10 Period Tips That Will Save Your Life

10 Period Tips That Will Save Your Life

“Women complain about premenstrual syndrome, but I think of it as the only time of the month that I can be myself.” ― Roseanne Barr
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I’m sure we’ve all googled this at least ten times in our lives (I know I have), so I have decided to make a list for all you beautiful troopers. Get your pads, tampons, diva cups, Thinx, cloth pads and sea sponges ready ladies because you will be invincible after this read.

1. Download a good period-tracking app

Personally, I love using Eve by Glow. Other than tracking your period, this God-given app allows you to record daily logs of physical symptoms, physical activities, food consumption, and emotional health. For instance, you can record whether or not you feel bloated or had salty snacks or exercised/had sex or whatever it is you did. When you look back, you may be able to see some sort of causality in the foods you’re eating or the activities you’re performing (or lack thereof) and the symptoms you may be feeling (additionally, Eve is a platform for women to talk to each other about things like sex, relationships, fashion advice or just simple daily empowerment messages).

2. Keep extra pairs of underwear around

I cannot stress enough how many pairs of underwear I have had to throw away because of unexpected periods—moment of silence please. Luckily, PINK has our back with that 5 for $27.50 deal. Keep a pair in your car, at your job, or in your purse whenever you’re close to that “time of the month” and you will be avoiding a very uncomfortable situation.

3. Take pain relievers a day or two before your period starts

This tip will probably not eliminate your menstrual cramps altogether but it will soften the blow (or the excruciating, agonizing pain). Every month I have had to miss at least one day of school or I have had to call out from work because of cramps. After I heard of this tip however, I was able to manage the pain once my period started and bare through that God-awful first day.

4. Avoid caffeine

I know these are trying times girl, believe me. But try to avoid things like coffee (yes, coffee), hot chocolate and tea. Caffeine may build tension in your body causing your cramps to worsen. Instead of having my usual 2-3 cups a day, I try to only have one in the morning. *wipes tear*

5. DIY Heating pads

Rice heating pad ­­– You will need uncooked rice, a long sock, and a microwave. After filling the sock with rice, microwave it for 1-2 minutes and it should last for about two hours but the smell of rice may be a bit overpowering. If the smell does bother you, you could replace the rice with flaxseeds. These rice bags can also be used as ice packs and can last several years.

Water bottle – This is usually my go-to option. I fill up a small or large water bottle (whatever I have) with hot water and it does the trick although you will need to replace it in a few hours.

Your other option would be to invest in an actual heating pad but why would you do that when you have these super easy (and cheap) alternatives?

6. Sex

Studies suggest that orgasms relieve menstrual cramps because of the many endorphins that are released. Your muscles will instantly feel relaxed and there would be no need for over-the-counter pain meds. Not only will sex alleviate cramps but it may shorten your period as it forces your uterus to contract and “push out” everything that is causing you to cramp up.

7. DRINK LOTS AND LOTS OF WATER

Honestly I thought this tip was B.S. when I read it because I knew water retention caused bloating which leads to stronger cramps. However, drinking loads of water will actually prevent your body from retaining water. Seriously guys, this tip is very important and not only will it alleviate cramps, but it will also help clear up your acne and decrease breast tenderness.

8. Your cravings may be worsening your cramps

During your menstruating period, your body experiences a mineral deficiency therefore causing you to crave sodium indicating that there is a deficiency. However, you should steer clear of highly processed foods as this salt will not be of any benefit to your body. Instead, stock up on vegetables and try cooking with sea-salt! Secondly, because our bodies are losing so much fluid, it is natural to become dehydrated. Your body will begin to crave more salt in order to retain water in your kidneys. However, this should be an indication for you to drink more water! Personally, I seem to crave red meat only when I’m close to my period which I thought was really strange for a while. The reason some of us crave iron is because our bodies are in the process of losing it. However, red meat contains saturated fats and increases estrogen in our system which only increases PMS. Instead, try satisfying that craving with beans.

9. Exercising may help

I cannot say I have witnessed this first-hand but a lot of women swear by it. Exercising may help with various symptoms such as bloating. Sweating helps your body get rid of the water it has been retaining therefore lessening cramps. I would suggest taking some pain relievers before mustering up the courage to get on the treadmill so that a cramp doesn’t sneak up on you. If you’re not up for the traditional exercises, perhaps hot yoga is a better alternative. During yoga, your muscles will feel less contracted and will rid your body of any tension you’re feeling in your pelvic area.

10. Just let it out

During my period, I tend to feel stressed out and overly emotional about things I normally don’t feel emotional towards. I found that if I just let it all out (i.e. crying during every scene of Forrest Gump) my mind and body feel more at ease.

Take Home Message...

All periods are unique ladies and this list is by no means definitive. Make sure to stock up on greens for plenty of Calcium to avoid muscle spasms and sharp cramps. It is O.K. to indulge your cravings to a limit but remember to drink lots of water and eat dark chocolate! It is very important to listen to what your bodies are trying to tell you. For those of you who do not experience any of these symptoms during your period, you are truly so blessed and I envy you at times—just kidding (am I?). Also remember that there is nothing to be ashamed about during this totally natural and cleansing period (no pun intended) and do not let anyone tell you otherwise!

Cover Image Credit: http://www.fruitspace.co.uk/whats-on/cult-cinema-sunday-carrie-1976/

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

Suicidal thoughts are thought of in such black and white terms. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is there are some stuck in the gray area of those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble; and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead. You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time, until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling; whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die," or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you, you are not alone.

If you're thinking about hurting yourself please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help it out there and you are not alone.


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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4 Ways Clutter Is Negatively Affecting Your Health

Clutter affects your physical, emotional, and psychological health.

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If you're aware that your cluttered space is causing you stress and discomfort, it might be helpful to understand how and why clutter affects our health. When we clear our space we are more likely to feel at ease, relaxed, and tranquil. There is no better time to freshen your space than at the start of the new year when we are already setting new intentions and re-assessing goals and putting new ideas into motion.

1. Clutter produces dust and exacerbates allergies

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bsg5egmBSjq/

Have you ever gone through your closet or bookshelf, only to see the visible layers of dust and dirt that were hidden behind your items? Clutter gives dust and other environmental fibers a place to accumulate. If you find yourself sneezing, coughing, or tired and fatigued in your space, it might be time to de-clutter - your itchy eyes will thank you!

2. Lack of organization in your belongings leads to stress and anxiety

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bsbn3WlBxJW/

I know I'm not the only one who has had the experience of needing an item before running out the door, only to realize it wasn't where you left it...and now you need to tear apart your entire room looking for it. Sound familiar? Having too much clutter leads to a disorganized space that provokes anxiety and stress and can have a strong, negative impact on your day to day life. Whoever came up with, "a place for everything and everything in its place" was definitely onto something.

3. Clutter puts your nervous system in overdrive

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Cluttered environments are taxing on the nervous system. The sensory overload prevents us from being able to relax and rest, and keeps us activated in our sympathetic nervous system, AKA "fight or flight". This means we're more likely to be on edge and hyper-aware than calm and relax when at home.

4. Living in a cluttered space impacts your mood and self-esteem

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bsg_VkiAoBU/

Our brains thrive off of order and organization. When things are disordered and chaotic around us, it's natural to feel irritable and frustrated in response, lowering mood and reducing our self-esteem and self-worth. Rather than thinking about the things you want to get rid of when de-cluttering, focus on what things you want to keep and what you want to have in your immediate environment.

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