Do you just dread that time of the month? You are so not alone. Bloating and cramping while riding an emotional rollercoaster isn’t fun for anyone. And we haven’t even talked about the worst part—the bleeding.

Some of us out there may even have heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) due to uterine fibroids. If you are experiencing that, why not bring it up at your next doctor visit? With so many options available to you, it’s always good to check in and make sure you are doing what’s best for your body—or maybe even learn about something new that may help you.

In the meantime, you’ve got your period and it is the WORST. So, here are a few hacks to help you feel better right now. 

Relieve the pressure. Did you know that muscles within your uterus contract? They sure do, resulting in menstrual cramps. A totally normal part of your cycle, they can start a day or two before your period and last for a few days, but they can cause discomfort in your lower back, abdomen and even thighs.

If your symptoms are mild, try a warm bath, hot water bottle or a heating pad to get some relief. You can also massage your abdomen or do an easy exercise, like yoga or walking, to help increase blood flow. If your symptoms are more severe, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor as it may be a sign of something more serious.

Loading the player...

Beat the bloat. You are not going to want to hear this but try to stay away from processed foods that can leave you feeling bloated on a good day, even if those salty chips would taste so good! Snack on health fats like nuts and avocados, and if you need a chocolate fix, try dark chocolate—it’s a good source of magnesium, which can help regulate serotonin and even elevate your mood.

You may also want to avoid caffeine. Sometimes it can irritate your stomach and you don’t need any more irritation right now. Sip on a hot cup of herbal tea, like ginger or chamomile, to sooth your craving and your belly. And make sure you’re staying hydrated. Drinking water is key to keeping the bloat at bay during your period.

Get some rest. Your body is going through a lot right now, so you may feel more fatigued than usual. Honor that by giving into your cravings for more Zzzzz’s. Aim for 8 hours of sleep at night, but also add in a nap or two if you need it—your mind and body will appreciate the down time and leave you feeling more refreshed.

If you are feeling especially worn out and are experiencing heavy bleeding from uterine fibroids, don’t be afraid to reach out to your doctor—they are the ultimate experts when it comes to great period hacks.