So, it's that time of the month again… you know it's going to be bad, you know it's going to be uncomfortable and you know that, sometimes, it's going to hurt. It isn't fair that it happens every month but it does, and it's time to prepare and cope as best you can. So how do you deal with this problem again? We have a few tips for you…
Know when it's coming – Have you ever woken up one morning to realise that it's already time? There aren't many things that can ruin a day quite so effectively, so to avoid a surprise, try to track when it's coming next. If the traditional methods of counting don't really work for you, you can now download apps that do the maths for you!
Prepare – So you know your period is probably going to start in a few days. Go get your sanitary products now, go get the healthy snacks, and go get the spot cream. Having them in the house – or ready to deploy at work – is going to save hassle and stress if you're caught unaware. You don't want a repeat of that time you had to take your lunch break at 10am and run down to the Tesco Express for damage limitation reasons...
Allow yourself a few cravings – We all do it every month in the lead-up. We tell ourselves that we aren't going to crack. But you can… a little. Have healthy snacks on hand and try your best to avoid the stuff that's less good for you – but cut yourself a little slack, snacking on a few digestive biscuits is still going to be better than all-out bingeing on Big Macs.
Exercise – Healthy body, healthy mind, right? Exercise is a great way to relieve painful cramps. Aerobic exercise such as swimming, cycling or brisk walking is the best remedy for menstrual pain, as this gets your heart rate up, triggering the release of endorphins and helping to burn the cramp-causing chemicals. You may also find that exercise provides a welcome distraction from your monthly visitor.
Avoid certain foods - Cutting out the caffeine can help reduce bloating and calm an irritable stomach, likewise it's important that you limit your salt intake. You might be craving it, but salty snacks can cause more bloating and water retention – things you really don't want if you're already feeling down.
Stay as positive as possible – It's not all in your head, it really isn't, but staying positive can be a good way to limit the stress that comes with your period. So you feel horrible and you want to go home and cry in bed? Look for the little victories and celebrate whenever you can. You managed to get a seat on the bus today, live it up! Optimism is one of the best medicines for the monthly blues.