Periods in a Pandemic: Relieving Cramps at Home

For most of us, life is lived at home at the moment. Which means that we’re having our periods at home, too. Maybe you’re used to that – or maybe you’re finding it hard to manage your period pains without the usual distractions. In the past we’ve spoken about natural painkillers for period pain. This time, we’ve compiled a list of the best ways to manage period pains while quarantining at home.

Get a back or belly rub – or hot water bottle

Are you lucky enough to be quarantining with your loved ones? If so, then ask them to lend their hands for a back or belly rub to help relieve your period pains. The power of human touch is real!

If you’re quarantining alone or with somebody who you aren’t close with, a heated wheat bag or a hot water bottle will give you the same heat that hands would, and you can place the heat exactly where you need it, and they’ll never tire out like a companion. Perfect!

person receiving massage

Go for a walk or jog

Make use of your daily allotted outside time to stretch it out and go for a walk – you might not feel like it at first, if you’re cramping up and in pain, but going for a walk or a gentle jog can sometimes be like medicine. Walking moves your hip flexors and stretches the muscles around your pelvis and abdomen, which can really help to relieve cramps. If you can’t get outside, then walking or jogging on the spot will do the same thing, or you could try these yoga poses to ease your period pain.

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Eat and drink well

Around your period, you will experience a natural fluctuation in hormones. There are foods that you can eat which will help your period to go as smoothly as possible. And then, there are foods you can eat which might make your period pains worse.

Foods that are inflammatory like dairy, alcohol, refined sugar and caffeine can make bloating and cramps worse, so try to minimise your intake of these as much as possible.We know,it’s a lot to expect, especially since these are all of the fun foods, but your body will thank you for it.

Eating foods rich in Omega-3, such as salmon, chia seeds, mackerel and flax seeds can help to reduce the pelvic pain. Also, choosing iron-rich foods like leafy greens, beetroot and plain chocolate will replenish your body’s iron levels, which is important if you lose a lot of blood. If you can’t get hold of these foods at the moment, then perhaps you could find a good supplement.

Bowl full of spinach

Distract yourself

This one might sound flippant or even erasing of your pain (trust us, we don’t mean to do that). We know how grueling period pains can be, especially if you suffer from a condition like endometriosis.

But if you are in the middle of a gruesome bout of period pains, the more you think about how much pain you’re in, the more tense your body will be, and the worse the pain will be.

If you are able to distract yourself with something else – whether that be a call with a friend or even just watching some easy going television, you might find that the pain eases off as you become absorbed in something else.

Of course, some period pain isn’t possible to think your way out of. If your period pains are extreme, then this may be a sign that something is wrong. You can read our blog about when to get checked for endometriosis here.

Someone watching television

Take a nap

When we fall asleep, our bodies let go of tension in ways that they can’t while we’re awake and holding ourselves upright in the world. Make use of this and try to get some sleep if you can. Your body will also lower levels of cortisol which is the stress hormone, so the chances are that you’ll wake up feeling much better afterwards! And even if you don’t, at least your body will have gotten some rest.

A woman sleeping

Do you have any other tips for managing your period pains while you’re at home? Let us know in the comments below.

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