5 Steps to An Easier Period
The topic of menstruation is usually a topic people try to avoid as much as possible, or a topic that intrigues a lot of people. For me it’s the latter one and it all started with using my menstrual cup. I started using it for environmental reasons but when I discovered the other benefits it brought me, such as : know my body better, understanding my cycle and how it relates to my psychology, the impact I have on the nature, and … comfort.
Yes comfort. But comfort is very personal and so is the use of sustainable menstruation alternatives.
Whether you like the cup, the washable pads, or the underwear, your comfort should be your priority. It may take a couple of trials for you to figure it out, but in the meantime here are a 5 steps that helped me!
1. Track your period
Whether it’s with an APP (Clue, Glow, My Calendar, …) or just your regular calendar, tracking your period makes it easier for multiple reasons:
At the bare minimum, keeping track of the first day of your period each month is enough to help you notice most irregularities and it can also help you prepare yourself for other symptoms related to menstruation.
2. Be prepared
Now that you know when to expect your period, time to think about preparing the things:
Clean you cup by putting it in boiling water for 10 min (+ a drop of natural soap optional)
Keep your cup/ pads nearby
Washable Pads: Get your water resistant little pad bag for when you exchange your pads during the day
Prepare the cold water basin to soak in your pads at the end of the day
Tip: I keep a plastic water bottle with me to use/ clean when I am not at home to rinse out my cup.
3. Get to know your body
This is important because it helps you to notice and maybe anticipate some possible health issues. Your body fluids reflect the health of your body and anything out of the ordinary is a good and reliable clue that something might be better.
Also you are much more aware on how your body functions:
“A lot of women don't even realize how many aspects of their lives are dictated by their menstrual cycle, at least during certain parts of the month. When you track how you feel as your cycle approaches, you can learn some pretty interesting things about your habits. For example, you may find that you tend to eat everything in sight on the first day of your period. You can use that knowledge to make sure you have healthy snacks on hand to indulge those urges. Or, it might be that tracking your energy level shows you that you are always exhausted on day three of your period, or that you get a headache before your period starts each month. When you track every aspect of your cycle, you won't be blindsided by your body's reactions to menstruation.”
4. Find your fit
The cup might not be for everyone, but there are a lot of ways to avoid chemical-filled and plastic tampons and pads.
Our favorite options are:
The cup: easy, leak free, safe, comfortable, high return on investment (4 months), great for the environment, ...
The washable pads: soft, safe, comfortable, good return on investment (9 months), great for the environment, double protection when used with cup, ...
SheThinx Underwear: easy, safe, comfortable, leak free, elegant, good return on investment (8/9 months), ...
5. Treat Yourself
Your menstruation is a time for your body to take it slow. It’s not a surprise that in certain cultures, women are set aside from society and daily chores (heck, don’t we wanna be by ourselves, away from responsibilities when we’re on our period?), or not allowed to fast (well yes, your body needs all the love, care and resources it needs).
In TCM, your week of period equals the winter season of your cycle, the time when energetically you’re going inwards instead of outwards. It’s like looking at a tree in winter, it looks bare and fragile from the inside, but all the energy is working on the inside.
So take it slow, stay home with a nice bottle of wine, or a hot tea. Treat yourself with some of your favorite snacks, watch a movie, maybe have a friend over. Let your partner know that you need the down time. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling tired or unproductive, nothing in nature is blooming all year long.