Ahem, so it’s that dreaded (or heaven sent) time of the month. Emotions are running awry, the twins are tender, and it feels as if your uterus is trying to make an exit. Even though menstrual symptoms are common, they are manageable—even avoidable. A lot of what we suffer through during this week is due to the lifestyle habits we have all month long. A few small changes can make a major difference in mind and body before and during your cycle.
Adequate hydration, as well as healthy eating habits & exercise, are essential to every element of our well-being. Drinking an adequate amount of H2O improves your complexion, and helps to ward off period pimples. Consuming more water will also help to eliminate bloating.
During my monthly, my appetite rivals that of a garbage disposal. I crave all of the cliché treats: soda, chocolate, cheesecake, chocolate-cheesecake (you catch my drift).Of course we all indulge, but be sure not to overdo it. Excess intake of sugar and caffeine contribute to the vicious cycle of dehydration, mood-swings, acne, and weight gain associated with menstruation. Be mindful to eat a balanced diet, especially plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Now for exercise. Exercise is a natural relief for stress and anxiety. Whether taking a brisk walk with your fur baby or getting it in at the gym, physical activity can enhance your mood and energy level. When you get moving, you also decrease the incidence and severity of cramps, by improving circulation.
Of course, some women may experience more severe symptoms than others, and it could be indicative of more serious issues such as endometriosis or PMDD. Know your normal; if you are experiencing drastic physical or emotional changes during menstruation, please contact you primary care provider for evaluation.