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7 Things Making Your Period Worse

7 Things Making Your Period Worse

As Karen Quan once said, “Push my buttons, and I’ll push you off a bridge.”

For many women, it’s the darkest time of the month. According to new research, many overlooked habits could be making your period worse, from caffeine and alcohol to work anxiety. However, thanks to a recent study, figuring out which habits are making your period worse just got easier.

According to Glamour, Mental Daily, an online psychology magazine, surveyed 2,000 young women between the ages of 18 and 29 to find out which habits made menstruation more painful. Utilizing Facebook ads and Survey Monkey, Mental Daily was able to determine that work anxiety, caffeine, and smoking were the biggest contributing factors affecting participants’ menstruation.

The researchers over at Mental Daily revealed a lot about how bad habits can significantly affect menstruation — enough for me to compile a list of the worst ones. So, without further ado, here are seven things making your period worse.

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1. Work Anxiety & Stress

Researchers have always noted that anxiety or stress originating from the workplace is the biggest contributor to bad menstruation cycles. Also, work anxiety ranked number one as the greatest contributing factor which made menstruation worse, based on Mental Daily’s survey.

Of the 2,000 participants in Mental Daily’s study, 98 percent placed work anxiety or stress as one of their top triggers for a bad period. Essentially, mental health professionals have warned that job stress can increase the risk of depression and even suicide.

2. Caffeinated Drinks

In Mental Daily’s survey, 78 percent of participants placed caffeine as one of their top triggers for severe menstruation, for several reasons. Let me explain: caffeine, specifically soft drinks like Pepsi, can increase the chances of painful cramps and nighttime fatigue. Insomnia, a common symptom of cramps, can keep you up all night, draining you of your energy when it’s time to get up to work.

3. Smoking Your Lungs Away

When it comes to menstruation, smoking is a big no-no! Here’s why: smoking can impact your estrogen, testosterone, and progesterone levels. Those hormones play a crucial role in the development of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), which may leave you looking like the devil.

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Additionally, smoking is often mixed with drinking alcohol, and alcohol is another adverse factor in making your period worse. Since we mentioned alcohol, let’s talk about it.

4. Consuming Alcohol

Hands off the booze! Why? Drinking alcohol right before your period can exaggerate the risk of PMS symptoms, and they’re not pretty.

Drinking alcoholic beverages can also dehydrate you and lower your magnesium levels, which is not good news. Other symptoms caused by alcohol includes mood swings, depression, headaches, and breast tenderness.

5. Skipping On Sleep

Yes, PMS can cause insomnia due to the amount of pain brought forth by cramps. However, there are several things you can do to help you fall asleep quicker. But first, let me explain why skipping sleep during your period is a bad thing.

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Your sleep-wake cycle has a tremendous influence on regulating sex hormones, so when you disrupt this cycle, you are messing up this process. And get this: your period may last longer if you decide to skip sleep while on your period.

Now, if you feel it’s going to be a long, dreadful night, try melatonin. Melatonin is a natural hormone that improves your sleep regulation cycle.You can purchase it at any local pharmacy or drug store.

6. Painkillers

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but taking painkillers can make bleeding worse. Aspirin is one of those drugs that doesn’t mix well with menstruation; however, other over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Ibuprofen can do less harm to your body.

Dr. Nupur Gupta, a consultant Gynecologist, and Obstetrician, gave the following comment when speaking to The Health Site.

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“You should only take a pill if the menstrual pain is affecting your day-to-day activities. And before taking one, you should always consult a doctor about the same.”

7. Salty or Fatty Foods

And, last but not least, consuming salty or fatty foods can cause bloating and abdominal cramps. Foods high in fat can alter the hormonal levels in the body. Here are the following foods to ignore: fatty cuts of beef, whole-milk dairy products, sausages and burgers.

Instead, try eating fish, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which don’t affect your hormonal levels. Also, reducing the amount of salty or sugary foods can boost your immune system and reduce fatigue during menstruation.

Final thoughts: As science continues to improve our understanding of how the human body works, pain by menstruation will be a thing of the past. If we’re lucky, and still alive by then, I’ll still take male menstruation any time of the month!

Do these habits sound familiar? Share your thoughts below!

Featured photo credit: Huffington Post via i.huffpost.com

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Jose Florez

Mental Health Writer

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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