8 Ways to Relieve Period Cramps | Girl Talk Tuesday
I’ve been MIA, I know. But hopefully you’ve noticed my new website?! Hello Gorgeous got a beautiful new facelift thanks to my web design extraordinaire, Chase Jennings. The new design coupled with my travel back home to LA (Yes, I’m currently writing this post from the comfort of my own home in LA!) has set me back a bit. But, guess what? It’s my favorite day of the week… It’s Girl Talk Tuesday!
If you missed last week’s post, we chatted about “11 Things Succesful Women Do Everday” and before that, we talked about “Insecurity.” Both of these topics received fantastic response from you, my readers, which I really appreciate. I love getting feedback and knowing what you are enjoying as well as what not’s really working. Your responses teach me so much, so please keep them coming!
Today, I’m throwing y’all a curveball. We’re still very much doing Girl Talk, but we’re talking about the real girl stuff. We’re tackling cramps.
As many of you know, I suffer from Endometriosis. One of the main symptoms for an Endo patient is menstrual cramps. Not the “Oh, I feel yucky because I have cramps” kind. But the “My innards feel as though they are being violently ripped out of my body and I have no choice but to lie here in severe agony” kind. I’m not exaggerating. I have felt level 10 pain during a cycle that makes you think, “This is it. This is how it all ends for me. I’m going to die from cramps.”
Being that I have years of experience under my belt, I wanted to share some of my cramp hacks with you. I have tried anything and everything to get the pain to a manageable level, so I’m going to tell you which things have actually worked for me.
Before we get started, I wanted to say that I did a small Google search on this topic before writing this post and I was really surprised to see that there were no bloggers talking about this health concern. I gotta say, I’m kinda disappointed because I know so many women deal with this nightmare monthly. I only found health websites (Hello WebMD, my worst nightmare because it always leads me to believe I have a terminal illness) or websites such as Always or Tampax. Maybe I’m the only honest blogger out there? Or maybe I’m just way too open… Either way, I know that when I have a health issue, one of the first things I do is hop on the internet looking for answers or tips. I’m hoping this helps some of my readers the next time that they have to endure the worst time of the month.
My Cramps Treatments + Hacks:
- Pain killers. Such a duh, right? Wrong. I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to pain. I feel like if I can just “wait it out” then the pain will pass, so I don’t really need that Advil. So dumb. I’m not sure why I make myself suffer. The older I get, the less patience I have for pain, so I’ve learned to pop an Advil at the first sign of cramps to keep them from progressing to the point of losing my legs (not being able to walk due to the pain).
- Heating Pad. AKA: My best friend 2-3 days every month. Heat helps to relieve the pain for me. Some months I’ll have back cramps, others I can tell you exactly where my ovaries are located. This heating pad is my favorite one ever. It’s extra large so it’ll wrap around your back or belly easily. I talk about it more in this video.
- Warm drinks. Pick your poison: tea, coffee, cocoa… Anything hot seems to help, as long as you’re not nauseous. There are special tea blends that are supposed to help at this time of the month, but I’m a coffee drinker so I haven’t tried any of those.
- ThermaCare Wraps. You know those days that you have cramps but you can’t do what you really need/want to and stay in bed? I know those days. I hate those days. I had days when I had excruciating pain but couldn’t miss a class/shift/appointment. These handy little heated wraps are really something. When you need relief without a cord (heating pad) then these really are worth every penny. They don’t get as hot as I’d like them to for as long as I’d like them to, but they do the job.
- Hot Foot Bath. This one is an old wive’s tale that my mom taught me, and her mom taught her. And it really does stinkin’ work. When I would be on the floor in a crumpled ball crying from the pain, my mom would fill the bath tub with 1-2″ of the hottest water she could get. She would then dip my feet in the water for about 10 seconds, then take them out and repeat this several times. The hot water on your feet does this magical pain relief that I can’t explain. Obviously, don’t use water hot enough to actually burn your skin, but the hottest that you can safely stand. After the foot bath, next my mom would…
- Take a hot bath. My mom would then fill the tub up with hot water and make me sit in it to relax. Hot baths really do help to melt away the pain, stiffness in your body and also worries from the day. This is my absolute favorite bubble bath. The lavender scent helps to add to the relaxing experience.
- Get comfy. Get in your softest, comfiest clothes. Be sure to keep your feet warm, even if the means using the heating pad on them. There really is something about cold feet and cramps, I haven’t done any research on this, but for me it’s a real thing. I’ll link my favorite comfy clothes and socks below.
- Clear your mind. The last thing you need is stress on top of the pain. You need happy thoughts, so turn on your favorite chick flick because, girlfriend, it’s time to relax.
