Self-Care for Your Period: How to Embrace Your Cycle


Stop loathing that time of the month and learn to embrace the natural process of your body. These self-care PMS and period tips will help you cultivate a healthy mindset about your cycle and learn how to listen to your body during this time.

woman embracing her cycle and practicing self care on her peiod or during pms

Self-care for PMS and periods is a topic I’m passionate about, simply because these self-care tips have changed my life. My mood swings, fatigue, cramps, and increased anxiety and depression made almost half of every month a struggle to get through. Over the years, I began to discover self-care, learn about my body, and better understand what I needed.

Through this understanding, I was finally able to begin to accept those highs and lows, and find ways to cope with them. Learning to embrace your cycle is a journey, and self-care is a great place to start. Experiment with what works for you, and find what resonates.

Remember to treat yourself with gentleness and give yourself space when you need it. Self-care isn’t about adding a bunch of tasks to your to-do list, especially when you’re on your period.

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PMS and Period Self-Care Tips

Take Time to Rest

Your period is a natural time in your cycle to rest. Try to make time for relaxing each day and don’t over-schedule yourself. Listen to your body and remember that you deserve space for yourself.

Learn Your Cycle

Before I started taking supplements, my PMS would bring on extreme fatigue, depression, and result in my spending most of my time curled up on the couch. I often felt like something was wrong with me and would get lost in feelings of low self-worth, self-doubt, and anger.

One thing that changed this for me was beginning to track my period. When you track your period, you become more aware of where you’re at in your cycle and how different times of your cycle affect you. When you know that your hormones are causing you to feel how your feeling, it’s easier to take a step back and remember that everything will be okay.

Take Supplements to Help Alleviate Symptoms

Moody Bird supplements are my number one recommendation to anyone struggling with cramps and mood swings because they completely transformed how I feel leading up to my period.

I started using them because I found out that I would be getting married on the first day of my period. Before starting Moody Bird, I would feel depressed/bloated/exhausted/uncomfortable/miserable for about ten days leading up to my period, and that would last until my period was almost over.

Wanting to do something to make sure I had some energy for my wedding, I researched what I could do to improve my PMS symptoms and found Hum Nutrition. I signed up and ordered Moody Bird. I took it for about five weeks before my wedding and noticed a huge difference before and during my period.

My mood was stable, I didn’t experience my usual exhaustion, and my cramps were non-existent.

The active ingredients are dong quai and chaste berry. If you want to try out Hum Nutrition’s Moody Bird supplements, you can find them here. They’ll send it to you on a schedule you select, and it always comes in a cute box with a little gift.

If you don’t want to sign up for HUM you can head to Amazon.com. Find organic women’s balance supplements with chasteberry and dong quai here.

Learn more about dong quai and chaste berry (also known as vitex,) at Webmd.com.

(Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, and while I hope everyone can find relief from their PMS woes, the above results aren’t guaranteed. You should always check with a doctor before starting any new supplements or treatment programs. This information isn’t intended to replace medical care from a licensed professional.)

Switch to a Menstrual Cup/ Get Period Underwear

Not only is switching to a menstrual cup or period absorbing underwear better for the environment, but you also don’t need to worry about re-stocking pads and tampons.

Menstrual cups are also free of chemicals, don’t absorb the natural moisture or healthy bacteria in your vagina, need to be changed less often, and aren’t linked to TSS, a rare, but life-threatening condition associated with tampon use.

I have had this pack of cups from Amazon for over a year now, and I’m never going back to tampon life. I also use period underwear when my flow is light, and I don’t need a cup, but still want some protection.

Read more about menstrual cups on Healthline.com.

Do Some Light Exercise

If you feel up to it, taking some time for movement can help you feel tap into your endorphins, increase your mood, and help decrease cramps and other PMS symptoms.

Exercises to Try Before and During Your Period

  • Stretching/Yoga
  • Walking
  • Dancing ( No need to get fancy, just turn on a song you enjoy and let some movement flow.)

Find more on exercising during your period at Flo.health.com.

Try Cycle Syncing

Cycle syncing is about coming to understand your monthly hormonal shifts and learning to adjust your food, exercise, and lifestyle accordingly. As I mentioned before, my luteal (post-ovulation) and menstrual phase were typically quite difficult for me to get through. Once I started learning my cycle, I discovered what foods and activities fit into each stage and saw a decrease in my stress and fatigue levels.

Read more about cycle syncing on Healthline.com.

