Cramps, backaches, clammy skin, headaches, dodgy stomachs, and bloating are all symptoms of that time of the month where everything makes you cry and the slightest cross word may send you into a rage.
It’s painful and tiring having your body and hormones fight against your attempt at living life successfully. As someone who has had various issues in this area and suffers from disgustingly painful periods, I personally dread my period. Over the years, however, I have gathered a list of things that are essential for making the most out of this bloody awful time.
1. Take a shower or bath.
I don’t know about you, but I know that as soon as the devil mistress herself shows up I feel gross. My hair feels greasy and my body aches with every move. That’s why I always run a bath or take a shower and just let it all wash away, leaving me feel fresh and a little more ready to tackle the week again.
Not just that, but the hot water helps the pain as it increases blood circulation and soothes muscles. Never underestimate the power of a relaxing bath/shower, so get clean ladies!
2. Get yourself a hot water bottle or microwavable friend.
I love my microwavable owl. All I have to do is pop it in the microwave for 6 minutes, put it back in the case, place it on my uterus and voila, it all hurts a little bit less.
The same as with the shower, the heat from either your water bottle, heating pad, or microwavable beanbag will help your muscles relax and should ease your discomfort. Just be careful not to burn yourself and make sure to avoid skin contact. These are particularly handy if you want to take a nap, as it helps you relax, which leads me onto my next point…
3. Nap like sleeping beauty.
An hour or two of shut-eye never hurt anyone, especially when your body is going through the process of tearing itself up and losing a lot of blood. Perhaps you’ve had restless nights leading up to your period, perhaps your cramps are keeping you up all night, tossing and turning.
Like with any other illness, a nap can make a world of difference, so don’t be afraid to close your eyes and let yourself sleep the day away if that’s what makes you feel better; you are under no obligation to be the most productive woman in the world on these days.
4. Get comfortable
And for those of you who hate napping, just get comfy. There is nothing more needed on your shark week than curling up with all your blankets and pillows.
So grab your favorite book or movie and crawl into bed, drag your quilt down to your couch or simply make a fort filled with all the blankets and pillows you can find. Do anything to make sure your body is all relaxed and you’re getting the rest your body needs.
5. Drink tea.
Or coffee, or hot chocolate, or whatever else you like that warms you up inside. Not only are hot drinks relaxing, but in the same way as a water bottle works, for me at least, tea warms up my body and helps my sore muscles relax just a little bit.
I don’t know about you, but a cup of tea always makes everything a little more bearable, so get that kettle boiling, girl!
6. Stock up.
Stock up on food, on pads, tampons, tea, everything! I don’t know about you, but there is nothing I hate more than having to go outside when you’re on your period, especially on the first day when your uterus is swollen and blood is flowing like Niagara falls.
This is why I like to stock up on everything I can before I curl up for the Red-hibernation as I like to call it. And if you do run out of the necessities, just get someone who loves you to run down to the shop for you!
7. Don’t feel guilty for taking a day off work.
Some of you may argue with this, but I really do believe it! Not one woman is the same, and while one woman may suffer next to nothing when it comes to cramping and aching body, the next may be running to the bathroom every five minutes while trying not to pass out. I most certainly am the latter.
On the first days of my period, It’s not uncommon for me to suffer from severe cramps, headaches, dizziness, temperature, upset stomach and frequent urination. I have tried so many times to keep it together at work, only to end up hunched over at my desk, half unconscious and crying. For me, going home isn’t even a choice anymore.
Periods are real and can be very painful, so don’t be afraid to take the day off if you really can’t bear it, and don’t be afraid of anyone who berates you for it.
When I first had to go home at my current job, my male boss gave me a look of, “I am so unimpressed right now, it’s only a period.” So I just stared him out. If he wanted me to stay and bleed and throw up all over his floor, then that could be arranged. Listen to your body, and if you need a day to recuperate, that’s fine.