Also wash your hands before and after you change either.
During your periods, your body retains more water which is what leads to the sensation of being bloated. So from a purely vanity point of view, you may want to avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes as you may not look your best in them which will lead to you feeling worse about yourself than you already do what with the mood swings and fatigue. However, even from a health point of view, it’s best to not wear clothes that are too tight around the waist as this can constrict the natural menstrual flow and increase cramping. Also try to wear pants or skirts that are dark in color; in case your tampon or pad leaks, the dark colors will help to camouflage the problem for awhile until you can manage a change of clothes.
This is scientifically proven – exercising regularly greatly reduces the intensity of period symptoms from cramps to bloating. If you have a regular exercise schedule all the better as it can reduce PMS symptoms as well. Exercise also boosts energy, a blessing when you are fatigued from your periods. Do not avoid exercise unless you really do not have the energy for it. Normally though, you should be able to continue with your exercise plan with perhaps a slight change in the intensity so as not to overtax the body.
There’s a simple way to deal with period cramps as well as other uncomfortable period symptoms – eat lighter meals. Eating fruits and vegetables puts less stress on your body, which translates into less challenging period symptoms. Try to avoid caffeine whether from coffee, tea or sodas. Increase your fluid intake and reduce your salt intake.
Take it Easy
Whether you want to accept it or not, periods are a trying time for your body. You’ll notice that you are more tired and find it perhaps a tad harder to accomplish regular tasks. Do not be ashamed by it or try to fight it as that will just make it worse. Some women do indeed feel no difference in energy levels when they have their periods but most women will be quite tired. If you fall into the latter category, accept that your body needs this time and just go with the flow. Take on less work during the first two or three days of your period. Try to take naps or maybe go to bed earlier than usual so that you are getting more sleep. If there’s a difficult task that needs to get done – like doing your taxes or spring cleaning – put it off until you feel up to it. Remember that mental stress will also exacerbate fatigue so try to avoid situations that you know will get your anxiety levels up.