This article from Camillastyles.com focuses on foods you should eat throughout your cycle.

Meditate

Meditation is a practice that involves focusing the mind on a thought, moment, experience or, state. It can promote feelings of calm, relieve stress, and improve your outlook on life. You can try Yoga Nidra for deep full-body relaxation, Qi Gong for breathing and movement, or a guided meditation designed to help you connect with your womb.

YouTube is a plentiful resource for finding free meditations. I also recommend the app Headspace if you’re a beginner.

Stick to Your Routines

Routines can give you some structure to return to when you’re feeling down.

Check out this simple, Ayurvedic self-care morning routine here and how to create your perfect self-care evening routine here.

Consume More Calories

Many women burn more calories in their luteal phase, the time between ovulation and the first day of your period, which is one reason you may feel hungrier. During your period, your resting metabolic rate (or the calories burned when you are at rest) may increase by 1.7 to 10 percent.

Check out Healthline.com for more information on how your period may affect how many calories you burn.

Try increasing the amount of healthy food you eat with your meals or adding a wholesome afternoon snack. Increasing your amount of healthy fats, proteins, and complex carbs means that you’ll be less likely to binge on excessively sugary, salty, or deep-fried snacks later on.

Eat Healthy, Nutrient-Dense Foods

While there’s nothing wrong with an occasional indulgence, making a habit of eating junk food before and during your period can cause your bloating and cramping to worsen, increasing overall discomfort.

Cravings for unhealthy food are often caused by an imbalance and fluctuations in your hormones and get your body for menstruation.

Make sure your getting enough water and eating nutrient-dense foods.

Foods to Eat for PMS and On Your Period

  • Fruit, oranges, bananas, and watermelon are especially good.
  • Leafy greens like kale and spinach.
  • Vegetables
  • Dark chocolate
  • Foods rich in healthy fats like some oils, avocado, and nuts.
  • Quinoa
  • Lentils
  • Yogurt

Read more about the best foods for your period at Healthline.com and Byrdie.com.

Tips for Dealing with Cramps

Feeling pain or discomfort while dealing with cramps can be difficult. While painkillers like ibuprofen are always an option, there are natural solutions you can try first.

Period cramps are usually caused by prostaglandins, the hormone-like substance responsible for the contractions of your uterus as it sheds its lining. The higher your levels of prostaglandins, the more likely you are to have painful menstrual cramps.

Read more about period cramps at Mayoclinic.org.

Homemade Period Cramp Massage Oil

This concoction has helped me through some of my worst cramps. Put a small amount of almond oil (or any other carrier oil you have on hand) and add a drop of lavender essential oil and a drop of clary sage essential oil. You can also pre-make it with this recipe:

3 oz. Glass pump bottle

3 oz. Carrier oil like almond, jojoba, or coconut. I use this cold-pressed, organic jojoba oil from Amazon.

5-10 drops clary sage essential oil

5-10 Drops lavender essential oil

To apply, give yourself a gentle belly massage as you distribute the oil around any areas your experiencing pain, tension, or discomfort.

Apply Heat

This 2012 study found that heat has similar effects ibuprofen on relieving period pain. Applying heat to your muscles helps them to relax and reduces tension. Here are a few ways you can use heat.

Use a Hot Water Bottle or Heating Pad

Having a hot water bottle or heating pad to use when your feeling crampy is a game-changer. I have this hot water bottle from Amazon. While I recommend getting an inexpensive hot water bottle, in a pinch your can microwave wet dishtowels until they’re hot then and then put them in a Ziploc bag to use as a heating pad.

Take a Warm Bath or Shower

Connect with yourself and find deep relaxation in a long bath or shower. Get inspiration for creating a self-care bath ritual with crystals, aromatherapy, music, and more here.

Make Yourself a Cup of Tea

Brewing yourself a cup of tea is a simple act of self-care that can bring some extra coziness and comfort into any situation.

If you need to go out for the day, it’s nice to brew yourself a big water bottle and store it in a vacuum-insulated bottle so you can have hot tea all day. You can check the price of Hydro flasks, high-quality vacuum-insulated bottles on Amazon.

Just be careful when taking your first sip! It does stay as hot as when you first put your tea in there and burning your tongue is the opposite of a soothing experience.

The most important self-care you can give yourself during this time is to listen to yourself. Ask yourself what you need to feel comfortable, nourished, and relaxed, and find ways to incorporate that into your daily life.

Wishing you a peaceful, cozy period. <3

Thank you for being here,

Rebecca

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