When you’re on your period, it’s easy to feel sad, irritable, and low in energy and confidence.

Anything from a heavy flow to painful cramping to PMS can tip us over the edge and make that time of the month miserable (not to mention a combination of all of the above — lethal). If you suffer from the period blues, then fear not — there are some great options out there that can help you to combat these feelings.

In this post, we’ll be looking at the best ways that you can banish period woes and lift your mood naturally when menstruating; read on for a happy period.

Recommended reading: 6 Signs You Need To Start Taking Better Care Of Your Health

Eat the right food

It sounds easy enough, right? But so many of us get it wrong when it comes to eating the right food on our periods.

We’ll start with the obvious (and one you probably know): iron-rich foods. During menstruation, your iron levels become depleted, so it’s a good idea to top these levels up. Many people use this as a great excuse to treat themselves to a steak (red meat contains high levels of iron), but if you’re veggie or simply don’t fancy a piece of cow, you can get your iron from spinach and other leafy greens.

Another healthy addition to your diet is fish. Fatty fish like salmon is awesome for banishing those period woes because it contains plenty of cramp-relieving, anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.

And if you’re looking for a quick snack to boost your mood and energy, then you can’t do worse than the humble banana. Chock-full of potassium, bananas can alleviate cramps and act as a pick-me-up.

Need more advice? Head over to this article for the top food to help your period blues.

Do some exercise

When you’re suffering from low energy levels, excruciating cramps, and a heavy flow, it can be hard to muster up the enthusiasm to go for a jog. But hear us out — there are so many reasons why exercising on your period is good for you.

Firstly, exercise can help to relieve those cramps by getting your blood pumping around your body to your achy muscles. It also releases endorphins (happy chemicals) in your body, which reduces feelings of pain and stress, and boosts your mood.

Don’t worry, we’re not asking you to do a marathon — just a simple swimming session or some light yoga can make all the difference. For most inspiration on the best period-friendly exercises you can do, check out this useful blog post.

Have a relaxing bath

Sometimes, one of the best ways to lift your mood when you’re menstruating is to have a hot bath.

There are all sorts of reasons why running a bath is so good when you’re on your period. For a start, the heat helps to soothe painful period cramps by relaxing the muscles of your uterus. The temperature also improves your circulation, getting plenty of blood flow to your muscles and relieving any cramps and tensions.

Not only is bathtime great for your body, but it also has a positive effect on your mental health too, which means it can help to banish your period woes and lift your mood. In fact, studies show that a soak in the bath can reduce your stress levels, making it the perfect place to unwind and relax.

Adding a few drops of essential oils to your tub can help to make bathtime even more soothing. Lavender, in particular, is awesome for period pains due to its anti-inflammatory properties and relaxing nature. So sprinkle a few drops of this calming oil in the water and enjoy a calming bath time experience.

Don’t forget to treat yourself

Just because you’ve got your period doesn’t mean you have to live off a diet of salmon and kale for the week. It’s perfectly natural to crave sweet treats and salty snacks when you’re on your period — and it’s fine to give in to these cravings, as long as it’s in moderation.

In fact, treats like chocolate can actually be good for you! However, it’s totally dependent on the type you choose: milk chocolate contains a lot of sugar, which can exaggerate your mood swings and make your cramps worse.

On the other hand, dark chocolate is perfect for a period snack; it’s low in sugar and high in magnesium — which can boost your mood and alleviate period cramps. Just aim for 70% cocoa or over.

You don’t have to give up coffee either: in moderation, caffeine can make you feel better and boost your energy levels (although you shouldn’t have it any later than four in the afternoon).

Follow these tips, and you’ll be able to banish your period woes and lift your mood naturally.

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