It’s that time again…your good old friend TOM has come to visit. TOM is truly a pain in the…well…everywhere, in this case. It’s that Time Of the Month, but TOM is just so much more fun to yell at when you’re cramping at 2:00 am. Period symptoms consist of more than just a few cramps here and there, however. While the types and severity of the symptoms vary drastically, all women have the same question: What can I do to ease those period symptoms?
What are period symptoms?
TOM can come with a wide range of symptoms. Some women feel the whole alphabet of symptoms and others (the lucky ones) only experience one or two. The most common symptoms include:
- Cravings for salty and / or sweet foods
- Cramping in the lower abdomen
- Mood fluctuation
- Body aches (joint and muscle pain / headaches)
However, some women also experience the following to varying degrees:
- Tender breasts
These symptoms can last anywhere from 3-7 days depending on the individual’s genetics and body.
Tips for Getting Through Period Symptoms
These symptoms can seem unavoidable, but there are ways to control and ease them. Keep in mind though, not everyone is the same. If you have underlying health conditions, speak to your doctor first as you may need additional help with symptoms.
Otherwise, here are some ways to manage the most popular period symptoms!
Cramps vary in severity based on the individual and month to month. They also vary in frequency. Some women only cramp the day their period starts, others cramp the entirety of their period. However, one proven way to manage this pain is heat. A heating pad is the ideal method to deal with cramping because it eases muscle tension and with it, pain. In addition, over the counter pain medication can be taken as needed. Also, don’t forget to drink plenty of water and try reducing the intake of dehydrating substances like caffeine, which can make a big difference.
Due to the hormonal changes associated with TOM, many women experience an increase in acne around their chin and on their chest. These pimples often go away within a week of your period ending. However, there are a few things you can do to reduce acne from occurring and help it go away quicker.
- Have a high-quality skin care routine (a face wash, scrub, serum, and moisturizer)
- Do NOT pick at the acne. This will lead to scarring and spreading of bacteria
- Drink plenty of water as this helps flush toxins out of the body and regulate hormones
Bloating can intensify with the consuming salty foods as well as being constipated. Your best bet here is to try and avoid salty foods and again, drink plenty of water! Water aids in debloating the body. In addition, be sure to eat whole foods that are high in fiber to aid digestion and ease bloating.
Your body is going through a lot when TOM visits. Honestly, to the best of your ability, use this time to rest. Don’t fight the fatigue so much as this is your body telling you it’s working hard. Try to take it easy and sleep well throughout the night or take a power nap during the day. While caffeine can be a quick pick-me-up it can also exacerbate some of the symptoms of TOM. So, listen to your body and don’t overdo it.
Rapid shifts in mood are due to the hormone fluctuations in your body. When you’re on your period, your hormones are all over the place, to say the least. You may feel extremely depressed during your period, you may feel elated, you may feel both at the same exact time! Be patient with yourself and work on being aware of your emotions. The goal here is to address your emotions as they come. If you’re feeling depressed, do something you enjoy. If you’re irritable, figure out what’s bothering you. Deep breathing, meditation, and gentle exercising are known to help stabilize mood.
Now that you have some tips for getting through period symptoms, it’s time to put them to the test! We hope that next time TOM visits, you feel ready to tell him to GO AWAY by being compassionate with yourself. Take a break, be patient and kind to yourself and your body.