Do you dread your period each month? Learn how to take better care of your body to minimise symptoms, and plan your workload cleverly around your menstrual cycle.
There aren’t many reasons to look forward to your period – cramps, PMT, lethargy, bloating and menstrual bleeding aren’t exactly pleasant! And they don’t always make it easy for you to work.
But there are several things you can do to make your time of the month more comfortable, and find ways to work effectively during this time – to ease the impact on your daily life.
How to look after yourself during your period
It’s always important to practise self-care, and stay mentally and physically healthy. But during menstruation it becomes even more important.
Knowing how to look after yourself properly can minimise your physical discomfort and help improve your mood – making working much more easy and pleasant.
Here are some suggestions of ways you can take good care of yourself during your period.
Eat well (and often)
Your metabolism needs all the help it can get when you’ve got your period, so eat regularly. Little and often is the key, and make sure you get plenty of vitamins C and B6. You’ll find these in chicken, fish, turkey, nuts, bananas, potatoes, eggs, citrus fruits and cranberry juice. Try to eat plenty of fresh vegetables too.
Try to avoid foods that are high in salt, as they’ll encourage water retention and bloating, and steer clear of caffeine as it constricts your blood vessels and increases tension (it can also make your cramps worse).
Drink lots of water
It’s always good to drink plenty of water, but it’s even more important during your period.
Not only will water help with any water retention, but it will prevent you from becoming dehydrated – and feeling even more tired and lethargic.
Do something lovely
If you’re feeling pretty rubbish then treat yourself to something lovely. Buy your favourite chocolate bar, wear nice clothes and indulge in a trashy TV show of magazine you enjoy – whatever makes you feel good.
One of our best period cheerer-uppers is Period Box – a subscription service in which you receive a monthly package with everything you need to help with your period.
As well as your supply of tampons or towels, it contains lovely treats such as chocolate, tea, and toiletries, all beautifully wrapped and sealed with witty stickers. It almost makes your period worth looking forward to! (This isn’t a sponsored or affiliate mention – it’s just our personal opinion.)
Physical activity is great for relieving anxiety, lethargy and headaches. It’s an almost-instant, endorphin-packed mood raiser. But just be careful with yoga – avoid any ‘inverted poses’ that turn you upside down (these include head and shoulder stands and the plough).
Exercise also helps to improve your blood and oxygen circulation throughout your body, including your pelvis area, which may also help with cramping.
If you find your usual exercise regime too strenuous during your period, opt for a lower impact workout or activities, or reduce your exercise time.
Enjoy quiet time
If you need to go into work when you have your period, try to squeeze in some quiet time. This can be as simple as a couple of minutes of quiet contemplation or deep breathing at your desk (or hiding in the loo if there’s no chance of uninterrupted time at your desk!) or a short stroll.
If you can’t make an excuse to leave the office, even walking up or down your office stairs can help to give you a break (and get a bit of gentle exercise).
How to work best during your period
A few weeks ago, we revealed why we were better at particular tasks at different times of the month. We explained how our changing hormones throughout our menstrual cycle affects our performance, and suggested tasks that you may find easier at different stages of your cycle.
Tasks to plan during your period
Your period is a great time for organisation, tidying and cleansing – both emotional and physical. Some ideas of jobs you could plan for this time include:
- Tidying your desk or office.
- Invoicing, filing and accounts.
- Redesigning your admin or filing systems.
- Clearing out cupboards and de-cluttering.
- Sorting out your database or mailing list.
- Redesigning your day/working practices.
Articles to help you be more productive
Some articles that can help you achieve this:
- Six ways to be more organised.
- How to organise your wardrobe.
- Seven steps to easy bookkeeping.
- How to detox your business and work smarter.
- How to eat your way to productivity.
- Five systems to make bookkeeping easier.
Tasks to avoid during your period
If you’re lucky, your period won’t have a major impact on your professional performance. But if, like some women, it has a tendency to play havoc with your emotions and energy levels, you may want to avoid if possible:
- Job interviews and applications.
- Public speaking engagements.
- Embarking on challenging new projects.
- Important new client meetings.
- Soul searching and highly intuitive tasks.
- Trade fairs, exhibitions and networking events.
Articles to help make these tasks easier!
If you can’t avoid these during your period, these articles can help give you a head start:
- Five things you need to research for a job interview.
- How to prepare for a successful job interview.
- How to avoid the seven most common job hunting mistakes.
- How to tidy up your CV in less than half an hour.
- How to write the perfect job application letter.
- Five common networking mistakes to avoid.
Make the best of your period every month
Our periods are often something we can do little about, but we don’t have to be a victim to them.
Rather than dread your period each month and struggle through it, you can take control – looking after your body and your mind and choosing activities that are better suited to you at that time of the month.
So you can work smart, and feel good all month long. Period or no period!Hannah Martin