These are things that I’ve personally tried and have found work for me. What is your remedy for cramps? Do you get them regularly? If so, do you have to miss any work or school for them? I missed at least one day every single month of school then work before I had my first Endometriosis surgery. I still get cramps monthly, but they’re no where near as bad as they once were. Mine are now manageable. I just overall feel like I have the flu the first day or two with cramps, headache and lethargy.
If you have any topic suggestions that you would like to see my take on for future Girl Talk Tuesdays, please leave them in the comments section.
Shop This Post:
11 Things Successful Women Do Everyday | Girl Talk Tuesday
Welcome back to Girl Talk Tuesday! If you missed my first installment of GTT, check it out here. It was my most commented blog post I’ve ever written. I received so much amazing feedback from my Gorgeous Girls not only on the post itself, but everywhere from SnapChat to Facebook. Thanks so much for the love and comments! Today, we’re taking a different route and talking about habits of successful women.
My apologies for missing last Tuesday. Matt & I were in NYC for Comic Con as well as press for his new NBC show, Timeless. You may have caught a very terrified me on the Today Show with Kathie Lee & Hoda? I had no idea they would call me on stage and you could probably tell that by my face, lol! I’m a huge fan of theirs and they were so incredibly sweet to us. ♥
In my adult life, I’ve worn several different hats. I’ve been a college student, a career woman (I worked as a fraud investigator) and now I’m an entrepreneur. Regardless which category I have fit into since my early 20’s, I was always on the lookout to better myself to be more successful.
Let’s kick things off by first looking at the word success. According to the dictionary, the definition of success is: the accomplishment of an aim or purpose; the attainment of popularity or profit; a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity.
But, I could ask 10,000 women what success means to them and potentially receive 10,000 different answers. We all are at different places in our lives with different goals we want to achieve. Success looks totally different for every woman. The good news? There are habits that successful women have that we can adopt to have a more successful day, career or maybe even life. Let’s take a look.
Habits of Successful Women
- Put their husbands and families first. Seems like a no-brainer, right? Maybe you have no problem with this, but I can almost guarantee you that you know someone who does. Women are hard workers. We like to get the job done and get it done right. We like to better ourselves and our careers, sometimes to the point of bringing work home with us both literally and emotionally. When this starts to happen, it’s as if we lose the ability to turn off our work-side. A truly balanced woman understands the importance of her career, but also understands the importance of her personal life. Work is where you achieve your goals, but home (with your husband and kids) is where you achieve your happiness.
- They get up & get dressed. If you work outside of your home, this will sound like a total duh to you. If you’re like me and you work from home, then this one is probably an ouchie. I love waking up in the morning, rolling out of bed and working all day in my jammies. Seems harmless, right? Well it sorta is. But it tends to keep you less motivated. When you wake up and get ready for your day as if you work outside of your home, you tend to be more motivated. I don’t know about you, but a motivated Angela can just about move mountains. When I’m in my PJs I tend to move slower and think slower because it’s almost as if I’m in a constant “relax mode.” Is this a totally mental thing? You betcha. Sometimes we have to trick ourselves into thinking and doing certain things. This is one of them for me.
- Understand the power of the word, “No.” This is one I’m still learning. Used together, those two letters form the most powerful word in the English language. This skill is one we need to learn and practice in all areas of our lies, not just in work situations. Have a friend or family member who keeps asking for favors that you don’t have the resources to provide? No. It’s time we stop overextending our time, our emotions and our finances at the risk of hurting someone else’s feelings. You can absolutely say no in a completely respectful and loving way (my Aunt Gina always says to be “Lovingly Firm”). I can’t guarantee that you won’t make someone angry… But we as women aren’t in the business of pleasing people. We are here to live our own lives and achieve our own goals. If we consistently put ourselves aside to put other’s tasks ahead of our own, we’ll just keep running in circles. Just to be clear, I’m not saying to always say no to every person. I’m talking about saying no to people and situations that will overwork, over-exert and over-stress YOU.
- Delegate. Another hard one for me, but oh-so-necessary. I once heard a story about a hardworking momma who said this to her loving husband: You can have a clean house, good food or a working wife. I can do two out of three. Which two will you choose? That’s a smart woman. She realized that she couldn’t do it all. She was upfront and honest with her husband about it and gave him the choice of which task she would delegate to someone else. Not all of us have the resources to do this, but I have a feeling there may be certain things in our lives (work and home) that we could delegate to someone else. Delegating helps maintain sanity in my opinion. Doing it all doesn’t make us look better if we’re pulling our hair out from the stress.
