How to Feel Better on Your Period
Let's face it: When it comes to puberty and your monthly period, there are lots of things you can’t predict and don't have power over. For example, you don’t know when you will get your period for the first time or what day of the week it will arrive.
But here's some good news! There are actually a lot of things you can control. You can affect how you feel during your period. You can stay energized and feel great all week long instead of feeling tired or worn out. Here are some tips to help you feel better during your period:
1. Exercise with Lighter Activities
Easy exercises like stretching, yoga, walking or swimming help increase blood flow, which cuts down on cramping. Sitting still can make you feel worse, so it is important to exercise. A spontaneous dance party with your girlfriends (or alone in your room) is a great way to lift your spirits and keep you moving, too.
2. Hug a Heating Pad
The cozy warm feeling of a heating pad on your tummy is oh-so-soothing when cramps have you feeling not-so-great. It can soothe your muscles, easing your body’s discomfort and minimizing cramps.
3. Drink Water and Stay Hydrated
It might seem odd that you need to drink more water when you're feeling the most bloated, puffy and full, but the more water you drink, the more easily you will eliminate the water building up in your body. Drink eight to 10 8-ounce glasses of fluid like water, juice or milk throughout the day (not all at once). If you’re on-the-go, be sure to carry a water bottle with you. This will help you stay hydrated throughout your busy day.
4. Eat Good-For-You Foods
Try eating more fresh fruit and green veggies. You should work towards getting at least five portions a day of fruits and vegetables. When you eat enough of the right foods it can make all the difference. It can also steer you away from the foods that can make your period symptoms worse: junk food, chocolate and salty foods. Better bets for snack cravings? Try snacking on carrots with hummus, apples with peanut butter, or blend up a smoothie. Plus, fruits and veggies contain lots of water, so you're filling up on the good stuff and staying hydrated at the same time.
5. Avoid Caffeine
Caffeine also makes you retain water and can give you that achy, crampy, bloated feeling, so it's best to cut it out of your diet altogether. Did you know that caffeine isn't just in coffee and tea? It's also in sodas and chocolate. Good substitutes are ginger ale (same bubbles and sweet taste with tummy-settling ginger), herbal tea and herbal iced tea, or just plain water. If you're craving chocolate, grab a small piece of dark chocolate instead of a big candy bar.
6. Catch Your Zs
Teens need eight to nine hours of sleep per night, especially when you have your period. Getting enough sleep will help you wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
7. Take Notes
Being prepared is your best defense when it comes to your period. Record your period each month on a tracker to chart when it starts, how long it lasts, how heavy it is on each day, and what side effects you have before, during, and after. After a few months you're likely to see a pattern and you’ll be prepared.
8. Use Period Protection that Lets You Stay Active
Finding the right pantiliners, pads and tampons that provide great protection while meeting your personal needs are important to feeling your best. Daily liners keep you feeling fresh and prepared before your period, and pads are great protection during your period that are now incredibly thin to move with your body. If you’re very active, consider tampons, like Tampax Pearl tampons,which are worn internally. Choose the lowest absorbency necessary for your flow and be sure to change it every 4-8 hours. Many women use a combination of products as a “system” so find out what works best for you.
So with these tips, your monthly period doesn’t have to prevent you from activities you’re used to. You can continue being the fun, happy and energized teen you have always been.