A version of this article about menstrual mental wellbeing was first published by Hannah Samano on Unfabled’s website.
During your period it can be hard to know what you need. Generally, we menstruators haven’t been taught how to build wellness rituals around our cycle – our periods have been consigned to the naughty corner to be neither seen nor heard.
From how to ease cramps to what to eat, we rustled up 5 quick tips on how to improve your wellness during your period:
1. Wind Down
Many of us are in the habit of trying to pace through our period. We expect ourselves to be as productive and energetic as possible, all the time. Go go go, 24/7.
Your period is the perfect excuse to wind down and to take time to restore your body and mind each month. Take it down a notch and relax. Practise self-care, rest, and prioritise sleep. Be kind and gentle with your body!
2. Heat Therapy
Do you experience period cramps? Over 80% of our Unfabled community say they experience painful cramping, so you’re in good company if the answer is yes.
During your flow your uterus contracts to shed its lining, and these contractions can make us tender. Heat therapy works by relaxing the muscles of the uterus, increasing blood flow and easing pain. A nice steamy bath or a hot water bottle are both great ways to ease cramps.
3. Light Exercise
Exercise may be the last thing you feel like during your period, but we recommend some nice light exercise that can ease tension in the body. It also encourages the production of feel-good endorphins, which can reduce pain and discomfort.
Now please don’t go trying to hit a new PB – we’ve established we should be taking it down a notch, right?! But light walking, stretching and yoga are all gentle ways to improve blood flow around the body, which can also ease cramping.
4. Nourish Yourself
How we fuel our bodies is so important at any time of the month, but especially around a period when our nutrition can greatly impact cramping, bloating and mood swings.
Leafy greens are packed with amazing nutrients and studies have shown that they can reduce menstrual cramps. They’re also a great source of calcium, which can help with mood swings during your menstrual cycle.
Good news alert: dark chocolate contains magnesium, which is a great mineral for helping to decrease cramps. Eating chocolate can also release serotonin, which increases feelings of wellbeing.
(Friendly reminder that we stock a delightful range of Fairtrade chocolate at Unfabled.)
5. Use Natural Period Products
Last but by no means least – we recommend using natural menstrual products.
Have you noticed that period products don’t list their ingredients on their packaging? It’s because they’re not legally required to do so. But shockingly mainstream pad and tampon products tend to be bleached and contain all sorts of chemicals and toxins. Yikes.
The most powerful way we can prioritise our wellbeing is to avoid putting nasty chemicals in our bodies. Using non-toxic and organic, natural period products is a simple way to show yourself the TLC you deserve.
Menstrual cups, period pants, and organic cotton tampons and pads are all wonderful alternatives. Everything on Unfabled comes with our quality seal of approval, and we only partner with period brands that are kind to your body and to the planet.
Unfabled are part of FemTech Lab’s Fall 2021 Cohort.
You can keep up to date with the latest updates via the Femtech Lab website.