Oh periods. Let’s be real – they’re not the most enjoyable time of the month. Sometimes it can feel like your own ovaries are out to get you.
Punch-in-the-uterus style cramps, mysterious monster mood swings and the classic ‘ruining your favourite pair of undies when it turns up out of the blue’ moment are just a handful of the joys you’ll probably face during Period Week. Yep, Capital P and Capital W to make it official.
But did you know that there are a few small, barely-there changes you can instantly make, that’ll turn your period from a solid 10 on the crap scale, to something a liiittle bit less hellish? Sounds like good news to us.
These tips and tricks might only seem like very small life changes, but trust us – they could make your period a WHOLE lot happier.
1. Eat chocolate. Lots of chocolate.
In some kinda miracle that we’re totally here for, it’s actually recommended that you scoff chocolate when you’re on your period. It’s not quite the triple choc ice cream cookie sandwich sundae that you’re probably craving – but the still-delicious 70% cocoa kind instead.
Yep, dark chocolate is your best friend during that time of the month as it encourages your body to release endorphins to improve your mood. Not only that but it’s packed full of magnesium, a mineral that’s handy for helping to ease cramps. It’s recommended that 4 small or 2 big squares are the perfect amount to snack on, so that’s pretty great news.
2. Ditch the coffee and have a cuppa
Hands up if your period makes you wanna dive straight into a duvet burrito and sleep for a million years? Yup, same. That sleepy feeling can leave you reaching for the coffee and energy drinks, but too much caffeine can be bad news when combined with your period.
Caffeine can cause a horrible bloated feeling and send your cramps skyrocketing to all new levels of awful, while sugary-sweet syrups and energy drinks will only lead to more extreme mood crashes. Bleh.
Instead, it’s the perfect chance to stick the kettle on and drink as many cuppas as you want with different types of cool, healthy teas. Get adventurous and try ginger tea (GENIUS for banishing cramps), mint tea or decaf green tea, and you might find a new fave.
3. Leave your tight jeans in the wardrobe
Ugh, when it feels like a baby whale has nestled a home in your uterus, the last thing you wanna do is wiggle, jump and lunge your way into a pair of super skinny jeans on – but now you’ve actually got an excuse to stick to comfy loungewear. YAS.
Combining cramps and a bloated tummy with restricting, uncomfortable denim is never a good idea and will probably make your mood and your day a whole lot worse. Instead, use it as an excuse to wear your favourite flowy skirts, or some of those awesome embellished sweatpants that are basically pyjama bottoms but slightly more acceptable in public.
Hey, you’re bleeding from your vagina right now. There have to be SOME benefits.
4. Get tracking with actual period apps
If your period likes to turn up completely unannounced and whenever it wants, like a weird auntie at family gatherings, then get ready for your life to become a whole lot easier – because there’s an app for that.
Period-tracking apps are totally free to use but amazing for helping you keep tabs on where your cycle’s up to. You can track how heavily you’re bleeding, how your mood is swinging, what your skin’s been doing and any other pesky side effects.
After a couple of months you’ll be able to look back at the records and see patterns in your period, teaching you more about how your body works and when you can expect things to kick off next time. TA DAH.
5. Go bananas for errr… bananas
You don’t need us to tell you that fruit and veg are essential to keep everything body-related ticking along as they should be, but it’s especially important to eat the good stuff when you’re on your period.
Bananas in particular are a GREAT choice if you’re craving a snack session, as they’re rich in vitamin B6 and potassium which work like ninjas to combat cramps. Try to include nuts and leafy greens in your meals for a vitamin E boost too, as this is the ultimate pain-fighting vitamin which studies have shown could even help to minimise the amount of time you’ll bleed for. *shoves nuts and leafy greens into every meal ever*
Oh, and the last one to keep an eye out for on the menu is iron-rich foods. Your blood is full of iron, so when your supplies are running low, you need to be boosting ‘em straight back up. Red meat, beans and spinach are great options and will boost your energy when you’re feeling sluggish af.
6. Move your body, gurl
Oh we know, EYEROLL – like you wanna get your gym gear on and head out for a sweaty run when you’re bleeding from your vagina. Bundling up in bed with nothing but snacks and Riverdale for company will undoubtedly seem like the best option when you’re feeling awful on your period, but trust us. Light exercise can work real-life miracles.
Small amounts of exercise can totally turn your mood around, so getting outside for a walk in the sun, doing some chilled out yoga or going for a swim with a pal will help you get those magical endorphins – your body’s mood lighteners and natural pain relievers.
7. Treat yo’self
Last but not least (and probably the best period hack of the lot) the best way to make your period happier is by treating yourself. Rather than confronting it as a negative thing, use your period as an excuse to be good to yourself. Like, why not?
We’re not talking buying a designer handbag every month for the next 35 years, but just a little something to help turn your period into something that you don’t have to totally dread.
A monthly subscription box like bettybox landing on your doorstep is the perfect way to celebrate your body’s own monthly present. Stuffed full of top beauty bits, delicious snacks and cute accessories plus all the essentials like pads and tampons, it transforms your period into a kinda 12-times-a-year Christmas. YAY.
And there you have it, the simplest but most foolproof day to day hacks that’ll help to make your period a whole lot happier. Thank us next week.