Shawn Johnson's The Body Department - How to Handle PMS Like a Champ
Taralynn McNitt

Pro Tips for Making Your Period Suck Less

I HATE HER.

I know I’m not supposed to “hate” anyone or anything, but it’s really hard not to. I hate her. I more than hate her. I’d rather scrub porta pottys at a summer carnival,

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eat ten funnel cakes before riding a spinning coaster, or talk politics with fifty old men than see her every month. It’s not like she just pops in to say “hi” or to see how I’m doing. She comes in to destroy my week like Miley Cyrus on the wrecking ball. She gets around a lot and almost every girl knows who she is and hates her too! She overstays her visits and is obnoxious when you’re trying to relax.

The worst part? She rubs off on me and makes me want to be mean, bitchy, and cry all at the same time. I’m not surprised that she doesn’t have any friends. She makes me look bloated and puffy when she’s here and forces me to hide under baggy clothing. Everyone has a different name for her.

You may know her by: Mother nature, Aunt Flow, Miss Rag, Mentalstration, or My Period.

You’ll know she’s here when you hear someone say: “it’s shark week, the painters are here, the crimson wave has arrived, the flood gates have opened, the river is red, I’m on the blob, or the tomato soup has over cooked”.

I know I should do the proper thing and call it my “menstrual cycle”…but it’s my damn period!

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Now, if you can relate…this post is for you. Aunt flow ruined my night. I was having a great day and finished off the evening with a date night. We stopped and grabbed a red box on the way home. I was pretty excited about watching the new Tom Hanks movie too! Well…that didn’t happen.

I’ve had bad cramps from periods, but last night was different. It felt like someone was inside my body twisting my uterus like a wet rag. I couldn’t do anything to make the pain go away. My boyfriend drove up to the Walgreens to pick up a heating pad and ibuprofen.

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I can take pain well, but this had me in tears. My dog could sense something was wrong because he crawled up next to me while I huffed and puffed. My cramps were so extreme that I threw up. I was ten minutes away from going to the doctor. But what would I say? “hey I’m having horrible cramps”…they would probably laugh.

I tried to do the research last night, but couldn’t focus on anything other than the pain. I noticed it felt better when I stood up, so I ran the hot shower and stood under the water for thirty minutes straight while crying. It helped a lot, but when I got out, I had the chills and continued to fight the pain. I actually thought I was dying and texted my parents and told them that I loved them. Feel free to call me overdramatic, but I’m still on my period so I don’t give a sheeeeet. Luckily I fell asleep thirty minutes later from the large Ibuprofen dose.

 

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I woke today feeling fine, but I never want to go through what I experienced last night ever again! So today, I decided to do some research to help me prepare for another painful moment with Aunt Flow. I feel like we all keep this subject to ourselves and act like warriors during the week, but I’m ready to open up about it.

Here is what I’ve learned…Oh and by the way, I’ve decided to use Gifs in this post to lighten the topic. I didn’t feel like taking pictures of myself crying, cramping, or eating out of the ice cream tub. Maybe next time.

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If you are anything like me, you crave all kinds of food when you are on your period. I could live off of dark chocolate and potato chips. Sometimes I make dark chocolate potato chips. Even though we crave all kinds of foods, they may not be helping our cramps at all! Here are some foods that are great for that time of month.

*Fruits & Vegetables: Apparently the sugar from fruit helps us cut the bad sugar cravings. (source)
*Drink Tons of Water: Water retention is because our bodies are afraid of dehydration during our periods. The more water your body gets, the less you bloat! (source)
*Vitamin E: It can help your PMS symptoms and lord knows I need that! (source)
-tofu, almonds, sunflower seeds, shrimp, avocado, plant oils, broccoli, and squash!
*Vitamin B6: Can help you with bloating and moods. I’ll keep that in mind!(source)
-sunflower seeds, pistachios, fish, turkey, chicken, pork, sirloin, dried fruit, spinach, bananas, avocados and potatoes!
*Leafy Greens, Legumes, & Red Meat:
 For Iron! I take an iron supplement, but try to eat more because I have anemia.
*Fish & Eggs: Try to get foods high in Omega-3 because it’ll relax the muscles and reduce cramps. Note to self!
*Whole Grains: The carbs will make you feel fuller and keep you from diving into the bag of potato chips or candy jar. (source)
*Avoid Caffeine (Nooooooooo) Apparently caffeine makes your mood, cramps, and bloating worse worse worse! Maybe that’s my problem. I just love coffee so much.
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They hurt so bad! I just don’t understand how a little blood squeezing through a cervix can feel like someone punching out my insides! Thank god for google. It always has the answers. Each month our lining prepares itself for pregnancy. Eventually it swells and sheds while the body prepares itself to make a new one each month.

