It’s that time of the month when cramps, bloating, fatigue, and other not-so-fun symptoms make an appearance. Yes, I’m referring to what Cher Horowitz humorously calls “surfing the crimson wave” (reference: Clueless). But fear not! By giving yourself some extra care and attention, you can transform this time into an opportunity to connect with your body and its needs and just roll with it. Keep on reading for self-care tips to incorporate during your menstrual week to respect, appreciate, and align with your body.

1. Fuel your body with foods rich in iron

You may be familiar with the concept of cycle-syncing, which involves adjusting your lifestyle based on your hormonal changes throughout the month. Essentially, The Cycle Syncing Method® proposes modifying your routine to cater to your body’s requirements during different phases of your menstrual cycle.

This is the perfect time to incorporate nutrient-packed, iron-rich foods into your diet and ensure you’re getting enough calories. Opt for protein sources like wild salmon, beef, chicken, or turkey. If you follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, include lentils, chickpeas, or pinto beans. Don’t forget about vegetables, especially dark, leafy greens such as spinach, chard, and kale. Additionally, spice up your meals with herbs like turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon for their anti-inflammatory properties.

2. Swap coffee for tea

For coffee enthusiasts, here’s some news: coffee might exacerbate your period symptoms. Studies have shown that caffeine can lead to inflammation, worsening bloating and cramping. Research from 2014 and 2016 even linked coffee consumption to increased period pain. Consider giving your coffee maker a break this week and switch to non-caffeinated teas like red raspberry leaf tea. Red raspberry leaf is rich in nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and E, as well as calcium, iron, and potassium. Not convinced yet? A study indicated that red raspberry leaves could potentially alleviate menstrual cramps caused by pelvic muscle spasms. 

3. Be gentle with your exercise routine

Feel the allure of your bed calling out to you as your period begins? While spending the week snug in bed isn’t always feasible (we can dream, though), listen to your body and avoid strenuous workouts. Take a break from intense exercises like HIIT, marathon training, or high-impact sessions. Instead, opt for lighter, low-impact activities such as walking, stretching, Pilates, or gentle yoga. Alternatively, elevate your mood and absorb some Vitamin D by enjoying a leisurely hike, jog, or swim outdoors. Although staying active during your period offers benefits like reducing fatigue and mood swings, there’s no harm in taking a day or two off if you feel particularly drained.

4. Prioritize relaxation and self-care

When you’re accustomed to a fast-paced lifestyle, allowing yourself to rest can feel challenging or even uncomfortable. While you might be used to juggling a hectic schedule, this week is a reminder to slow down and make room for yourself. Lighten your agenda by reducing work commitments and social activities; set aside time for a soothing bath or a massage; feel free to engage in intimacy if you’re inclined, or pamper yourself with self-care if intimacy isn’t on the agenda; connect with nature by spending time outdoors in a grounding practice; and enhance your sleep quality by maintaining a cool bedroom and resisting the temptation of “just one more episode.” 

5. Release what no longer serves you

Just as your uterus sheds its lining during your period, take this time to reflect and let go of anything that is hindering your growth, whether it’s relationships, habits, beliefs, or a job. According to Alisa Vitti, the creator of The Cycle Syncing Method®, this phase offers an ideal opportunity to assess your life and process your thoughts, as your clarity and intuition are heightened during this time. What can you release that is preventing you from reaching your full potential? By doing so, what space can you create for new opportunities? Consider incorporating practices like journaling, manifestation, or meditation to guide you towards living your most fulfilling life.

6. Explore sustainable menstrual product options

While tampons are convenient, they are not cost-effective or eco-friendly, which contradicts the idea of letting things flow. Nowadays, numerous sustainable and innovative alternatives to traditional period products are readily available. Before your next cycle arrives, contemplate switching to feminine care options like period underwear, menstrual cups, or menstrual discs. Should you find yourself in need of a quick solution and rush to the nearest store (we’ve all been there) or simply prefer tampons, opt for organic varieties free from chemical additives. Remember, being mindful of your body and the environment can go hand in hand.


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