- Take care of their bodies. What’s the first thing you give up when you get overwhelmed in your life? I give up exercise and healthy eating. I feel like I just can’t make time to get to the gym. When I’m stressed, I don’t care what I put into my body as long as it’s quick. Here’s the problem with that: the busyness that we’re experiencing is momentary, we’re stuck with our bodies and our health for the rest of our lives. Neglecting our health now will only cause problems down the road. I’m preaching this one just as much for myself to hear as I am for anyone reading these words on the other side of this screen. This is a biggie. No one else will take care of us. We have to stop allowing everything else in our insane day to hinder our well-being.
- Feed their souls. This is another big one. I was recently talking to my best friend, who’s a busy mom of four, and asked when the last time she took an hour or two to herself to recharge. Guess what, she couldn’t remember. How about you? What do you do when your soul needs a rest? How do you recharge? When is the last time you did that for yourself? For me, feeding my soul is taking time to dive into my devotional, studying God’s Word and quiet time. There is literally never a time that I’ve done this and walked away regretting that time spent. It’s necessary. It’s also highly neglected by me. I have to be super intentional to keep this a priority, but guess what… When I do, I’m a much happier person for it.
- Set boundaries. Boundaries is an ugly word to a lot of people. They don’t know how to establish them, so they just don’t do it. This one falls very closely in line with #3. Boundaries don’t mean that you are an unfriendly person. They mean you have enough respect for yourself and other people to create healthy relationships. If you have a person in your life who sucks the life out of you, or maybe makes you feel incredibly uncomfortable, establishing boundaries with these individuals will protect you from future situations that absolutely do not have to occur.
- Let go of their insecurities. If you missed my first GTT, then go back and check it out now. Successful women set out to accomplish a goal, and then they go out and they do it. They don’t allow their insecurities to hold them back from what they want to accomplish. They know what they are capable of, so they make it happen. They believe in themselves. They recognize the gifts that God has blessed them with and they study, learn and work towards their dreams. They don’t allow naysayers to rule their lives. They know what they want and they don’t stop until they get it.
- Get their hair done. Sounds silly, I know. My dear friend, Julie Solomon, told me that she had a girlfriend call her, after giving birth to her son, and that girlfriend told her to hire a babysitter and get her butt to the salon. She did. She left the salon with her fresh locks and felt like a new woman. I know that feeling. I’ve passed similar advice on to some of my own mommy friends. This one is more of a metaphor, but I think you get where I’m going with it. When you’re feeling down on yourself, go out and do what it is that makes you feel like you. Maybe you’re like Charlotte in Sex & the City when she was pregnant and feeling crummy. She needed to do what made her feel like Charlotte: start running again. So you’re feeling beat down after a bad conversation with your boss, go home and take that bubble bath. Whatever it is that you indulge in that makes you feel fabulous, do it. Sometimes, we girls just need a good indulgence to feel like ourselves again.
- Make wise decisions. In all areas of life. Can’t afford that handbag? Then be wise enough to not buy it. Dieting but really what to overindulge? Be wise enough to recognize the guilt you’ll feel tomorrow. In an unhealthy dating relationship? Be wise enough to see that your future self won’t be any happier with this man that your current self knows you shouldn’t be dating. Be wise enough to stop and think about the decision you have to make, big or small. Wisdom is something we all want and need. If you’re like me, you get in a hurry and do whatever, because any decision at all is at least a decision made. Wrong way to handle things, ladies. Be slow to think, even slower to speak but quick to listen.
- Organize their day. Creating routines and scheduling your day will cut down stress tenfold. When I schedule my day and actually operate according to that schedule, my day is 100% more successful. Creating routines that make sense for your day takes out the daily decision making that is so unnecessary. Doing things like prepping your coffee and lunch the night before frees up time the next morning. Routines for house work, grocery shopping and laundry are also major game changers in my opinion. Being intentional with your time is so essential for success. You have 24 hours in your day, are you using them wisely?
A disclaimer to this post: if you are a stay-at-home wife or mom, you are absolutely not excluded from these tips. You work every bit as hard as women who are in the business world. Nothing makes me more angrier than to hear someone talk about housewives as though they sit around and eat bonbons all day watching soaps on tv. Moms, you have jobs too. In my opinion, you have the most fulfilling and rewarding job of all!
So tell me, what are some of your tips and tricks for a success? Leave a comment below! xo
What I’m Wearing:
How to Look Great in Every Photo
Thank you to Colgate ® Optic White® for partnering with Hello Gorgeous to sponsor this post.
Fall is officially in the air! This time of year brings Fall family portrait sessions, wedding photos, Homecoming photos and Christmas card photos. Basically, it’s a major photo opp season!
