Having your period can be painful, uncomfortable, and put you in a big mood. Even if you don’t get really bad symptoms, you probably still experience side effects that can mess up your day.
Most of the time, we just grab our favorite comfort food or soothing drink and try to get through the week, but there are some clever hacks you should know about that can help you feel better without a lot of fuss.
Get ready to learn everything you didn’t know you needed to know about cheating your way through your period. We’ll teach you how to erase cramps, ease bad moods, and even eliminate bloat. Read on.
Why Do I Feel Bad?
It’s not you; it’s them. Hormones.
Really. Your hormones run the show in your body, and it’s not just your period they control. Hormones control virtually every process in your body. Your monthly cycle begins and ends because of hormones that signal the menstrual process to do its thing.
The main hormones that control your period and monthly cycle are estrogen and progesterone. These two hormones determine when your period begins and ends and what prepares your body for pregnancy if you get pregnant.
Unfortunately, they don’t do their jobs quietly. They usually make themselves known by introducing cramps, headaches, fatigue, mood swings, bloating, and of course, the occasional pre-period breakout. It’s a lot, and it can be hard to deal with if you don’t know how to get relief.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. More than 75 percent of women experience some type of symptoms from PMS. Let’s look at what kinds of issues we’re dealing with and how we can alleviate some of the symptoms fast.
Your hormones don’t directly cause the cramps you experience before and during your period. They’re caused by fatty acids called prostaglandins...which are released because estrogen and progesterone signal them to start uterine contractions that begin your period.
Prostaglandins cause the contractions that allow your uterus to push out its lining, resulting in your monthly period. Those contractions can be painful, and as if that wasn’t enough, prostaglandins can also cause intestinal contractions.
When you experience intestinal contractions, you can experience more pain, discomfort, and even bowel issues like diarrhea and gas.
Life gives you enough reasons to feel emotional from time to time, but hormones can make us go from zero to one hundred with a quickness. Rising and falling estrogen levels are to blame for moods that seem to come and go faster than a new eyebrow trend.
Estrogen affects the levels of neurotransmitters in your brain, like serotonin and dopamine. These transmitters regulate your feelings of wellbeing and happiness, so when they’re not where they should be, you can feel worried, anxious, sad, or depressed.
Most of the time, these feelings are fleeting, and you level off when your period ends. If you feel you have deeper feelings, last longer, and don’t seem to let up once you get your period, speak to your doctor. You could be experiencing a medical condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
Water retention can make you feel miserable even if you don’t have a single other symptom. The reason is mostly due to salt. Falling levels of progesterone and rising levels of estrogen can cause your body to hang on to more sodium from your food than you normally do.
Also, these hormonal changes can cause you to crave different foods, including saltier foods. Because salt is an electrolyte, your body will try to balance the level of sodium you intake by retaining more water, leaving you feeling bloated, uncomfortable, and puffy.
Headaches and Flu-Like Symptoms
Feeling like you’re coming down with an illness is common for many people when they get their periods. “Period flu” is a real condition that can leave you with a low-grade fever, pounding headaches, stomach upset, and an overall feeling of lethargy and achiness.
Again, hormones are behind symptoms. When estrogen levels rise and progesterone drops, these feelings are intensified, and many of us are simply more sensitive to them than others.
Hacking The Period Funk
Just because your hormones are hard at work, making you feel a little less than great doesn’t mean you can’t be hard at work beating them at their own game. Here are some tried and true period hacks to get you feeling better fast.
Crippling Your Cramps
Your cramps may be crippling you, but you can fight back. Here are three simple ways to get rid of cramps super-fast without taking too much of your time or effort.
Do some light exercise. A walk, fifteen minutes of stretching or yoga, or just some focused, meditative breathing can help relax the muscles in your uterus and bowels that are causing you to experience pain.
The more exercise you do, the better your cramps will feel. And yes, there is some truth to the rumor that sex can help with cramps. The uterine contractions you feel when you have an orgasm can help alleviate the cramps, but usually for a short period.
Take a warm bath. The heat from the water will relax your muscles and provide an analgesic effect on your cramping, while the timeout of taking a relaxing bath will help relax you and help you refocus, which can ease cramps and help you feel better.
Heating patches. Let’s be honest, taking a heating pad to work, or school isn’t realistic, even though they definitely provide serious relief. Fortunately, you can get the same level of heated relief with a heating patch.
Heating patches are designed to provide comforting heat that radiates relief for hours while you work or play. Rael’s heating patches are made from gentle, holistic, plant-based ingredients that synergize to bring you relief without even touching your skin.
Our heating patches are made to adhere to the outside of your underwear, low on your abdomen where you experience the most discomfort. Just one patch will give you hours of safe, healing relief.
Cramps don’t stand a chance with these methods, and you can get on with your day and forget they ever happened.
Managing Your Mood
There’s no magic pill that will instantly lift your mood and send all your cares away, but there are ways to keep a positive attitude even when your hormones feel like they’re sending you over an emotional cliff.
First, remember to take a breath and give yourself some grace. The way you feel is directly related to hormonal changes in your body, and they won’t last forever. They will pass as quickly as they begin.
Second, get some exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, which can help compensate for falling serotonin and dopamine levels and make you feel better. It’s also a good idea to avoid too much caffeine and sugar, which can give you an instant mental lift but send you crashing a half-hour later.
Third, step up your personal care game and take some time for yourself. A sheet mask is a great way to care for skin that might be on the verge of a breakout and pamper yourself, which can seriously elevate your mood.
It seems counterproductive, but drink more water! It’s the key to getting your body to release the water it’s hanging on to. Sometimes we retain water when our bodies are dehydrated. Even if you don’t feel dehydrated, drinking extra water can force your body to flush out excess water and get you back on track.
Avoiding salty snacks (we know it’s hard) can also help you eliminate bloat. The more salt you take in, the more your body will compensate and balance your electrolyte levels by retaining water. If you can swap a salty snack for a handful of berries or a few cubes of cheese, you’ll decrease your bloat and feel better fast.
Feeling bad on your period doesn’t have to be a thing. You can hit your period symptoms head-on with these easy-to-do hacks and feel like yourself in no time.
Your period comes every month; why suffer? Trust Rael to bring you the safest, most effective products to help you have an amazing period, no matter what your hormones are up to. At Rael, we believe your period should be empowering.
Grab a heating patch and get outside for a walk, you’ll feel better, and your body will thank you.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) | Womens Health.gov
How to Reduce Bloating During Periods | OmarGailani.com
Hormone Imbalance, Menstrual Cycles & Hormone Testing | Women In Balance.orgPremenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) | Hopkins Medicine.org