We’re not going to sugarcoat it: Having your period sucks. You’ve got cramps, you’re bloated and all you want to do is curl up under the covers and binge-watch Inside Amy Schumer. Unfortunately, having your period isn’t an excuse to stop everything and veg. That’s why it’s so important to take extra good care of yourself, starting with these five tips.

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Know When It's Coming

Getting caught off guard by your period just adds insult to injury. Instead, use a period tracking app (we like Clue) for a super-accurate estimation of when you can expect to give your white jeans a rest for a few days. We also love the idea of a tampon subscription service like Monthly Gift (which also has a period-tracking component). You’ll never be without supplies—including chocolate.

RELATED: 8 Reasons Why Your Period Might Be Irregular

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Eat Smarter

Your stomach is telling you fried Oreos are the answer to your misery, but your brain knows the truth: What you put into your body during your period has a huge impact on how you feel. You don’t have to go totally raw and organic, but aim to get the essential nutrients and vitamins your body needs without a ton of processed sugar and empty calories.

RELATED: Here’s What to Eat the Next Time You’re On Your Period and Hating Life

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And Lay Off the Bottle

Sad but true: Alcohol can exacerbate period symptoms. In addition to increasing breast tenderness, that glass of red wine might lower your blood sugar, making you feel more tired and irritable. Sub the rosé for water for a few days, then bid Aunt Flo farewell with a strong drink.

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Paramount Pictures

Take Extra Care of Your Skin

Unless you’ve been blessed with a flawless complexion, your skin probably gets wacky around your period due to all the shifting hormone levels. Be extra vigilant with your skin-care routine to get ahead of any breakouts. The last thing you need when you’re already feeling crappy is a massive (preventable) pimple on your forehead.

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Know Your Limits

You know your body better than anyone, and your period’s as good a time as any to actually listen to it. Even if the whole world is saying that a workout will make your cramps feel better, if you really don’t feel like hitting the gym, don’t. By this point you’ve probably had your fair share of periods—trust that what your gut is telling you is accurate.

RELATED: Paid “Period Leave” Is Officially a Thing

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