Love the title to my post, which I can say without being called way too self-congratulatory, since I didn’t create it. I found it on the Always.com website and really connected it with it for three reasons. The first is because it is related to the old adage, that if life gives you lemons, make lemonade, the second is because it gives me another opportunity to educate about periods and cramps and lastly because I really like to luxuriate in the bath with aromatic salts making me feel like I am in a spa environment and hadn’t thought about making them myself.
People should take time to be happy. – Grandma Moses (1860-1961)
Let me start with the idea that for every negative you can think of in a situation, I truly believe that there is positive that can be made of it. For example, let’s say that you missed a flight or that you are inconvenienced in some way because of something that is out of your control, do something that turns it around and again places you in control. I have missed many a flight in my day and been frustrated about it, but have found that allowing myself some pleasure reading time helps me overcome the frustration. Also, I am thankful that I travel with a computer that allows me to stay in touch and manage life without actually being there. Along with that, I am happy that I am safe and sound and around to live another day. This is truly the way I think about things most of the time.
Record only the sunny hours. – unknown
At times though, fortunately not often and mostly after days of poor weather, I become grumpy and negative. It really doesn’t help me, or those close by, when I spend my time verbalizing flaws in everything. Instead, to break that cycle, I usually take a walk, and then write down a few things that I am thankful for and that make me happy and, POOF, back out of it and Ms. Joyful again. It sounds simpler than what it is, because you truly have to be cognizant of your own being and want to change your mood. Once I am on the upward state of mind, it is like there is a wind at my back pushing me along.
Cramps: We fear what we don’t understand. – Aesop (c.620-560 BC)
As you have guessed, Aesop never said anything about cramps, I just added that to his quote to make a point. And, that is the more we know about a situation, the better we can help mange it. True about cramps too. If we understand what causes them, we can develop a way to help mange the discomfort. I have been answering questions about periods and cramps for many years. The pain that some women and teen girls experience can be scary and concerning, made worse by not know why that can happen.
What are menstrual cramps? From Always.com: “Each month, the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) builds up in preparation for a possible pregnancy. If a pregnancy occurs, the fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining to be nourished as it develops into a baby. If the egg is not fertilized, the lining is not needed. It breaks down, and hormones called prostaglandins are released. These trigger the muscles of the uterus to contract and squeeze the lining out. The muscles are the same ones that push a baby out during childbirth, so they are extremely strong. Some women may have higher levels of prostaglandins, which is thought to be what causes painful muscle spasms called cramps.”
Not all women have cramps and, certainly, not all women have them to the extent that causes concern or disruption to their lives. For those that do, here are some suggestions on how to help sooth the discomfort:
- Warmth to help sooth: Lie down, if possible, at the first sign of pain and place a warm heating pad on your abdomen. If you can’t lie down, there are warm wraps, like Thermacare, that will provide soothing heat and allow you to leave home and live life.
- Pain relief medications: Pharmacists are a great source of information about suitable over the counter pain medications that may help. It is always best to take them before the pain gets too bad to help break the cycle of discomfort.
- Massage: Gently rubbing your abdomen or getting a back massage can help relieve the discomfort. Also, you don’t have to go to a professional masseuse, ask your partner to massage your back. No doubt the person that cares about you will want to help make you feel better.
- Exercise: Exercise routines that you do throughout your cycle — particularly a few days before the beginning of your period — may help to reduce pain by lowering your levels of prostaglandins. Exercise also helps to keep the blood flowing in your pelvic area, easing that heavy, bloated feeling. Workouts that stretch your body — cycling with your legs up in the air, for example — are best. Some women claim that Yoga or Pilates really helps minimize their cramps.
Now to my personal favorite, a long WARM BATH, especially with aromatic bath salts. Here is a link to the recipe to make bath salts, that I mentioned at the beginning of this post, found on the Always.com website. I don’t get cramps any more, but love to enjoy the spa experience. When at home doing this, I can get out of the bath and put on warm fuzzy jammers and just hangout in comfort.
Please feel free to share what helps your cramps or what puts you in a peacefully good state of being, as you could be helping someone else with your experience.
Actually writing this post has placed me in a good Karma place, so I will close out happy and relaxed. Last adage: I believe in Karma. If the good is sown, the good is collected. When positive things are made, that returns well. Yannick Noah