“Menstrual cramps are caused by the uterine contractions that occur in response to prostaglandins and other chemicals. The cramping sensation is intensified when clots or pieces of bloody tissue from the lining of the uterus pass through the cervix, especially if a woman’s cervical canal is narrow.”-SOURCE

When I get excruciating cramps, I use Ibuprofen and the heating pad! Warm baths help, too!

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Exercising is the LAST thing I want to do when I’m on my period. I feel like crying alone in my room, lifting chocolates into my mouth, and taking hot baths. But…exercises does help the situation. Endorphins are like the all natural human morphine. You get them from exercise and these endorphins help burn the chemicals released during menstruation that cause muscle contractions. (-Source)

Getting the heart rate up is great! Go out and do aerobics, play a sport, jog, walk, or swim. But just don’t swim in the ocean. It’s shark week. I’m not a huge yogi, but i’ve heard yoga helps a lot with cramps. Breathing and stretching exercises help you relax and feel calm. Not only does the exercise help with cramps, it helps with our emotions…and we all know those are high during our week. I usually cry watching Lifetime movies.

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If you haven’t noticed, guys do not understand PMS and they never will. They are quick to say we are “pmsing” but have no idea how it actually feels like. Whenever my boyfriend calls out the PMS, all hell breaks lose. OH NO HE DIDNT! But…seriously? What the heck is PMS? Piss off at men syndrome? That makes sense.

PMS stands for premenstrual syndrome. It’s basically an emotional roller coaster ride. You feel happy, sad, alone, mad, depressed, ugly, self conscious…and the list goes on and on! You get PMS during the beginning of your period and the first couple days of it. There is no magic pill that will cure your PMS, but you can control it the natural way.

*Exercise! Like I said above, it’ll give you endorphins to help your mood.
*Vitamins! They will help stabilize your mood.
*Un-caffeinated Herbal Tea! It’ll help your mood and make you feel warm and calm!
*Get a Massage! What better way to release toxins and relax?
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And now, it’s time for me to be real. All of these tips from around the web and from my momma are great! But…I’m a woman. I have the right to deal with  my period anyway I choose. It’s okay to be pissed off at the world, to hide in the dark while binge watching Netflix, wear baggy clothing to cover our bloat, scream at our boyfriends for telling us we are PMSing, to cry while watching Disney movies, and to eat whatever we want. You shouldn’t feel ashamed for feeling the same way every other woman feels like.

Some of us just choose to act like nothing is wrong when inside we are actually screaming at the top of our lungs. And if your period doesn’t effect you…I hate you (not really…but i’m extremely jealous). I refuse to trade my ibuprofen for spinach when I have horrible cramps and if I don’t feel like grabbing endorphins when I’m in pain. That is just crazy. I will continue to roll my eyes at tampon commercials while avoiding anything white. Now if you will excuse me, I’m about to grab the dark chocolate chips, peanut butter, and toast to go with my Breaking Bad binge!

 

*This post was originally published on Taralynn’s website, Simply Taralynn. For more from Taralynn visit www.simplytaralynn.com.

Hi, There! My name is Taralynn McNitt. This is my fourth year as a healthy living blogger. I love cooking healthy meals, traveling, my fluffy goldendoodle (Mr Grumples), photography, and reaching fitness goals while helping others reach theirs. I turn healthy food into tasty food and fitness into fun. Living a healthy lifestyle shouldn't feel like a chore. After high school, I set out on a weight lo…

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