My first period of 2017 has been and gone. It was delayed, painful and wore me out. My body kind of lets me have two or three really easy regular periods, then hits me with a rough one. Of course, it is nothing in comparison to what others go through. Most of the time, I am lucky enough to just be able to get on with it. It’s a struggle sometimes, but I’m almost always grateful that I’m actually bleeding.
Part of the reason that I am so vocal about menstruation still is because I have the privilege of having manageable periods. Whenever I live tweet my period or upload a new period vlog, people always reach out to me. Without fail, somebody messages me because they don’t have anybody in their life to talk about it. Baring in mind, the majority of these people live in the Western world. So, if you’re ever wondering why I’m so vocal about anything, it’s for those who don’t have a voice.
During this period, I uploaded a photo to my Instagram stories of what can only be described as a ‘period haul’. Within minutes, I received messages from a number of people asking where I got certain products. People commended me for being so public and others simply wanted to talk. These responses gave me an idea for a post, here is my period survival guide.
Stock up on supplies
If you can, try stock up on sanitary items before you come on. There is nothing worse than being caught short, especially if you’re heavy. I try to boil my cup after each period ends but I often forget. In addition to that, I bulk buy Feminax and heat pads from the Poundshop when I can. Although I mainly use reusable menstrual products, I always try to have some disposables on hand just in case. I also try have some treats or foods I know I’ll crave ready too.
Have some place you can keep them all
A lot of people are put off reusable menstrual products because they seem like too much effort. It doesn’t have to be, there are products available to help eliminate mess. For example, Lunapads offer a wet/dry bag which is an absolute game changer. I keep all my period products in one giant makeup bag and it makes things easier.
Avoid things that will annoy you
This has got to be one of the hardest but rewarding things you can do for yourself. There’s a lot of ignorance in this world and it all becomes overwhelmingly present when you’re menstruating. A lot of people like to dismiss us on our periods and although it’s a completely unfair and frankly ridiculous statement, I do think it’s sometimes better to avoid things that’ll piss us off. You could piss me off any day of my cycle, but on my period I have no time for your bullshit.
There are ways you can try make your life easier on your period, here’s what I try to do. If there’s a big (or even a mundane) task that’s coming up, I’ll try do it before I’m PMSing. I track my cycle using Eve, so I have a good understanding of what mood I’m going to be in on different days (If you want to check this app out, you can use my download code ‘PCFGXS). Aside from live tweeting my period, I’ll try limit my time online too. If there is a conversation that needs to be had or a meeting, I’ll try schedule it for a day where my period is coming to an end. Of course, this isn’t always doable since periods can be unpredictable!
Have designated period pants if you can
Whether it’s actual period pants or just old pants, I try have some that I wear only when I menstruate. When I was younger, I used to save my ‘girl boxers’ and ‘big girl pants’ for my period. Now I have two pairs of period pants I’ll either wear on heavy days, or days where I’m out using my cup. I also have some high waisted pants that come in handy too. I wish period pants were more attainable and less expensive, hopefully someday they will be.
Up your self care and take some time out
Having a period is exhausting, especially when you pair it with every day life. I am just so low on energy on some days. The last few cycles, I have been wrapping up work early or scheduling some time out during the day to just do nothing. Whether it’s an early night in bed, a lunch time walk, or a day time bath, it’s really made a difference. I like to try have a little ‘self care basket’, which is made up of face masks and bath bombs.
As the title suggests, this is obviously a very basic guide. The last few periods have been quite rough on me and these are just some ideas that personally help me. I’m aware that some of these suggestions may not be very realistic or attainable for some of you. I think it’s important to note that menstruation is a very different experience for everyone. Some struggle with disorders that heighten certain symptoms and for others it’s a breeze. There’s no right way to get through a period and you’ve got to do what works for you! I’d love to hear some more ideas and suggestions.
What are your period survival tips?