How to Enjoy Periods

Periods are usually dreaded because they can be stressful, depressing, painful, and sometimes even embarrassing. You don’t have to always suffer, though. It’s possible to learn how to enjoy your period so you hardly even notice it’s that time of the month.

Part1
Having FunDownload Article

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    Have a ritual of watching comedy. The first day of your period can be frustrating. You may have physical symptoms or feel emotionally vulnerable. Therefore, make it a monthly ritual to watch some comedy to lighten your mood on day one. Peruse YouTube, your DVD collection, or Netflix and find something that will make you laugh. Comedy will provide you with entertainment and take your mind off any symptoms you may be experiencing. If you want, you can make a point of watching a particular movie or TV series during the first day of your period.
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    Pamper yourself. Periods can be tough on your body, so do something to pamper yourself to help alleviate symptoms. You may actually enjoy periods more if you use them as an excuse for pampering you may not do otherwise. If you ache all over, book a massage at your favorite salon and enjoy an hour of relaxation. Get a manicure and pick a bright color so you smile every time you glance at your nails. Take a really hot bubble bath while you read a book. Indulge in something that will make you feel happy, relaxed, and refreshed.
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    Get dressed up. Many people feel bloated and unattractive during their periods. You can fight that feeling by using your period as an excuse to dress up. Resist the urge to lay around in sweatpants all day. Get yourself dolled up and go out with your friends. Make this a monthly ritual each time you have your period. Whether you’re trying a new restaurant or doing some shopping, put on an outfit that you feel good in, take the steps you take to feel clean and beautiful, and see how much better you feel.
    • Don’t be afraid to wear cute underwear while you’re on your period. You’re probably going to reach for your most worn out pair of undies, but resist! Boring skivvies can put a damper on your mood, so put a pair on that make you feel great. If you’re afraid of stains, a thin pantyliner can solve that problem.[1]
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    Relax. Being active can be fun and does wonders for your period symptoms, but don’t be afraid to take it easy either. Your period may make you feel drained on some days, and physical symptoms may be worse during some parts of your cycle. Give yourself the excuse to relax on certain days of your menstrual cycle.
    • Make some snacks (bonus points if they’re ones that reduce symptoms), find a movie, and snuggle on the couch for a while. Sometimes the best thing for your body is rest. Don’t feel guilty for vegging out for a couple of hours while you watch something good on TV.

Part2
Reducing SymptomsDownload Article

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    Watch what you eat. It’s okay to give in to cravings once in a while. If you are constantly eating milk chocolate while you’re on your period, however, you might actually be doing yourself a disservice. Sugar, salt, and coffee can aggravate your symptoms and actually make them worse. Try to avoid these foods in the time leading up to and during your period.
    • Why are sugar, salt, and coffee bad? Sugar spikes your blood sugar which can actually make you more irritable. Salt can cause you to feel even more bloated, and caffeine elevates estrogen production, which can cause more extreme PMS symptoms.[2]
    • Try to consume leafy greens, salmon, whole grains, bananas, and yogurt instead. Packed with all sorts of vitamins, these foods will reduce your symptoms so you can enjoy yourself and forget about your period.
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    Move. You may be tempted to curl up on the sofa and watch television all day, but you’ll actually feel happier if you get up and move around. Exercise reduces your symptoms, like cramping and bloating, and releases mood-boosting endorphins. Your body temperature is actually lower when you’re on your period too, so you’ll stay cooler.[3]
    • You don’t necessarily need to run a marathon or hike a mountain to get some exercise. Grab a friend and try a spin class, take your dog for a walk around your neighborhood, or break out your yoga mat and do some sun salutations. Anything that gets your body moving and active will make you feel better.
    • Leaks sometimes happen during exercise. Therefore, it's a good idea to use a tampon over a pad to prevent leaks. If you're having a particularly heavy month, using a tampon and a pad may help with leak protection. You could also try wearing darker workout clothes in case a leak occurs.
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    Try essential oils. Essential oils are a natural way to perk yourself up when you’re feeling sluggish. Add a few drops to a hot bath or massage it into your temples and wrists. The smell alone will make you feel more happy and relaxed.
    • There are a lot of different oils out there, but a few, in particular, can be helpful during your period. Bergamot and clary sage keep your mood stable, geranium is wonderful if you’re feeling crabby, and lavender helps you relax. White peppermint can relieve headaches and grapefruit and lemon are great for bloating.[4]
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    Address stress. If you’re stressed out, your period symptoms may be even more extreme. Take some time to think about what is stressing you out. If it’s something you can easily address, take care of it so it’s off your mind. If it’s something out of your control, remind yourself of that and try to relax with a bubble bath, yoga, or meditation.[5]
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    Take pain relievers. If you’re experiencing substantial cramping, breast tenderness, backaches, or headaches, and nothing natural seems to be working, you may want to try taking a pain reliever. These pain relievers include ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve). You can also try remedies specially made for PMS symptoms like Pamprin and Midol.[6]
    • Always follow the dosage information on the bottle and talk to your doctor if you’re unsure or have any questions before taking medication.
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    Use heating pads. Another common way of dealing with periods is a heating pad. As a heating pad can be comforting, this also may help you enjoy your time of the month. See cramps as an excuse to indulge in this luxury.[7]
    • You can purchase a heating pad at most drug stores. Make sure you read instructions before use, as some heating pads should be wrapped in a blanket or towel.
    • Never leave a heating pad plugged in overnight or unattended.

