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At-Home Remedies to Ease Your Menstrual Cycle

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Toronto MU chapter.

It’s that time of the month again: your cycle has started. I dread this every month. 

Some people find periods to be a taboo topic. Realistically, periods are a vital part of our lives and it’s important to learn about and track our cycle to better understand what is happening in our bodies during different times of our cycle.

Bloating, cramps, fatigue, bleeding, sore chest – the list goes on. Before all of this even begins, we can’t forget to welcome premenstrual syndrome. 

Premenstrual syndrome, also known as PMS, usually occurs right before your period begins due to hormonal changes. Some common symptoms may include mood swings, difficulty concentrating and sore breasts. What people may not realize is that the PMS phase can be just as exhausting mentally as it is physically when your cycle begins.   

Menstrual cramps are extremely common and can either happen in the days leading up to your period or during. While some may experience little to mild cramping, others may experience more intense pain. If you are experiencing severe cramps, it may be a good idea to reach out to your doctor or a medical professional. 

As much as we hate experiencing periods, it is a part of many of our lives. It is best to find what works for your body so that you can experience your period comfortably. Here are some at-home remedies that have helped ease some of my period symptoms: 

*Disclaimer: I am in no way, and do not claim to be an expert or a professional. All tips shared have personally worked for me and may not work for everyone. Always consult a doctor before making any drastic lifestyle or health changes.

Use a heating pad: 

A hot water bottle, towel or heating pad are all easy tools to help relieve cramps at home. Applying them either on your stomach or lower back can work wonders. This helps to relax your muscles and your abdomen and is a personal favourite remedy of mine. You can easily purchase a heating pad or a thermos bag online or at a local pharmacy for an affordable price.

Increase your water intake:

We all know how important it is to stay hydrated on a daily basis, but it is especially important during your period. I personally prefer drinking hot water as I find that the heat relieves my period pains as compared to drinking cold water. Aside from that, other options include fruit-infused water, or chamomile and ginger tea. Generally speaking, stay away from caffeinated beverages if possible as it can disturb your sleep or affect your mood.

Take a hot shower:

Similar to applying heat to your stomach or back, taking a hot shower may be just as effective. It not only helps with your blood circulation but gives you an excuse to take a break and relax. If you have any essential oils, try putting a few drops on your shower wall. The steam from the shower helps circulate the aroma, making your bathroom feel like a spa. 

Get plenty of sleep:

Having a good night’s sleep is very important. Resting up can be one of the best remedies for any menstrual pain you are experiencing. Poor sleep may result in you feeling even more tired the next day, so try to get as much as possible. Some ways to get a better night’s rest are to avoid screen time at least 30 minutes before going to bed and to keep your bedroom nice and cool. Having an early night is the ideal scenario, but if sleeping early is not an option, try scheduling short naps during your day if possible. 

I also find that being in the fetal position is the most comfortable way to sleep when I am on my period because I am able to feel extra cozy. 

Try some light exercise:

Yes, you read that correctly. This may be the last thing you want to do when you are in physical and emotional pain, however, you would be surprised how much more energy your body actually has when you go for a walk or do a quick workout. If exercising doesn’t seem like a viable option for you, try doing simple stretches. There are plenty of videos you can find online with breathing and stretching exercises. This helps to increase blood flow throughout your body while also putting you in a calmer mood. 

Track your period:

Although this is less of a remedy, tracking your period can help you plan your activities around your cycle. This prevents the surprise of getting your period unexpectedly, which could ruin any plans that you have already set in place. Not only that, but it helps you understand your cycle better in terms of your average cycle length and ovulation, and overall, this can help you manage and understand your moods.

Reach out to a friend: 

Whatever you’re feeling, just know that it is valid. Your body is going through hormonal changes and sometimes you may feel more anxious, sad, or suddenly feel the urge to cry it out. I personally like to tell myself that it is okay to cry or feel whatever emotion that’s coming to the surface because  I will feel better after I validate that emotion. Sometimes, it may be a good idea to reach out to a friend and just chat via a phone call or text. Knowing that someone is willing to hear you out and provide some comforting words can help assure you that everything will be okay when you’re feeling less than stellar. 

Take it easy:

Last but not least, learn to take it easy. Your body is going through a lot and it is okay to take it slower than usual. Did you have activities planned ahead of time already? Don’t be afraid to change your mind if you don’t want to go anymore. 

Each individual’s menstrual cycle is different, listening to your body and doing what’s right for you, mentally and physically, is always the most important. 

Erica Su

Toronto MU '24

Erica is a Creative Industries student at Ryerson University specializing in business and communications. During her free time, she loves to cook up a storm in the kitchen, play 8 ball pool, and re-watch her all-time favourite shows such as Selling Sunset.