Tips to reduce Period Pain | Let's Talk about Periods

As women, we go through the monthly grind of tracking our period dates, experiencing mood swings during the time of PMS and what follows is obviously the real deal - your monthly cycle of periods. Every human body is different, so what your mother or sibling experiences during her monthly cycle may not be the same for you and vice versa. While pre and during menstrual cycle symptoms differ from person to person - including acne, bloating, tender breasts, massive change in mood (ranging from anger, irritation, feeling lethargic to emotional) and some even tend to fall severely sick with cold, fever. However, period cramps and pain is something that we all experience. 

While the nature of pain, it's level and pain points may be different, what's constant is the discomfort experienced during the cycle. It does get difficult to focus on work and other commitments, especially during the first 2-3 days, when the heavy flow coupled with pain pushes an individual to the edge. While some people prefer popping an OTC medicine, many of us don't like to take any pills. Several women experience excruciating pain, while some simply have muscular pains / cramps on the first day. Period pain differs from person to person, depending upon personal health and lifestyle.  There's a lot to it than what meets the eye, so if anyone suffers from any form of pain that is impossible to handle, one must visit their doctor / gynaecologist and get this discussed. 

I've always used this platform to share my own experiences. So, why not this? Starting today, our new series - "Let's Talk about Periods' will feature posts that focus on personal thoughts, remedies, and anecdotes related to a topic that is something that we all - as women - experience. The idea stemmed from an incident, where I realised how even in 2019, people go red or shut their ears when someone speaks about pads, sanitary hygiene and periods on a public platform. In a country that still considers 'menstruation' as a taboo and something which shouldn't be spoken about on a larger platform. We need more discussions on something as basic as a period cycle, and share our thoughts, which can help other women, especially young girls, with the required knowledge. 

Let's kick off the first post, where I discuss personally tried and tested tips, which help me ease the discomfort during a period cycle

Drink ample of Water
Many of you may find this to be a cliched. But, we don't realise the importance of water and it's miracles enough. Lack of water tends to make the body feel more sluggish and can lead to mental stress. Drinking enough water (at least 2-3 litres), especially during your cycle, will not only keep you hydrated, but also ensure that the toxins are flushed out and eases out bloating. I always carry a bottle of water with me, wherever I go. It helps during long hours spent in traffic, and drinking water in regular intervals also ensures that the body functions perfectly.

Exercise - be it in any form!
A lot of us feel it's too much of an effort to drag ourselves and work out, especially when in pain. But, I've realised that nothing can help me distract from those cramps, quite like exercising does. Over time, I've seen the effect it has on the pain, as the endorphins released from the body does an excellent job at pain management. Plus, it supports proper flow of blood in the body, makes you feel happier from within, and throws out all the stress, tightness, making your body feel more flexible and light. Of course, you may want to give certain forms a miss if it gets too uncomfortable, but I personally love dancing, light running, yoga free hand exercises, and aerobics.

Take a hot water shower or bath
I am more of a bucket bath person, as I don't like wasting water. However, I love opting for hot water baths during the period cycle. Sometimes, I even add essential oils or use a refreshing shower gel to pamper myself. Such little efforts contribute to easing those cramps, and also helps release any form of stress, sluggishness or pain. Application of heat is known to benefit cramps quite well. One can even opt for a hot water bag, if the pain is intense.

Love me some Chamomile & Ginger Tea
During the monthly cycle, I usually prefer to have my regular cup of tea with ginger (and even on other days - as I cannot have plain tea). While I have ginger or masala tea in the morning, evenings are reserved for Chamomile tea. The anti-inflammatory properties in this tea helps ease cramps to a large extent. After a long tiring day at work, a hot cup of chamomile tea takes away all the stress, calms the mind and helps ensure I sleep well. This is has been one of my personal favourite picks, and I highly recommend that you try Chamomile tea as well.

Keep an eye on your Diet
This is crucial! During the period cycle, one tends to feel more inclined towards eating a lot of fried, cheesy or junk fast food items. Plus, midnight cravings push you to explore the dessert section, and hog on chocolates, pastries a little more often. I have a massive sweet tooth, and do have the cravings for sweets during my period cycle. However, I try to limit my chocolate intake, and usually opt for dark chocolate. Also, eating fresh fruits and / or green leafy veggies is a major plus. Your body needs food items that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc and calcium. I don't drink or smoke (and I've firmly stood by that ethic), but for those who do, it is recommended that you avoid indulging in these habits during the menstrual cycle.

Take time out for yourself
Light some aromatherapy candles, listen to good music, watch your favourite show or just gentle massage some of the pain points with a gentle, fragrant massage oil. Take a long walk or read a book. It is important that you take some time out for yourself and indulge in things that you love or like. It can just be spending a few minutes talking calmly with your loved ones. I always ensure that I prioritise myself and my health during the period cycle. Everybody deserves some 'me' time, and you taking time out and switching off for sometime is a must!

I hope some of these personally tried and tested tips help you during the next period cycle. These are small ways in which some part of the discomfort can be eased. Of course, you will always have OTC medicines, balms, stick on pain bandages and heat bags as an aid. But, these little things are important to ensure that your body feels light, fresh and stress-free. Periods should not hold you back from doing what you love! Let it become a part of your routine, and live each day with great positivity.

Do share your tips and recommendations to ease period pain in the comment box below, or join the conversation on 

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Priya Adivarekar

Priya Adivarekar - Founder and Creative Director at Diary of a Dancebee. She is also a renowned Voice Actress and award winning artiste, with serious passion for dance. When not working round the clock, she can be seen reading, enjoying a movie-binge or listening to music.
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