Embrace your period to make it suck less.

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If you know a vagina or have one, you are probably aware that getting your menstrual cycle can change emotions and behaviors. So instead of shying away from the subject or making jokes about it- let’s really talk about making this monthly routine better. Here are 9 tips to help out:

  1. Wear/Buy cute underwear.

We tend to want to do the opposite and wear those old raggy ones. But if your underwear looks cute it usually gives us a nice boost of confidence.

  1. Laugh.

We get a quick boost of endorphins when we laugh. Similar to morphine and codeine, endorphins interact with the opiate receptors in the brain to reduce our perception of pain (Stoppler, M. MD, 2016).

  1. Eat Better.

During the menstrual cycle we crave sweets/salt/caffeine because our cortisol hormone spikes and feel good serotonin dips. Our bodies know that by ingesting sweets/salts/caffeine we get a quick (but short lived ) cortisol dip/serotonin spike. To combat this in a more steady way; eat little bits more frequently, eat iron rich foods, eat dark chocolate (less sugar), and drink plenty of water.

  1. Move that cute booty.

Back to the endorphin principle, getting up and moving helps. Exercise and yoga type movement is good for endorphins and distraction. Hiking and getting outdoors works for endorphins, distraction, and vitamin d from the natural sunlight.

  1. Orgasim.

And while we are talking about endorphins, having an orgasim is a great way to boost serotonin. You can achieve this on your own or with your partner, but do remember that everyone must be informed and comfortable (including you).

  1. Get essential oils.

Rubbing essential oils on your abdomen, palms, and the soles of your feet can be helpful. Lavender is relaxing. Peppermint can relieve headaches and energize. Lemon oil/juice, grapefruit oil/juice in your water relieves bloating.

  1. Eat spicy food.

Eating something spicy gives us a quick change of senses and (yet again) a releases endorphins to reduce our perception of pain.

  1. Glam it up.

Some days you just need that boost of feeling pretty. So if your favorite outfit is a ball gown and full make-up, glam it up lady (and get your nails done too).

  1. Embrace the suck and veg if you need too.

Think of it less like you are laying around doing nothing and more like you are treating yourself with what your body needs-rest and relaxation.

Try to stay in tune with your body and do the things that make you feel a little bit better. Make sure to ask your medical provider about symptoms that become overwhelming or too uncomfortable.

My Challenge to you: Listen to your body! Do things that make you feel better and well rounded. And if you know someone who is struggling, be a support for them.

Happy embracing friends!

-Jessie the Therapist

Jessie Shepherd is a Mental Health Counselor and owner of Blue Clover Therapy in Utah. She has a Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of Utah. Her focus is treating trauma, eating disorders and adjustment issues in adults, adolescents, children and their families. She utilizes Dialectic Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Play Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Neurological Feedback.

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