Want a “spot” of relief during your period? We’ve outlined five things you need to stop doing to make the experience a little less stressful.
1. Skimping on Sleep
Stress and anxiety are usually higher when it’s time for your cycle. To not make this any worse, you must get quality rest. If not, your body has trouble making the hormones responsible for stabilizing your emotions. Plus, you’ll over-produce the ones that can create all the premenstrual symptoms you hate much worse.
You should aim for a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep every night. However, leading up to and during your period, you should aim to rest even more.
2. Stressing Out
Studies show that stressed females are three times more likely to experience worse PMS symptoms and twice as likely to have painful cramps.
When period hormones are raging through your body, even the most minor thing can set you off. Even more reason to find ways to lower stress and manage emotions during your period.
Exercise, meditation, yoga and a hot bath are all easy things you can do to lower the stress levels that could be making your PMS symptoms worse.
3. Consuming “Comfort” Food & Drinks
Researchers have discovered that many of the “comfort” foods you crave and consume during your period aren’t bringing you comfort at all. They are actually making things worse.
Here are some foods you should aim to limit or avoid if you want to decrease your PMS symptoms:
- Sugar can disrupt your body’s natural blood sugar levels, leading to increased irritability, mood swings and inflammation that will amplify cramping.
- Salt causes even more water retention and bloating. Don’t add any additional salt to your food, and avoid packaged and processed foods.
- Caffeine: Studies show that consuming caffeinated beverages can increase the prevalence and severity of PMS symptoms.
- Fried foods can cause inflammation, which may increase pain during your period.
- Dairy: Dairy is important to consume for a well-balanced diet. However, eating too many milk-based products on your period may make period cramps worse. Dairy can also lead to GI issues like bloating, gas and diarrhea for many. So, as much as you probably want to eat ice cream out of the container– it’s probably best to play it safe and skip dairy.
- Alcohol has also been shown to increase testosterone levels, which can worsen mood swings and irritability. Alcohol is also dehydrating, which will make water retention worse and increase the severity of cramping.
- Gassy Foods: Cruciferous vegetables and legumes are known to cause GI distress. Stick to foods less likely to cause gas or supplement with these powdered greens.
4. Staying on the Couch
Yes, sleeping and giving your body the rest it needs during Mother Nature’s visit is important, but as tempting as it is to want to spend hours curled up in a ball, you’ll feel so much better if you get up and move your body.
You don’t need to overexert yourself. Even a brisk walk, yoga or stretching can help release endorphins, which will make you feel better mentally and physically. Exercise also increases blood circulation, which helps flush out the extra water that causes you to feel bloated.
5. Not Getting Enough Calcium
Research shows that increased calcium intake can significantly reduce PMS-related sadness, fatigue, swelling, pain and changes in appetite. This leads scientists to believe deficiencies in this vital mineral may be responsible for worsening PMS symptoms.
Since dairy should be limited, this can be tricky. Thankfully, there is a solution that will give your body the calcium it needs during your period– sans dairy.
Calcium is a key ingredient in Complete PMS Support, which helps alleviate period pain, combat irritability and support hormone balance.
Click here for more information about Complete PMS Support if you’re ready to break that cycle!