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Little things, like more vitamin C, can really make a difference.

No matter what tampon and pad commercials want you to believe, getting your period can be a real bummer. But it doesn’t have to be completely miserable. There are little steps you can take in the days before your period comes to reduce the painful and uncomfortable symptoms that come along with it. They can also help you be more at ease while managing your personal schedule during your cycle. Though the tips might not make the bloating or headaches disappear completely, they will certainly make your monthly visitor a lot more bearable. Read on for the steps to a better period:

1. Watch what you eat

Avoid foods and drinks with salt, alcohol, or caffeine in the days before or after your period. According to Examiner, these substances can increase the symptoms of PMS and cramps. Putting salt in your body can also heavily increase bloating, if that’s a symptom you experience during your period.

2. Fruits and veggies

Focus instead on fruits and vegetables during those days. Vitamin C, found in fruits like oranges and vegetables like Brussels sprouts, and potassium, found in fruits like bananas, are great for reducing any bloating that might result from your period, and other symptoms of PMS.

3. Get up and work out

Just because you’re on your period doesn’t mean that you have to eliminate your workout from your schedule. Actually, the exact opposite may be true. Shape magazine reported that exercising could ward off any fatigue you may experience during your cycle, as well as make your night’s rest a little better.

4. OTC meds

Over the counter medication can really work wonders when experiencing pain from menstrual cramps or headaches. I personally recommend Advil. A couple of Advil per day as needed and my headaches usually disappear or at least become less painful within a few minutes.

5. Tampons

Avoid wearing tampons at night. Yes, you can wear tampons for up to eight hours. But you could oversleep, and it’s not very healthy to leave them in for a longer period of time. There’s also a risk of staining your clothes or even your bed if you leave them in too long, and no one wants that.

6. Sleep in

When you are in bed, make sure you get plenty of rest. Stress can increase symptoms of PMS as well as the heaviness of your flow, so it’s important to relax yourself and keep your body in a positive balance. A good night’s sleep is definitely an important step to getting there.

7. Apply heat

During the day, heating pads found at drugstores like Walgreens can help ease any pains you might still have and can serve as a general relaxant if you find yourself needing some stress relief. Just make sure to monitor the heat so it doesn’t burn your skin, and take extra caution not to fall asleep while using the heating pad.

8.Check out the waistband

Though it may seem obvious, remember to wear comfortable clothes that aren’t too tight. Also, keep your purse stocked up with feminine hygienic supplies and any meds you take regularly during your cycle. It always pays to be prepared!

Know any other tips or tricks to making that time of the month a little better? Leave them in the comments below.

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