Pretty much every day on your period is a new adventure, but the second day of your flow is definitely the worst of them all. The second day of menstruation usually promises the heaviest flow, which means cramping can be monstrous, and no one should be surprised if they catch you inhaling a block of dark chocolate. While these symptoms definitely suck, the most important thing to do on the worst day of your period is to listen to your body and act accordingly.
The beginning of your period is typically the worst because it's the time when you're most likely to experience some degree of menstrual pain, so it's in your best interest to plan for the worst here.
The sad truth is, gorging on chocolate and taking coffee through an IV to wake you up when period fatigue hits will do you no favors. Here are some methods to ease menstrual pain when your period is actually the worst.
1. Use A Heating Pad
I'd like to take this moment to personally thank my heating pad for getting me through the past 14 years of my period.
Some cycles require me to stay sedentary in bed with the warming material cradled just above the pelvis, but for any day you have to go into the office, there are stick-on heating pads that work just as well.
If you're a sleeping beauty during your period week, snuggle into bed and don't be ashamed to press snooze.
Your period literally wreaks havoc on your entire body, so by the time your hormones drop, it's no surprise that you're feeling fatigued AF.
Try to get at least seven hours of sleep per night, but be sure to offset fatigue with a natural energy boost to wake the body gently, like yoga or moderate cardio.
3. Eat Your Veggies
I know I probably sound like your mom right now, but seriously, a low-fat, vegetarian diet can have a positive effect on menstrual cramps.
Try to resist your junk food cravings and swap the sweets for a salad. It may not be as enticing as double-spooning peanut butter and Nutella simultaneously (don't pretend you haven't been there), but your body will notice -- and appreciate -- the difference.
4. Avoid Caffeine At All Costs
I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but caffeine often makes period cramps worse by stirring up the body.
I know your period makes you feel exhausted, and it can seem borderline impossible for you to function without at least one Starbucks trip every day, but it's in your best interest to switch to decaf for the week.
That morning yoga flow is looking like a good idea right about now, isn't it?
I know, you're probably thinking, "I'm not allowed to have coffee, and now I have to exercise?!"
But trust me, this one's key.
Exercising on your period can increase your blood circulation and ease cramping. Maybe start with a slow jog, and work your way up to a faster pace -- whatever it takes to emerge from under the covers for even a solid half hour.
Of course, you really have to listen to your body here. If your stomach cramps and fatigue are unbearable and you're on the verge of keeling over from exhaustion, take a rest day. If you can fight through it, well, you know what they say about endorphins.
6. Ease the Pain With Essential Oils
There are a ton of rollerball applicators for topical use, and the best oils for period symptoms are cypress for circulation, clary sage for cramps, ylang ylang and lavender to reduce stress, and peppermint for pelvic pain.
You can thank me later.
If you find it almost impossible to relax on your period and you're cool with needles, acupuncture is an option.
Of course, while it may not be for everyone, acupuncture can relieve period cramps by relaxing the nervous system, which makes it easier for blood to flow through your internal organs.
Above all, always listen to your body, and treat it with care both on and off your period. Give yourself the care and attention that you deserve.