Part3
Planning AheadDownload Article

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    Know when it’s coming. Nothing puts a damper on brunch with your friends like unexpectedly getting your period, in white pants no less. While you can’t always pinpoint the exact hour you’ll get your period, you can usually plan for a general timeframe. If you know it’s going to happen, you’ll be more prepared and can avoid potentially embarrassing mishaps.[8]
    • Marking the general time your period will arrive each month with a discreet red dot in your planner or your phone’s calendar is an easy way to remind yourself when it will happen. They even make apps, like Period Tracker, that help you keep track of your flow.
    • Wearing a super thin pad or a pantyliner around the time you’re expecting your period can prevent an embarrassing leak.
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    Don’t feel self-conscious. Think about it. How often have you cringed seeing a person buying tampons? Have you ever actually looked at somebody and thought, 'they smell like they're on their period'. Probably not. While you don’t necessarily need to advertise that you’re on your period, you don’t need to feel embarrassed or paranoid either.[9]
    • If you get caught off guard with your period, don’t be afraid to ask somebody for a tampon or pad. A lot of people have periods and many of them have been caught in the same situation. Nobody is going to laugh or make fun of you.
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    Remind yourself periods are a good thing. While they may seem like a nuisance, periods mean you’re in excellent health and your body is performing like it’s meant to. Your brain is sending chemical messages to your ovaries so you’re producing hormones like estrogen and androgens, both of which are extremely important. If you remind yourself of that, it allows you to appreciate what’s happening with your body and then focus on other fun things in life.
    • If you are transgender or nonbinary (or don't identify as a woman), try not to be ashamed of your period. Millions of people have periods but don't identify as a woman.
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    Use the best menstrual product for your body. There are numerous options today in the world of menstrual products including pads, tampons, menstrual cups, sponges, and more. If you’re using one product but you find it uncomfortable, try another product![10] Don’t feel like you have to use a certain product just because that’s what your friends use. Find the most comfortable option for your body because when you’re comfortable, you’re less likely to even notice you’re on your period.
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    Work around irregularity. You may have irregular periods, which can make planning for and then enjoying your time of month difficult. Irregular periods are periods that do not come every month. They are also periods that are sometimes very heavy, while other times very light. If you have irregular periods, talk to your doctor about how to treat the issue. This way, you'll be more able to plan for your time of the month.[11]
    • If you have just started your period, it's common for your period to be irregular for the first few years. Irregular periods can be caused by a variety of health conditions, such as ovarian cysts, pelvic inflammatory disease, and habits like exercise and weight loss. If your periods are irregular, finding the cause can cut back on worry. This can allow you to enjoy your periods more when they do occur.
    • Your doctor may be able to treat your irregular periods. Birth control can help control your period. Talk to your doctor about getting on birth control if irregular menstruation prevents you from enjoying your period.

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