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If you are a girl then in some way or another you have experienced or still experience that time of the month when mother nature just kicks you straight in the abdomen. Yes, I am talking about menstrual pain, cramps, irritability, PMS (premenstrual syndrome), cravings, being hot and bothered and everything else in between. At times it can feel like it is never-ending and just about nothing seems to work or simply help in easing your pain. Well fear not, I have a few tips that I use that may help you defeat or help subside that pain to a minimum the next cycle around. I am sharing with you some of my hacks that can help with your menstrual pain that I use and can say, has definitely helped improve my pain from month to month. So for starters, I would recommend investing in a heat pack because this on its own can be such an improvement and completely lessen your cramps by helping your muscles relax. Your cramps happen as a result of the muscles in your uterus contracting and by applying a hot compress to that area, you can instantly reduce pain. Applying heat to your abdomen will get blood flowing and relieve your menstrual pain while also blocking the pain signals that are being received by your brain. Dark chocolate is also said to help with menstrual pain and aids in regaining all the magnesium the body is losing as a result, and consuming anything whether a protein bar or an at home snack made from it will do your body wonders, by allowing it to rebuild that nutrient that it has lost. Some have said to be rather hot and bothered or in better terms, "horny" during their cycle and if that person happens to be you, then did you know that having sex can help with your menstrual pain? Well, more specifically, having multiple orgasms allows the uterus to contract during an orgasm and afterwards blood flow increases and your brain is hit with natural chemicals that automatically help your body relieve pain. That, by far, is a win-win if you ask me and if it helps your lady parts feel better then why not. Another option is by increasing your water intake and keeping your body hydrated. Dehydration can occur when your body is losing an excess amount of fluid every month and it is important to drink water regularly to assist your body in staying hydrated as well as helping it to recuperate. Taking a vitamin supplement like a Vitamin E can also play a part. Studies have shown that "women who took vitamin E supplements twice a day for four consecutive months reported lower pain intensity." So if you are looking to take a supplement to help with alleviating your menstrual pain, then of course always consult with your OB-GYN before you do so. There are also tons of apps out there that will help you track your cycle regularly and learning your own cycle can remind you when your menstrual is on its way and prepare you for the next couple of challenging days ahead. You can also incorporate lavender oil into your regimen because lavender is a great relaxer and it helps with acquiring better sleep, which in turn, can help with the discomfort. STAY away from caffeine and energy drink products as these can actually worsen your pain during your cycle. Caffeine can raise your PMS symptoms and elevate your estrogen levels and the same applies for energy drinks that contain caffeine in them as well. We all need a pick me up here and there but if you really suffer from horrible pain during your cycle then during that very crucial time staying away from these drinks can help in minimizing your pain every month. In terms of food and things you consume, if you lessen your salt intake during your flow you will be doing a great thing for your body. Salt makes your body retain water which makes you feel bloated and twice your actual size which is not a great feeling. So next time your friend comes around that next month, don't reach for that popcorn or if you are like me, sunflower seeds to help mend your pain, drink some water instead. I know cravings can get out of control but just cutting out salt will not leave you without options—there is always ice cream and who doesn't like ice cream. And last but not least, getting more sleep can help regulate your sleep cycle which can get messed up before and after your cycle. Not getting enough sleep can make your more cranky and less likely to make healthy choices like some of which I mentioned before. And as I have just told you healthy choices can actually help you conquer whatever Mother Nature throws at you. So next cycle try some of these hacks and tell mother nature she can shove it!