By Cayla Clement
This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 2 of VARSITY News.
Girls, we’ve all been there: lying in the foetal position, hot water bottle on our stomach, feeling like we are about to take our last breaths. Periods are hard enough without the constant sleepiness, mood swings, frequent bathroom trips, and for most of us the unbearable cramps. PMS, or Premenstrual Syndrome, is a combination of symptoms that occur about a week or two before your period starts, however these symptoms often ‘bleed’ into your period week as well. Some symptoms of PMS include bloating, cramping, food cravings, headaches, mood swings, fatigue, and a general feeling of being uncomfortable. PMS sucks, but before you reach for the pain killers, try these natural and affordable tips to ease the symptoms of PMS.
- To combat irritable stomachs, try loading up on fibre, extra water and even consider taking a shot of apple cider vinegar before meals.
- To ease anxiety, depression, irritability, bloating, migraines, breakouts and tender breasts, try adding omega-3 fats to your diet. Omega-3 is packed into foods like salmon, nuts and fish oil supplements
- Adding magnesium, calcium and B Vitamins into your diet can also ease the physical and mental symptoms of PMS. To ensure you’re getting all the nutrients and vitamins you need, opt for a multivitamin during your period.
- Meditation and light exercise, especially yoga, can ease cramps and help you feel calmer and in control of your moods. Search for ‘period yoga positions’ or ‘yoga for PMS’ on YouTube and find a routine that suits you.
- Taking a bath or filling up a hot water bottle and placing it on your lower abdomen can relax the uterus, leading to milder menstrual cramps.
- Although many of us girls crave chocolate and all the junk we can get our hands on during our time of the month, avoiding sugar and salt can result in higher energy levels and alleviated bloating. You also want to steer clear of these foods as they cause inflammation which could increase cramps.
- Beauty sleep is important before and during your period. Relax and make sure you get enough sleep (including naps into your routine is great). Due to the change of hormones that occur during your period, studies suggest getting in extra sleep 14 days before the start of your period. Being well rested will help your body do all that it needs to during this sensitive time.
- Trying a Diva Cup instead of regular tampons can be beneficial; it is cleaner, reusable and could reduce cramping as it sits more comfortably.
- Chamomile tea is a natural anti-inflammatory tea which can reduce swelling of the uterus, bloating, and overall discomfort. Honey is another amazing and healthy anti-inflammatory that you could add.
- If all else fails and you’re feeling up to it, try having an orgasm. By orgasming, blood flow increases and endorphins are released. An orgasm also relaxes all muscles (including your uterus), relieving cramps and relaxing your entire body.