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Semantee Chattopadhyay
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Menstruation, or period, is normal vaginal bleeding that occurs as part of a woman’s monthly cycle. Some girls, in addition to feeling more intense emotions than they usually do, notice physical changes along with their periods — some feel bloated or puffy because of water retention, others notice swollen and sore breasts, and some get headaches.
There are a few ways by which women can make themselves feel better during menstruation:
1. Meditation: Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state. Meditation can dramatically boost one’s mood and emotional wellness.
2. Exercises: One should work out regularly or frequently to have a healthy body and a regular cycle. Yoga is a great exercise. Yoga can help to relieve menstrual cramps. Breathing exercises can also relieve cramps and back pains by assisting the bowel movements and stimulating the flow of any static fluid.
3. Diet: Protein-rich diet is recommended as they keep the blood sugar levels in check. Citrus fruits such as lemon, orange or sweet lime contain vitamin C which is beneficial. Intake of a good amount of water is recommended. Herbal teas are also good as they can relax and soothe you. It is advisable to avoid caffeine-containing foods and beverages such as chocolate, coffee, tea and soft drinks. These can worsen symptoms such as anxiety, depression and breast tenderness.
4. Other activities: One should optimise sleep. One should use heating pads for relief from menstrual pain. Listening to good music, watching movies or reading books can also help shift the concentration and hence can provide comfort.
“Self-care is not self-indulgence, it’s self-preservation”- Audre Lorde