As you switch out your wardrobe to adjust to the changing weather, you might have also noticed your menstrual cycle mixing up its style a bit. What the hell? Believe it or not, the climate can actually impact our periods!
We know this can be a confusing revelation, which is why we’ve teamed up with health & wellness experts from LifeHub. Together we’ve crafted the perfect guide to help you maintain your menstrual health all year round!
What the bleep is going on?!
You might have noticed your period lasting longer if the temperatures around you are dropping, or even if there's a blanket of clouds continuously blocking out the sun. We know what you’re thinking, because it’s also the question we couldn’t get out of our heads: what the bleep is going on?! Isn’t a gray sky already bad enough, why do we also have to put up with longer cycles and uncontrollable mood swings?
Like most of us, our bodies simply miss the sun! But while our go-to remedy is to re-post vacation pics on Instagram with the caption “take me back!”, our body shows its frustration through our periods. Maybe the only logical solution is to create an Instagram account for our vaginas?!
Sunshine actually has a really big influence on how our body behaves, and lower levels of sunshine exposure for longer periods of time bring some pretty big changes. Levels of FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), for example, decrease. This means ovulation occurs less often and as a result, you guessed it, our cycles last longer!
Less sun also means levels of Serotonin and Melatonin change. These play a big role in determining our mood, sleep and energy levels. Since Melatonin is responsible for DHEA secretion, decreased exposure to sunshine often also leads us to be more aggressive.
Whether its the freezing cold or abundant rain keeping you in bed, skipping all those morning workout seshs is also to blame for our periods getting worse. Oops! Exercising helps with depressive symptoms linked to our cycle. During warmer & less rainy months, we all spend more time outdoors and are generally more active, so our mood swings are better regulated.
LUÜNA woman, Kaona, also struggling to leave the comfort of her bed (but looking stunning nonetheless!)
Food = happiness
We WISH this were a way to justify the copious amounts of hot chocolate we’ve been drinking lately, but it actually means a healthy diet can help our bodies and our menstrual cycle. In particular, you should try and eat more foods rich in Vitamin B6 and tryptophan, which can increase production of serotonin – our happy hormone. For tryptophan, these include turkey, chicken, seafood, eggs, buckwheat, nuts, seeds and legumes. If you want to boost your B6 intake, try instead fish, chicken, tofu, pork, beef, sweet potatoes, bananas, potatoes, avocados, and pistachio. Definitely not the worst diet we’ve tried!
If you’re feeling extra moody, we also suggest picking up some B6 supplements. Other nutrients to keep in mind are omega-3 in fish or fish oil and turmeric, which are both highly anti-inflammatory. Lastly, Vitamin D3 is a staple for the winter months when we get less sunlight. Vitamin D3 helps improve general well-being, immune functioning and reproductive health. Get that D, girl!
Okay... so maybe the vagina-shaped cupcakes we serve at our workshops are not exactly what the doctor prescribed... we're going to keep eating them, they're too good not to! shhh!
Shake your booty!
We’re not saying you have to leave the warmth of your bed everyday at dawn and drag yourself to the gym, but all of us should make an extra effort to keep active. This can be as simple as walking to the office (or even meeting your girl friends for a healthy brunch!). There’s a famous misconception that working out should be avoided when we’re menstruating. In fact, research has proven that exercising during your period can help reduce cramps! Just avoid excessive exercise as overworking your body can lead to physical stress and even missed periods.
LUÜNA woman, Sinki, enjoying some nice stretching outdoors
In general, you should strive to keep active throughout your whole cycle. It won’t only improve your mood, but can also help you have a more regular and manageable cycle. Finding small ways to move everyday can drastically improve your menstrual health!
Don’t talk politics at the dinner table
Last, but definitely not least, our mental health can impact our physical well being. Stress in particular leads to increased cortisol, our stress signaler, which affects hormones and periods. As the holidays are getting nearer, we have to put our mental health first. Try shifting the family conversation away from politics, and always have a ready reply for the inevitable relationship questions.
Another tip to remember is to get as much sunlight as possible. We know being cooped up under layer upon layer of blanket is tempting, but spending time outdoors can have tremendous effects! The sun can lift and stabilize our moods, balance hormones and increase our energy levels.
We've partnered on this article with LifeHub in Hong Kong.
Use the code LIFEHUBLUUNA for 10% off our products!
LifeHub is an Integrative Wellness Centre offering doctor-designed products and services that address the root causes of common lifestyle conditions like stress, fatigue, low immunity and poor sleep. We integrate the latest advancements in prevention, wellness, fitness & nutrition with individualized coaching to help you achieve your own optimal health. https://www.thelifehub.com
Medical advice in this article was provided by Dr Ho See Yunn, Chief Doctor of Integrative & Functional Medicine