A woman’s menstrual cycle can be annoying and uncomfortable. The vast majority of women (and their partners) can agree that it is an annoyance.

Ladies, we don’t have to let our hormones ruin our lives! By taking measures to balance out our crazy hormones and mitigate issues during the menstrual cycle, we can do virtually whatever we want, all days of the month.

Exercise

Physical activity is well known for reducing stress, discomfort, and fatigue, as well as, for converting overwhelmed feelings to manageable ones - thanks to the adrenaline and endorphins released in response. Focus on exercises that elevate your heart rate and strengthen your core, such as hiking, cycling, or jogging. This is a good time to take advantage of those aerobics classes offered at your gym. However, you don’t need to push yourself too hard in order to reap benefits.

Modern Health Solutions

There are many modern health solutions you can find for any discomfort during your time of the month. Don’t forget the power of a good old-fashioned heating pad! However, some discomfort may require more modern help. But when you’re not uncomfortable, it’s amazing how much more you can get done.

Modify Your Diet

Dietary intervention is one of the most useful tools, because the wrong foods can swing your hormones into further imbalance. Be sure to avoid foods high in refined carbohydrates, caffeine, and salt (interestingly, these are the same things we tend to crave — grr!). These culprits can worsen bloating and stomach discomfort, and aggravate your mood. Focus on raw fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes that contain lots of fiber. Foods rich in Omega-3s and vitamin D like fatty fish, eggs, and leafy greens can also help. Drink plenty of water or herbal tea. If you can't live without that morning cup o’ joe, try to switch to decaf.

Improve Stress Management

While fluctuating hormones do not specifically cause anxious feelings, they can certainly lower our tolerance for daily stressors. Seek a mindful stress-reduction therapy such as yoga, meditation, prayer, journaling — or whatever is meaningful to you — and carve out time for it each day. Mood swings are half the battle, and it’s important to be able to acknowledge and manage your feelings as you would any issue. It’s also good for the self-esteem when you’re aware that your sudden desire to strangle your S.O. is just a mood swing, not the emergence of long-repressed hatred.

Give Alternative Therapies a Try

Unconventional therapies are gaining significant attention these days for their ability to alleviate many conditions without the usual side effects. Essential oils — such as clary sage, cypress, and lavender — can provide relief from stress, occasional fatigue, discomfort, and even bloating. Many women prefer doTERRA products. You might also consider the use of acupuncture and massage therapy to manage issues. Consult with a naturopath or aromatherapist to create an alternative regimen specific to your needs.