With my whole leap of confidence in the past few weeks on the blog, getting more personal in my content and images, I wanted to keep going and incorporate this into my actual posts. So today I want to talk about a time in the month that every woman goes through, that can at times be unbearable, and the things I do to make it a little easier. Yes, I am talking about periods.
When my body started changing and I entered this whole new era in my life, I can honestly say that I was actually really happy. I was happy to be growing up, happy to be the same as my friends, and happy to feel more like a woman. However, these thoughts quickly changed when I first experienced period pain. Wow, I got it bad. To anyone who hasn’t had it (*cough cough* boys), I can’t even explain how much pain I was in and how much I just wanted to shrivel up and die right in the moment. I felt like I was being repeatedly stabbed in the bottom of my stomach, causing me to feel nauseas and get the worse migraines ever. Usually I am a pretty tough cookie, and don’t suffer from many headaches etc… but this really did seem to bring them all up. Ultimately, there really isn’t that much you can do about it, so you have to learn ways to help yourself. Everybody is different when it comes to their cycles, so everyone will also be different with how to deal with them.
“Dear mother nature – I’d like to cancel my monthly subscription”
The thing I have learnt with period pain, is that you just have to be able to manage it. I have had so many days off school sick when the pain was as it peak, and even if I had been dragged in, it would have been pointless as my concentration would have totally been below zero. The major problem for young girls is that, not only is their very little sympathy that goes around, but also they are not often given the full list of options to make it better. Obviously, it massively improves with age, but I do think that there are more things that you can do than just wait for it to get better.
I think it is probably pretty obvious, but I am not a medical professional by any means, so please don’t try any medication until you are sure it is right for you! Personally, I do think the first thing you can do when experiencing bad period pain is take some pain killers. Always make sure that you’re taking the right thing, but for me the best thing is Nurofen. I have always had a problem with swallowing tablets, so these were easiest for me. I take 2 in the morning, and if it is still bad I will take 2 more in the afternoon. They definitely do target the pain, and definitely reduce the symptoms.
Another medication that will always help is the pill. Obviously this is going on to a completely new subject, but I can definitely say since taking it that I don’t have any pain. A lot of my friends who used to suffer badly were given the pill by their doctors. It stopped all pain, and they were able to get on with everything. Their periods were making them extremely ill, so this was the only option. If this is the case, I would always suggest going along to the doctor and seeing if they can help.
A hot water bottle or a heat pad is something that always used to relieve a little of the pain for me. I would usually have one in the evening as it was impractical when I was at school, but eventually I learnt about these pads that you can buy. You shake them to heat them up, then stick them on your tummy. I would put one on in the morning, and then usually use a new one once in the day. It was such a lovely soothing feeling, and definitely helped with the pain.
I am convinced that keeping healthy helps with how bad your periods are. The major thing for this is to stay hydrated. I get through about 2 litres of water a day, as I always get so dehydrated. Drinking plenty will give your body the correct nutrients, and it will naturally be able to reduce the pain. This will not stop it, but I think it will definitely help.
As hard as this is, resting is so important. When a woman is on her period, it is a traumatic experience for her body, so she needs to rest so that it can get better. With work and school this seems impossible, but I think it is important to sit down as much as possible, and make sure that you are in bed early. When sleeping your body does not feel pain, so if it is in rest mode, the same principle can be applied. I would not suggest doing anything physically strenuous if you are in pain, as I think it can only make everything worse.
On the subject of resting, I think it is also important to know your limits. Every woman has to get up and go to work, but sometimes there is a level of pain that you can reach which means you need to stop. I used to have days and days off with pain, but there was nothing I could do. I would literally be sat at home, crouched over, usually crying – so my time at school would have been completely useless. I think we need to realise, that no matter how much pressure people put you under or you put on yourself, it is okay to say no and give yourself some time to get better.
What to eat?
When I have my time of the month, the only thing I want is food! It is all I can think about, and I could literally eat everything it sight. It’s like a little food radar goes off in my head, and everything can be demolished by me within minutes! I think when you’re on, the easiest thing to do is reach for quick, convenient sugar rich food. It is easy to prepare and is just comforting. The unfortunate thing is, that for those seconds of indulgence, you are probably making everything ten times worse. As easy as it is, you need to be eating healthy superfoods. Lots of fruit, vegetables, carbohydrates and protein. Anything that will give your body the correct nutrients is bound to help it repair. Although, this is tough, and everyone needs to give into chocolatey craving when in pain. I would suggest something a bit healthier, perhaps gluten or dairy free? I made this brownies the other day, which just happened to be both of these unintentionally. They are rich, sugary, chocolatey and surprisingly healthy! Experimenting with different ingredients is bound to help as you will be taking in better foods and getting rid of junk in your diet.
These are what get me through periods. Endless hot drinks, teas, coffees and hot chocolate! I always have one coffee in the morning, but that is it because of the caffeine. I then drink tea and other hot drinks throughout the day. I find the heat from the drinks so incredibly soothing, and massively reduce any pain that I am in. Something that I started to love a few years ago was hot squash in the evening. Pour boiling water over a drop of squash in a mug and enjoy. The sweetness is so yummy, and again he warmth really really helps.
My last point is trying to take your mind off of the pain. I know how difficult it is, but if all else fails there really is nothing else. Sometimes getting up and going to work/school actually helps as you start to forget, as well as watching something or having a good read. I used to distract myself by having a hot bubbly bath and having a read of the weekly gossip magazines. Total trash I know, but completely entertaining.
– have you got any tips? –
I have not been paid to talk about any brands mentioned, and all views and opinions are my own.