Sorry to be exclusionary, but this one’s for the people out there with ovaries. Unless you really want to learn about periods. Then by all means, continue reading. Or read something else of mine. Then tell other people to read my stuff (okay okay I’ll move on).
Man, periods suck. You end up barely able to function for an entire week regardless of how heavy your actual period is, because the bloating and cramps and mood swings and cravings and everything are just so awful. Well, I’m sorry, I can’t change or fix that. But I am here to help you feel a little better when mensies sets in each month. Here are some of the tips and tricks I’ve picked up from living with “womanhood” for over a decade:
Keep in touch with your needs.
It’s important to check in with yourself daily, regardless of the state of your reproductive organs, but of course it especially is now. Before you start devouring all of the chocolate in sight and taking all of the midol you can, ask yourself in the morning how you feel. What do you think your needs are going to be? Will you be able to make it through the school day? Then plan for whatever your body is telling you.
(I’m sorry I don’t watch Parks & Rec) This is the one time of the month when eating anything is justifiable. Want Chinese food? Go for it. Chocolate? OH YEAH. Ice cream and chips for dinner? Whatever makes you happy. But don’t just treat yourself to junk food; take more down time. Take a bath. Lay in bed without studying a little longer. Color (I love coloring). If anyone gets on your case about any of this, just tell them that your body is literally ripping out a part of your body that IT BUILT AND IS NOW EXCRETING. They’ll shut up.
Hot water bottles are a godsend.
Hot water bottles aren’t that common in the states, so I hadn’t really considered them until going to the UK and seeing them everywhere. I bought this adorable teddy bear one and let me tell you it has helped myself and multiple friends through some really rough times. They’re great for cramps or just for calming you down and giving you a bit of comfort.
Tea can help your mood.
Not only is any tea naturally calming, but different teas have different effects on your body and emotional state. You can find teas for headaches, focusing, constipation, and, yes, you can even find PMS tea, a lovely cinnamon tea by Traditional Medicinals. I’m still not entirely sure if this tea actually works or if it’s just a placebo effect, but it definitely helps me feel calm and composed.
Read/Watch things you enjoy.
This one goes hand-in-hand with treating yourself, and you probably do it anyway, but I just mean that when you’re not feeling your best, it’s okay to take a break from your homework and even take a break from that show that makes you think about life and just watch Pretty Little Liars or the Vampire Diaries or something that really shuts you off. The same goes for reading: take that down time to read that youtuber’s book or reread your favorite Harry Potter book. You deserve this bit of happiness.
Try to stay active (when you can).
We all know one of those people that just runs off the cramps (ugh), but as crazy as they are, they might be onto something. Exercise is a great way to release endorphins and relieve stress, and supposedly if you work out regularly your periods might be lighter. Plus, the hormonal changes in your body during the start of your period make your pain tolerance higher and thus makes working out easier (in theory). But of course, don’t push yourself too hard. This one is for when you’re feeling ambitious.
When I was younger I never cared about tracking my period, and admittedly now I only really know when I’ll start because of my birth control, but it’s so much better when you have that day ready in your mind so you know what’s to come. Sometimes I just start complaining about it two days in advance because I can. Lots of online shops have cute little pad and tampon holders, which you can buy if you’re shy about someone seeing that you’re bleeding out of your vagina, and use to keep reinforcements in your bag. This will help you out if you start at awkward times of the day and will help out that person asking the entire public bathroom in the mall if anyone has a pad.
Ultimately, take it easy on your period, but don’t let it stop you from being productive, because then you’re just going to feel like you had a crappy week and didn’t get anything done. Your mindset is still what you make of it. Milk your period for all you can, because really what else is it good for? Hope this helps! x.