10 Holistic Habits for your Period
If you're anything like me, you've probably wanted to ignore your period as much as possible and move on with your life. We often use the words, annoying, painful, and inconvenient to describe being on our periods. And well... it's true.
While it's definitely an inconvenience, our bodies are going through a lot physically, mentally, and emotionally. That's a lot going on, so wouldn't you say that's worth some attention? Let's touch on all the bases when it comes to our cycle.
1. Notice the “small” things
I’m going to push back on the statement, “I’m just on my period” when it comes to our emotions. Can a change in hormone balance cause some wack and random emotions? Sure. Let’s not be so quick to call it crazy and move on.
My period typically amplifies my emotional state. Therefore the big things in my world feel really big, and the small things tend to surface more. Take time to notice what those “small things” are too. Maybe its something silly like a more noticeable pet peeve, but it could be something buried a few levels deep that doesn’t surface on a day to day basis. Our period doesn’t need to be a time for deep soul searching, but pay attention to those “small” things that come up.
Let me give you an example: A few months ago I was on a retreat the day before my period. One of my friends cracked a joke about my intelligence, of course, with no intention of hurting my feelings. These jokes normally wouldn’t phase me (and it was very kind-hearted), but because I was in such a sensitive state, I was holding back tears the whole night. For a long time I’ve been insecure about my intelligence and not feeling smart. That over-emotional state, while extreme, helped me see that my insecurity is still very much there. I just tuck it away.
2. Water, water, water!
If there’s any time to carry around a water bottle, it’s during your cycle. Your body is losing nutrients, fighting inflammation, and working harder than normal. Staying hydrated will help with cramps and the yucky-heavy-tired feeling (you know what I’m talking about, right?). I try to start every morning with a full glass of room-temp water. This is such a helpful habit to get into, especially during period week!
3. Go on a walk
Light exercise will always be your friend when you're on your period. Exercising is something that I avoid on my cycle because I feel so "bleh," but it is proven to be helpful. I won't get into the research (you can find it easily on the internet), but speaking from experience I helps me feel better physically and emotionally. Grab a water bottle and your favorite podcast and go for a stroll!
4. Essential oils
Peppermint- There are a handful of oils that can help with cramps, but peppermint has been my all-time favorite. Peppermint is known to relieve feeling of nausea and cramping, and I have found it to help immensely. I take a few drops of peppermint and rub it into my lower abdomen. Peppermint can be a really strong oil if you have a quality brand, so start with one or two drops before you load it on.
Lavender- My cramps get really intense, so I typically need to take a bath to relieve the pain. I will add a few drops of lavender to the bath with some epsom salt. Lavender is a very calming oil, so the mix of hot water and lavender makes a prime cramp-reliever.
5. Do something life-giving
Yes, you heard me! What better time for carving out an afternoon than now? Whenever I'm feeling "meh" on my period, I love to cuddle up with my laptop and scroll through Pinterest or watch videos.
Although I can find myself wanting to stay in bed all day, I set a time frame to be lazy or do something I love. Whether it's calling a friend from home, learning a new DIY project, or starting a book, set aside time for something that will give you more energy and life.
I try to get nutrients from my diet before taking supplements, but there are a few research-proven supplements that are helpful for PMS. Magnesium can help relieve cramping and helps metabolize estrogen in the body. Check out this article by Dr. Axe for more natural remedies for PMS and cramping. https://draxe.com/health/pms-symptoms/
7. Give yourself grace on going out.
If you're anything like me, you might feel a little more introverted and sluggish on period week. It is OK if you aren't feeling up for the social activities that you normally do. For so long I felt bad for not wanting to go out and socialize, but there is absolutely no reason to feel bad.
8. Use a period tracker
If you already use a period tracker, I'm sure you can speak to it's importance! I'm a very type-B go with the flow gal, so I didn't use a tracker for the longest time. But y'all, it has been a game changer for me. I use "Clue" and it's simple AND free. Not only is it helpful to know when you're going to start, but you will be able to track patterns in your mental, emotional, and physical state.
I don't know about you, but cravings hit hard during my period. Most of the time, I'm craving something sweet. While I want to give myself a treat or two during my period, I try and tackle my cravings with healthier alternatives.
These energy balls are so fun to make, require no baking, and are so yummy! https://www.pinterest.com/pin/25473554129913091/
1o. Reflect on the month
This might sound stilly, but take some time to reflect on the past month. Most likely, your period will be coming at a similar time each month, so why not make that mark intentional? While you're taking an afternoon to rest, check in on how you're doing. You can even do a "holistic reflection" you can find on my blog here.
Do you have any habits that help you get through the week? Leave them in the comments down below!