Period Survival Guide

As a teenager, periods were something I absolutely dreaded, which seems fair enough. I was afraid to talk about them with my friends, my Mum or anyone for that matter and it wasn't until I was in my very early 20's that I was 100% comfortable discussing even the most awkward conversations surrounding periods. Now at the age 25, periods don't phase me in the slightest. As I'm writing this, I'm due on and have had slight spotting all day and I have a wedding to go to tomorrow, which will most likely be when my period is in full swing. Am I bothered? Absolutely not.

This year I came off my contraceptive pill after seven years on and off (mostly on) and hadn't had a period for 3 damn years. Three! Is this healthy or wise? Personally I felt not, so I ditched them and these days I'm artificial hormone free and loving it. But that also meant the return of my periods and in all honesty, I felt so out of sinc and not at all in tune with my body. Over the past few months, I've picked up on certain behaviours and habits of mine which I have come to recognise as coping techniques, little ways to make the experience a little more comfortable and a total excuse to spoil myself rotten.

1. Eat the chocolate, the biscuits, the cake...
I've been trying to eat pretty healthily recently and I'm also trying to shift a few pounds, but I have come to understand that during and just before my period, I bloat and I'm sore and I just want to relax about it all. After all, it's only a few days and a couple of chocolate bars aren't going to instantly go to your hips. Allow yourself to have a little treat and enjoy it. And not just sweet treats; one evening I'd planned to have a salad and just felt my body was crying for something a bit more 'wholesome' so I made up some vegan spag bol instead. Don't deprive your body in it's time of need, nurture it.

2. Yoga
Leading on from No. 1, exercise is something I try to implement into my daily routine but as we all know, this can be a little uncomfortable, daunting and the last thing we're thinking about when we're suffering. What I discovered was yoga for periods and I especially love Adriene's videos on YouTube. This particular session leaves me so relaxed and comfortable, plus it involves fluffy pillows and blankets.

3. Movie Marathons
Allow yourself the time to properly relax, snuggle up on the sofa with a delicious coffee, tea or a hot chocolate, whack on your favourite pjams and even drift away if that's what you feel like doing. You can't go wrong with Disney movies especially or even a favourite childhood classic...Mrs. Doubtfire and Hook are some personal favourites of mine. Can you tell I adore Robin Williams? I also love to use my microwavable unicorn plush as it doesn't get as warm as a hot water bottle and is lovely and soft - perfect for cuddling around your tum.

4. Pamper Yourself
This month, I made sure I paid special attention to my face since I have been suffering with a bit of detox acne after switching to a vegan diet and I got out some essential oils, did a facial steam followed by a face mask and a thorough moisturise. And don't stop there, dig out the scrub, paint those nails, heck I even cut my own hair! It desperately needed a trim to get rid of loads of split ends so I followed a YouTube tutorial and it turned out really well. I also ask James to brush my hair which I'm sure most people will be able to relate to as one of the best feelings in the world, someone else brushing your hair. 

5. Try Different Menstrual Products & Donate
My July period was my worst one yet this year and I struggled a little bit in all honesty. Usually, my immediate go to is my Moon Cup but since I was feeling so sensitive, I decided my cloth pads were enough and let me tell you, they're so comfy! It feels like such a treat in your knickers - don't laugh I'm being deadly serious. I've also this month bagged up all of my new tampons and will be donating them to The Homeless Period since I will no longer be using them after switching to more environmentally friendly products. Rather than throw away perfectly good sanitary items, you can donate them to women who haven't got anything at all. Being on the streets is awful enough, without the dread of your period coming and nothing to handle it with. The Homeless Period have various collection points around the UK, just pop your location into a search and they'll tell you where your nearest one is.

I think the most important thing to remember is to cut yourself some slack during your period and not be too hard on yourself. After all, emotions are a little more sensitive during this time and your body needs just a little more loving. Even if that means eating Biscoff Cookie Spread straight out of the jar, I 100% back your decision! Popping one of those jars into your donation bundle is also bound to make someone's day a little brighter.

Thanks for reading,

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