Some high school seniors prefer to shoot their senior portraits during Autumn to capture the gorgeous changing colors of the season. A lot of senior girls like the ability to wear all the cute Fall sweaters, scarves, plaid flannel shirts and boots… And I don’t blame them! If I could go back in time, I would absolutely shoot Autumn themed Senior photos instead of my glamour shots-esque photos lying on the floor with my hair spread out around my face. I laugh every time I see that photo in my mom’s living room, LOL!
A question I get asked a lot, especially by my girlfriends, is how to look your best in photos. I wish that there was one magic tip that would make us all turn into a supermodel the second a camera is on us, but that’s not real life. Throughout the thousands (literally, THOUSANDS) of photos I’ve taken over the years, especially with Hello Gorgeous, I’ve learned a thing or two about looking my best in photos. I’m about to spill the beans, ladies! Get out your notebooks and let’s get this class underway!
How to Look Great in Photos:
- Do a practice run of your makeup. This is obviously a wedding day tip, but it should also be used for other important photo days such as Homecoming, senior portraits, driver’s license photos and family portraits of any kind. Steer away from super trendy beauty techniques. The key is to look like the best version of yourself. Play up your best features. Skip the hot pinks and use colors that you’ll look back on in 25 years and feel like are still classic choices. Do practice your highlighting and contouring techniques in advance. Be strategic to help accentuate your features. This will help to bring out the high plains of your face and conceal the areas you’d like to downplay.
- A bright, white smile. This one is such a no-brainer, right? Wrong. How many of us snap an important life event, then look at the photos and cringe because our teeth aren’t as white as we thought they were? I’m definitely guilty! I’ve evolved into quite a white teeth fan. Let’s be honest, white teeth help to make you appear younger. With all the coffee drinks and bold lip colors that come with Fall, I like to make sure I have a bright, white smile. Honestly, white teeth should always be a part of your beauty routine! The Colgate Optic White Toothbrush + Whitening Pen is the perfect way to whiten your teeth in a snap. This Colgate® Optic White® duo starts working in just one day, to get your smile whiter. Your teeth will be up to 5 shades whiter in three weeks with no hassle and, best of all, no mess. The whitening pen fits right into your toothbrush so you won’t forget to brush, whiten, then get out the door!
- Steer away from horizontal stripes. Stripes will only create the appearance of wider everything. Choose classic, solid colors. I’m specifically talking about clothing, scarves don’t fall under this rule. When picking out your wardrobe, again, steer clear of trend pieces. Stick with the classic styles and classic colors when possible. PS- if you want to create the illusion of a smaller waist, use a thin belt to accentuate your waist.
- Don’t forget your photo kit. What’s a photo kit, you may ask? It’s all the products you need to keep your look fresh for photos. Bring a powder to blot away shininess, hairspray to tame any fly-aways, makeup wipes to remove any boo-boos, baby wipes to remove deodorant marks from clothing and a mirror to check yourself before the camera flashes.
- Elongate your neck. This tip is a girl’s best friend. Push out your chin when posing to elongate your neck and hide the appearance of a double chin.
- Point your toes inwards. Sounds silly, right? If your doing any standing poses, pointing your toes inwards and sticking out your butt will help create a gap between your thighs. Ever wonder how bloggers manage to get that coveted thigh gap in every photo? Well, now you know. PS- Posture is everything. Pull back, but drop, your shoulders. Twist your torso for the appearance of a smaller waist.
- Leave the chicken wings at home. We’re all guilty of it. The hand on hip(s) pose. Leave it at home, ladies. It’s almost as bad as the duck face to me. I know, I know… You feel awkward and don’t know what to do with your hands. Do what feels natural. Maybe that’s a hand in your pocket or maybe just down by your side.
- Relax. Easier said than done, I know. Get in front of the mirror and find your best angles and side. Figure out how you look best. If you feel good about the way you look, you’ll automatically be more comfortable. If you’re comfortable in front of the camera, it honestly shows.
- Breathe. No, really! I once had a photographer I work with tell me to relax my face, open my mouth and let out a slow breath while faintly smiling. This allowed the stress in my face to melt away and the result was an easy, relaxed smile.
- Ditch the cheese. Smizing is a real thing. Let your smile reach your eyes, but don’t smile so big and so hard that you’re squinting and my face is scrunched up. You want to show emotion with your eyes and show happiness with your smile. If you cheese it too hard, trust me, you won’t be happy with the results. Just give your best, natural smile.
- Watch what you eat and drink. Steer away from alcohol and sodium filled foods the night before a big photo day. They’ll only make you look puffy and tired.
- Magic Hour. Meet my best friend, golden hour. Every one of my favorite photos we’ve taken is during magic hour. Because, it’s just honestly magical.
What tips do you have for getting your best photos? Leave them in the comments section!