We all know by now that period pain and the aching cramps that come with it can really suck, to say the least.
That being said, there are a number of things you can try to reduce the pain so you can start to enjoy the next 5 - 7 days!
Do you have any favourite tips for dealing with period pain and cramps - what are they?
1. do some exercise
I know, exercise is often the last thing you feel like doing when you have terrible cramps (trust me, I've been there many times) but it can actually help ease the pain!
It also releases happy, feel-good endorphins...which I think we could all use at 'that time of the month' to make sure we don't get too crabby and grumpy!
As you know, exercise gets your blood pumping and also gets your heart rate up which can reduce cramping in your stomach area. You don't have to manage your usual routine - remember not to overdo your exercise and take it easy. Be kind to your body since it's in a tender (and slightly fragile in the stomach area) state.
2. apply heat
You can always apply heat, which will help to relax the contracting muscles in your body (aka the main cause of your pain).
You can try a heaty-wheaty (not sure if that's their proper name but I've always called them that). They're quite light and don't get as hot as a hot water bottle does so it's perfect to drape over your soreness - it will help ease the pain without it being too much pressure or heat on your tender stomach.
Alternatively, if you choose to use a hot water bottle, don't forget to wrap it in a clean tea towel or a thickish cover. Take care when positioning it over your stomach as they can heat your body quite quickly - this won't help your sore stomach and they can also leave a red rash - we can all do without that!
3. take pain relief
So you probably don't want to be popping pills for the entire duration of your period (that a lot for 5 - 7 days) but it might be a good idea to try this for the first couple of days when the pain is at its worst and it hurts to move even the tiniest bit.
Regular Panadol (or Paracetamol) should do but in case your cramps are extra painful, you can opt for Nurofen and even Ibuprofen which are a little bit stronger and should act faster. Personally I recommend buying a pack of Nurofen 'period pain' which always works and it acts rather quickly - maybe because it's been proven to be slightly stronger Ibuprofen!
As always, make sure you're keeping tabs on how much pain relief you're taking, read the back to double check how many you can have and the time frame you should have them in. Generally it's a 4 to 6 hour wait before you have another.
4. wear loose, comfortable clothes
Now you have a great excuse to wear your favourite trackie pants during the day! It's important to wear loose, comfy clothes since they won't press against your stomach or apply unnecessary pressure which could increase the pain.
Your stomach is usually tender and quite sensitive around that time of the month so look after it by avoiding wearing anything tight and confined...that usually includes jeans, tight skirts and jumpers (the hemline on these are generally around your stomach and can press against it).
Opt for comfortable clothes which includes loose, trackie pants, jackets (the hemline on these are loose and open so they won't press against your body or apply any pressure), slippers and loose t-shirts.
5. drink herbal tea
It's said that caffeine is not the best thing to have while you're on your period so it's best to not rely on it too much to help reduce those cramps. But good news: you can temporarily replace your need for caffeine with herbal tea!
Chamomile is a great choice - it's gentle and very calming. It soothes and relaxes muscle in your body and calms muscle spasms.
You can also enjoy all the other health benefits it has to offer such as promoting healthy skin and better sleep while it can also help and treat nasty colds and flus. Getting a good nights sleep can never be a bad thing when we have to deal with constant cramps and aches, can it?
6. distract yourself
This might see obvious, but it always seems to work! What's your favourite thing to do in your free time? Whether you love to relax in the sun or under a shady tree outside, read a good book or watch a great movie, have a bubble bath or go shopping...
More good news! You can do any and every one of these things. Distracting yourself from your cramps is very effective when it's something you love to do and find enjoyable.
Your mind will begin to focus on the activity rather than the constant ache in your stomach. It may not make the pain completely go away, but it should help to reduce it since you're not concentrating on it anymore!