Do you dread the start of your period–the cramps, bloating, exhaustion, and irritability? Mild premenstrual symptoms such as these are common, but there is good news. You have the power to make your period better! Part of Guiding Star’s work is to empower women to be the masters of their own hormones by educating them on how the natural functions of their bodies work. There are natural ways to support your body before, during, and after your period to enhance your overall health and well being. The following information is a great place to start taking control of your health.
Choose the Right Fuel
It is very important to be aware of the kind of food you put into your body. The old saying “you are what you eat” rings true today more than ever. Reducing the consumption of processed meals and sugars is a great place to start. Try to concentrate on adding a variety of fruits, vegetables, and high-quality sources of protein, such as meat, nuts, eggs, and healthy fats to your diet. The human brain is made up of nearly 60% fat content, and the production of hormones also relies on the amount of healthy fat intake such as avocados, olive oil, and grass-fed butter. It is also very important to stay hydrated. Start by setting a daily goal to drink 64 ounces of water.
Our bodies need vitamin D to support our bones, immune system, moods, and energy levels. Getting 10 to 15 minutes of natural sunlight per day can help. Some women feel excessively tired before their period, so making vitamin D part of your daily routine may help. It may be helpful to have your doctor check your vitamin D levels to find out if a supplement would be beneficial. Check out page 97 of The Happy Girl’s Guide to Being Whole for a detailed list of recommended supplements to support your body throughout your cyclical cycle.
Getting the right amount of quality sleep is more important than most people realize. Our bodies reset and detoxify (cleans out harmful toxins) so we are able to start fresh the next day. Poor sleep can also cause hormone imbalances and disturb our circadian rhythm that will deplete the body of energy and happiness. Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night is necessary to allow your body to detoxify from the day’s work and stress and refresh those hormones in order to function properly the next day. If you are having trouble sleeping check out these great tips in The Happy Girl’s Guide to Being Whole.
Moving your body often and getting enough exercise is very important. However, it is also important to find a healthy balance when choosing the types of exercise and how often to be happy and whole. Choosing the right types of exercise for your body matters as well. Consider choosing a variety of exercise types based on where you are in your cycle to optimize your workouts. Even moving your body for 5 minutes at a time can be beneficial because it triggers the body to produce endorphins that improve mood, energy levels, and decrease pain or other symptoms associated with your period.
Choose Period Products Right for You
Women now have a variety of options to choose from to help manage their monthly bleed. Some of the most popular current period products on the market include period underwear, menstrual cups, tampons, and pads (available in both disposable and reusable options). It is very important and empowering to choose the product(s) that work best for your lifestyle, so don’t be afraid to try more than one option until you find what works best for you. For more detailed information on how to choose the right product for you, be sure to check out page 100 in The Happy Girl’s Guide to Being Whole.
Learn to Chart Your Cycle
A woman’s menstrual cycle is the fifth vital sign of health. Charting your cycle is the first step to understanding the patterns and signs your body is giving you. Using a period app is helpful, but it is also important to record your cervical fluid patterns as well. The presence of cervical fluid is a sign that ovulation is approaching. Regularly tracking your cycle makes it easier to spot any changes as well as makes it much easier for a medical professional to assist you on your health journey.
We’ve all “been there, done that” when it comes to various types of discomfort during our cycles. Know that you are not alone! Understanding your body is the first step to embracing your natural cycle in order to work with your cycle and make your period better through natural, chemical-free methods!
Learn More About The Guiding Star Project
Find a Guiding Star Center near you
The Happy Girl’s Guide to Being Whole by Teresa Kenney, WHNP
The Hormone Genius Podcast – Teresa Kenney and Jamie Rathjen
MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: The information presented in this blog post is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for actual medical or mental health advice from a doctor, psychologist, or any other medical or mental health professional. Always consult with a healthcare professional before adding any supplements to your diet.
Kenney, Teresa. “Chapter 6: Practical Self Care.” The Happy Girl’s Guide to Being Whole: What You Never Knew About Your Natural Body, edited by Leah Jacobson and Megan Drapa, 2nd ed., Lumen Press & Media, Ironton, Minnesota, 2022, pp. 90–97.
Kenney, Teresa and Jamie Rathjen, hosts. “All About Endometriosis: Q & A with Teresa.” The Hormone Genius Podcast, Season 2, Episode 7, Apple Podcasts, 21 February 2021, https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/s2-ep-21-nutrition-and-fertility-with-courtney-warday/id1527363397?i=1000551757453.