Leading up to and during our periods, we can often not feel like ourselves. This is all down to our hormone levels changing around. For many women, this can produce symptoms, which aren’t enjoyable, such as moodiness, cramps, fatigue, and general feelings of low mood. Whilst this process is completely natural, it’s also vital that we listen to our bodies during this time and work out ways to better help bring balance and brightness when we need it most.
Getting To Bed Early
During our cycles, we may find that we are more sluggish than normal. This depletion in energy levels is extremely common and is due to a drop in our oestrogen hormone. Typically, after a few days, we will usually return back to our normal selves, but these days in the middle can be very taxing. It’s important to treat yourself with kindness around this time. Take it slower, and listen to what your body is trying to tell you. It’s fine to allow yourself that extra fifteen minutes in bed, or take time out to enjoy a cup of tea in peace and quiet – periods affect everyone differently, so it’s vital that we understand what we need at the moment.
Getting quality sleep is one of the key components to feeling more yourself during your cycle, reducing fatigue, and keeping your hormones balanced. Depriving yourself of sleep can not only affect your daily life, but it can affect your normal hormonal cycle in general. When women don’t get enough sleep, they can actually increase their cortisol levels, which can impact their periods later on.
Before bed, try to unwind and remove any stressors from your immediate environment. We recommend sipping on a sleep tea, such as our Golden Milk Inviting Sleep blend, which will help promote a good night’s sleep, balance stress, and further support a healthy immune system. Also, taking a warm mineral salt bath as this help ease cramps and relax the muscles, try our Halen Mon Bath Salts which are packed full of minerals and with the added benefit of essential oils for deep relaxation and comfort.
It doesn’t just affect our sleep either, during our cycles, some of us can really suffer from tension in our gut affecting our normal digestion too. Ginger and Turmeric are two wonder spices that can help an upset tummy where perhaps nausea and diarrhea are your arch-nemesis, they can also help the breakdown of old hormones and prevent them from stagnating. We recommend trying The Tonic Ginger and Turmeric Tea which tastes delicious too! Or if your gut tends to lean more towards the bloated, sluggish side then reach for a peppermint tea that can really help alleviate these symptoms – try our High Spirits White Mint Tea, to immediately boost energy and digestion. This particular blend brings Peppermint and Eucalyptus Leaf to aid bloating and cramps along with Green Jasmine Tea which aids inflammation but also fights against hormonal skin outbreaks. Team it with a few inhalations of High Spirits Essential Oil for a quick and enjoyable way to uplift your mood and gut during the day.
Lightening your Stress
Whilst it’s great to find ways to uplift your mood or improve your sleep if the stresses you face at that time of the month are too overwhelming and out of your control, you may be fighting an uphill battle. Another common symptom of our hormones being unbalanced during our cycles is mood swings so stress during this time is really amplified. We can blame the change in our oestrogen and progesterone production for this as it also influences our serotonin levels (the happy hormone!!). Being more aware of this can help you during this cycle – where possible, try to avoid or remove yourself from any overly stressful situations to prevent and protect yourself from feeling overwhelmed or anxious.
A big component of this struggle is to be prepared so keep a diary and that way you can mark out the time you’re not going to be so well equipped to cope with added stress. Being prepared in other ways is going to help lighten your stress too – whether you have a light or heavy flow, being caught out on your period unprepared can be one of the worst feelings! We always recommend having a spare few tampons or sanitary pads floating at the bottom of your bag to prevent this problem. Also, sanitary bags (especially FabLittleBag’s sustainable alternatives) can also be a life-saver. Keep these handy sanitary bags in your handbag along with your go-to teas and perhaps an essential oil ready to inhale and breathe when most are in need!
As well as being prepared for your oncoming flow, being more open about your period is another great way to remain balanced. Our periods are all completely unique to us, including how they make us feel and act. Keeping ourselves balanced can sound very scientific – which of course it is, as we have many hormones running through our bodies, but also, sometimes all we need to feel slightly better is to talk to someone about it. Reminding yourself to socialise during your cycle could be a way for you to share and ease some of your emotions. Whilst being cooped up in your bed might sound like a dream, some find that this only intensifies feelings of depression and loneliness. Did you know that twenty-three percent of women described surrounding themselves with people as a good distraction from any negative emotions that they may encounter during their cycle? Did you know that forcing a smile or a laugh can actually help bio-hack your way to a happier day as it tricks your brain into feeling that emotion!
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
When you are on your period, you may find yourself feeling more hydrated than normal. As our oestrogen and progesterone levels recede, our bodies retain more water. This can cause a knock-on effect on our digestive system, causing us to also feel bloated. To combat this feeling, it’s recommended to up your intake of water to around nine to ten glasses of water a day during your cycle. This will make you feel less bloated and also flush anything unnecessary out of your system.
Along with our bodies being dehydrated during your periods, you may also find that your skin feels the same way. A lack of water in our systems can cause us to have dry and dull skin. So, it’s important that we also stay on top of moisturising during the initial days of our cycles.