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Harmony Within: Integrative Strategies for Menstrual Wellness

Amanda Winstead

Maintaining optimal menstrual care helps you to live a healthy, productive life. When you face challenges with your cycle, it can slow you down, cause stress, and make you sick.

However, taking a holistic approach to menstrual wellness improves your health. Nutritious food choices and customized fitness routines support a healthy cycle. Scheduling routines and embracing nature help you to achieve balance and harmony any time of the month.

Food Choices That Benefit Your Monthly Cycle

The best place to start improving your wellness is with better food choices. It’s ok if you don’t do this perfectly. There will be days when you don’t have time for a nutritious meal and others when you indulge.

You can select the healthiest foods possible during each phase of your cycle. What does this look like?

  • During your period, eat food rich in antioxidants, like nuts, greens, and colorful produce. Avoid foods that can be inflammatory, like bread and sugar.
  • After your period ends, eat carbs and healthy fats. Select foods high in phytoestrogen, which mimics estrogen, such as soy.
  • During ovulation, eat carbs that absorb slowly, like whole grains, lentils, and beans. Avoid anti-inflammatory foods and reduce your sugar intake.
  • The final week before your period, decrease those anti-inflammatory foods again. To ward off PMS, increase foods that contain vitamin B6, like chickpeas, salmon, or leafy greens.

Better food choices help you feel better. However, there is also a relationship between menstruation, appetite, and mental health. When hormone levels drop during menstruation, you are more susceptible to food cravings. Or, you may feel increased feelings of anxiety and depression, leading to a loss of appetite. Just not feeling well can also trigger your desire to eat.

To keep your appetite in check, take some simple steps. In addition to nutritious food choices, movement will help to keep you energized. Keep your regular schedule, but add in activities that you enjoy. If you are passionate about something, indulge in this activity, such as bike riding, gardening, or crafting. Doing activities you enjoy boosts your mood.

Another critical component of menstrual health is fitness.

Mindful Movement for Physical and Mental Health

Don’t skip out on exercise just because you have your period. To improve both physical and cognitive health, try mindful movement. Similar to meditation, mindful movement requires a calm and quiet atmosphere that allows you to focus on your breath and emotions as you exercise. If this sounds like yoga, you are correct - it is a mindful discipline. However, you can use this practice with any fitness routine, including dancing, gym workouts, and walking.
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You don't have to join a gym. You can use your home's open areas or maximize your garage for workouts and fitness activities to create a home gym that meets your needs. Figure out what kind of workouts best suits you. For example, if you’re suffering from back pain, you can choose exercises that strengthen your back. Beginners want to start slowly with a routine that builds a solid foundation for weight loss and strength-building. Moms can select whole-family workouts perfect for rainy days at home with the kids.

Whatever you choose, set a positive mindset for your fitness routine. Be fully present as you work out, and give yourself positive feedback as you go along. Be grateful for giving yourself time to add this to your daily routine.

Scheduling Healthy Habits into Your Daily Routine

Another way to build healthy habits is to integrate simple daily activities for a healthier you. Routines help us to be more productive. You can start with simple routines for rising and going to bed. For example, your morning can consist of getting up, stretching, and doing your skincare regimen. At night, you can prepare for bed with calming activities, like caffeine-free tea, meditation, and journaling.

If you’re a working mom, think about what type of self-care routine works best for you. Be realistic with your expectations and ask yourself what type of activity truly helps you recharge.

The best way to get started is to sit down with a planner on a Sunday and schedule your week. List your commitments, like work or school, then add space for fitness, breaks, meals, and morning and nighttime routines. Include time for walking, breaks, and exercise.

Reviewing the whole week helps you to optimize your routines. For example, add in cardio a few times and alternate with low-impact workouts.

Natural Ways to Improve Menstrual Health

While you should seek medical help when necessary, improving your health holistically is also beneficial. Caring for your physical and mental health with food and fitness choices goes a long way to ensuring menstrual health. You can also transform your health through other natural choices.

One way is by expanding your exposure to nature. Biophilic design is a way to add more nature to home design by adding plants and other outdoor items to your home. Research shows that just looking at photos of nature may reduce stress levels related to work, so be sure to add outdoor imagery to your workspace as well. And get out into nature as much as possible, even if it’s just to a city park.

Another holistic way to promote good health is to replace toxic brands with natural products for routines like skincare. Green tea is one such product that you can use to wash your skin. And, of course, you can drink it too! It’s full of healthy ingredients that support glowing skin.

There are many simple options you can take to maintain good menstrual health, such as eating for your cycle, incorporating mindful movement, and scheduling healthy habits. A more natural approach to life can also support a healthy menstrual cycle. All these elements allow you to fully thrive no matter what time of the month it is.

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NannoPad®  is a must-have for a healthier period. Super thin and absorbent, NannoPad is developed to help with your menstrual discomfort in a holistic and effective way. See reviews here. Incontinence version NannoDry® is available too!

Amanda Winstead is a writer from the Portland area with a background in communications and a passion for telling stories. Along with writing she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts. If you want to follow her writing journey, or even just say hi you can find her on X.  


NOTE: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Nannocare. Nannocare is not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with the author of this article, or any of its subsidiaries or its affiliates. 

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