Since I track my cycle and know exactly when my period is coming, I do my best to keep the five days of my bleeding phase pretty low key.  I know that my energy will be banging in my inner spring and summer, so the first and second days of my cycle are best reserved for taking things slow.

That being said, I am also the single mother of a five-year-old boy and sometimes life just happens.  Unless it’s one of those weekends when he stays with his dad, I can’t expect to spend all day sprawled out on the sofa with my journal and a bottomless cup of ginger tea.

If you’re feeling tired during your period and your body is asking for rest, that’s perfectly normal and you should do your best to respect its desires.  If napping’s not an option and you really do just need to power through, here are a few ideas to get you over the hump:

1) Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. Not drinking enough fluids throughout the day can make you feely sleepy at any time of the month, but especially now.  Before you reach for the caffeine, try drinking a liter of water. If you’re home, add grated ginger and sliced lemon to not only boost your energy, but also ease bloating and cramps.

2) Try spirulina. Whenever I feel myself dragging, especially in the afternoon, I take a few spirulina tablets to get me through. Spirulina is a source of Vitamin B1, iron and antioxidants and has the added bonus of also reducing water retention. If you’re new to spirulina, start out slow and gradually increase the dose.

3) Eat foods rich in magnesium like bananas, avocados, nuts, dark leafy greens, and raw cacao. Magnesium can help ease tension and provide sustained energy when we need it most. I also supplement with magnesium glycinate at night before bed to ensure that I get a solid eight hours of sleep.

4) Include lean protein and healthy fats in each meal to keep your blood sugar stable. When we overdo it on the sugar and simple carbs, the result is less energy, not more.  Make sure you avoid the rapid spike in blood sugar and the fatigue that follows by ditching the white stuff (bread, rice, and pasta included).

5) Keep moving. Even a quick walk at a brisk pace will increase your energy, your circulation, and help reduce cramps. It’s also the perfect way to beat the usual mid-afternoon slump.  Instead of going straight back to your computer after lunch, get outside for ten minutes, move your body and breathe in the fresh air.  You should notice a positive change in your energy level when you get back.

Have you tried any of these? Let me know in the comments if there are any that work for you.