There’s something we’ve been taught – it’s normal it’s normal to feel crazy, have painful cramps, heavy bleeding, and overall a very stressful event that is your period each month.
But, that’s wrong.
It may be common, but it’s not normal.
Feeling like a completely different person for a week (or two or more) every month due to your period may be something that happens to a lot of women, but it’s not something that is normal. Instead, these changes in our emotions and feelings are related to changes in our hormones that, while natural, can be challenging to navigate and tough to manage.
The good news is that there are ways we can improve our overall well-being during this time of the month, and most of the options for managing your period and the changes that come along with it are simple, easy, and totally practical.
Here are five ways you can have better periods:
Track your cycle. As cyclical creatures, we are lucky to be able to have these monthly cycles that give us insight on our overall health. Pay attention to how long your cycles are, how heavy your period is, your symptoms, and how you feel. Understanding what to expect and what you’re going through is the first step in having a better period.
The female body is truly amazing. We live in monthly cycles (and even shorter 90 minute cycles throughout the day) and by monitoring these cycles we can get information about what our bodies need and/or what could be negatively impacting our health. Here’s some suggestions of things you should track: – Cycle Length, or the time between your periods. A normal cycle length is 24-35 days, but what you really want to get to know is your normal. – Period Length, or the total number of days you bleed. Shorter than 3 days can be a sign of low estrogen and longer than 7 days likely means you didn’t ovulate. – Period Heaviness is the total blood lost during your period and any spotting before/after. More than 80ml or 16 fully soaked super tampons is considered a heavy period. Spotting before and after your period is often a sign of low hormone levels. – Period Pain includes cramps, back pain, pelvic pain, or tender breasts. These are signs of inflammation and possible hormone imbalances. – PMS Symptoms, such as mood swings, cravings, headaches/migraines, and bloating. These are a great indicator of whether or not we are balanced as far as stress goes. – Your Basal Body Temperature, or BBT, confirms that you’ve ovulated, which is the most important sign of a healthy cycle.Get my free healthy period guide for how to start tracking.
Boost your magnesium intake. Magnesium is a calming mineral that most people are deficient in, which is why it can be so helpful for preventing and improving period problems. It’s the first mineral to be depleted during stress. Magnesium, though, can be difficult to absorb, which is why I advise getting it in a few different ways. First, increase magnesium rich foods, such as leafy greens, avocado, plantains & bananas. Then, get it topically through magnesium oil spray (Ancient Minerals is a great brand) & Epsom salt baths.
Drink bone broth daily.Bone broth has healing amino acids like glycine and is extremely nutrient dense since it is packed with minerals. Many of our hormone imbalances are related to nutrient deficiencies, so adding in a nutrient dense food like bone broth can help replenish those. It’s also helpful if you’re struggling with gut health issues. You can learn how to make your own bone broth here. If that sounds overwhelming or you don’t have access to quality animal bones, you can purchase the highest quality bone broth protein from Paleovalley. I add it to my coffee every morning and love mixing into coconut yogurt and smoothies as well. They are one of the best supplement and healthy food companies out there. The amount of attention and detail they put into minimizing the processing to preserve all of the minerals and amino acids is amazing! You can use the code HORMONEHEALINGRD to get 10% off your order. I also love their organ complex and fermented beef sticks!
Increase Vitamin B6 rich foods. Vitamin B6 is important for progesterone & happy periods, and can be found in foods like pork, poultry, fish, eggs, beef, liver, carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, organ meats, brewer’s yeast, and avocado.
Get into a relaxed state everyday. When our bodies are stressed, they do not prioritize hormone balance. This is why so many of us struggle with PMS, painful periods, irregular cycles, etc. Prioritizing 15 minutes a day to truly relax (ideally with deep breathing) can do wonders for your hormones. I love the Wim Hof Method for breathing techniques. The first part of the breathing exercise brings an abundance of oxygen to your cells, then they do a breath hold–this is where we get into the parasympathetic state. The more you do it the longer you stay there. It feels amazing!
Having a better period is achievable, but knowing HOW to do it is the first step in getting there.
Still not sure what a healthy period should look like? Grab my free healthy period guide here and learn about nutrition for hormones, the different phases of your cycle, how to track, and so much more! Plus, you’ll get a free 5 day hormone healing meal plan!