By Vilmante Markeviciene, founder of Genial Day
Up to 80% of women have experienced period pain, and 40% have also endured other uncomfortable symptoms related to menstruation, like bloating, mood swings, breast tenderness, a swollen stomach, and fatigue. When this time of the month coincides with the big holidays, for some it can become a real struggle to enjoy festivities. To make this time more enjoyable, Vilmante Markeviciene, founder of Genial Day, a company focusing on period products and women’s health, has shared five tips on treating yourself during your period over the Holidays.
Period pains can be so extreme that a number of countries have implemented “period leaves” for those suffering from severe symptoms. In other cases, individuals plan their big events like vacations around their menstrual cycle, dreading to get their period on vacation to avoid any discomfort, as well as even looking for ways to delay it on important events.
It comes as no surprise that the big holidays might not be the ideal time to menstruate, with people wanting to enjoy the regular festivities without worrying about pain and discomfort. To help make this time less uncomfortable, Vilmante Markeviciene has shared five ways that people can make their periods more enjoyable on Christmas.
- Indulge in dark chocolate
For some, sweets are a must at the Christmas table. Mrs Markeviciene advises to make sure that there’s some dark chocolate between all of those treats.
“Dark chocolate is rich with iron and magnesium. Iron levels dip during menstruation as we lose blood, so eating dark chocolate is a good way to ensure that they are up. Also, sweet cravings are quite common during periods, so by eating the right ones it’s not only a way to treat yourself, but is actually beneficial to our health,” she explained.
- Keep warm
Whatever the temperature is outside, Mrs Markeviciene advises to stay warm. By doing so, people will be able to make period pains more manageable.
“Heat helps to relax the muscles and therefore alleviate period cramps. If a person is having their period on Christmas, I would recommend cozying up by the fireplace to enjoy the evening’s festivities and keep warm at the same time.”
The intimate health expert also recommended reaching for a heating pad or opting for a hot bath if possible.
- Don’t pass up on ginger
Ginger is another commonly found ingredient in Christmas dishes. According to Mrs Markeviciene, it’s another food that is considered period-friendly.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties. According to the expert, it soothes the uterus and promotes blood flow to ease period cramps.
- Moderation is key
While people who menstruate shouldn’t restrict themselves on Christmas due to their period, Mrs Markeviciene advises to keep moderation in mind while at the dinner table. Some foods, or an excess of them, can make period symptoms worse.
“Foods that are high in sugar or salt can cause inflammation and bloating, which will in turn make period cramps worse. It’s not that these foods should be avoided entirely, but it’s important to moderate their intake so that the evening is as enjoyable as possible,” she explained.
- Make time to rest
Although the big holidays can be a hectic time, Mrs Markeviciene recommends taking some time for yourself.
Stress can make period cramps worse, so people who menstruate should not overexert themselves. According to the intimate health expert, during this time of the month individuals should listen to their body and let it get the rest it deserves.
“Hormones are important for period health and lack of sleep disrupts their balance. This can lead to heavier and more painful periods, that’s why it’s important to maintain a regular sleep regime even during the holiday season,” she explained.
Mrs Markeviciene also emphasized that while some discomfort is normal during a period, it’s important to recognize the signs when something’s off and not downplay it. If a person is experiencing severe pain or bleeding, it might be time to see a health professional.