You know how in the wizarding world, witches and wizards are afraid to say 'Voldemort' so instead, they say 'he-who-must-not-be-named' really, really quietly? That's how I feel muggles are with the word 'period.'
They're afraid to talk about it, and if they do, they use a bunch of creepy codewords that make the conversation even more uncomfortable. The majority of men almost refuse to understand it, and even some women like to shame other women for an act of nature.
But here's the thing: periods are inevitable and we shouldn't be afraid to talk about it. The conversation on female health should be loud, open, and empathetic.
Why are women being shamed for having tampons or pads in their purse or lying around the house? As if taking care of an inevitable health problem that exists for reproduction purposes is SUCH A CRIME?
I've always been pretty open about my period. In fact, I just spoke to Self Magazine a few weeks ago about Menstrual leave.
When I say 'I'm open about my period,' I don't mean I talk about it constantly and I make sure everyone knows when I'm on it. I mean I'm not ashamed of tampons and pads. I don't care if someone knows I'm on my period. If the subject of menstrual cycles comes up, I will not sugarcoat it or pretend it doesn't exist. And I don't care if men or in the room, because if they act awkward when a women talks about her period, they should go back to middle school.
Periods happen and every women deals with it differently, however, sometimes the pain can seem like a bit too much. Throughout my experience with my menstrual cycle, I've learned a lot about my body and my health. Here are some tips to make your period a bit more tolerable.
1. Drink TONS of water. Way more water than you usually do.
No matter the pain or problem, water is ALWAYS a solution.
Some women avoid drinking water because they think it will cause more bloating, however, that is nothing but a myth. Drinking more water actually makes cramps less painful and your flow less...well, bloody. Some women have stated drinking water actually helps their periods end earlier. And who wouldn't want that?
Carry a water bottle with you throughout your period and make sure to have one next to you while in bed. It can be easy to forget to stay hydrated, but it's especially important during your time of the month.
2. Make your monthly surprise a monthly gift and treat yourself.
At least you'll have something to look forward to! There are plenty of period subscription boxes that cater to your menstrual cycle and deliver you a box filled with goodies so you can survive! My personal favorite monthly subscription box right now is Monthly Gift. Every month, they send you tampons, pads, liners - or whatever mixture of the three you'd like. They also give you emergency chocolate, because, DUH.
Monthly Gift is aligned with Days for Girls, which offers financial support and resources for girls who can't afford the materials they need for their periods.
3. Think of yourself as a warrior.
You know those moments where you're at work or school and suddenly...it happens. That stabbing pain. You're almost certain you just got shot in the back. Or maybe you're going into labor. Either way, it sure feels that way. You could scream and fall to the ground, asking for help. But you don't, because you're in public and you have to move on with your life.
That's what the time of the month is like ALL THE TIME. Filled with pain constantly, emotional and physical. But we really don't have much of a choice, do we? As much as I hate my period, it makes me feel like a strong warrior goddess. The pain sucks, but you can own it.
4. Know your triggers and avoid them.
This is different for absolutely everyone, but there are always certain foods, drinks and activities that can trigger period pain and make it worse. The most common triggers are coffee, alcohol, and sugar, which is something most women can't get enough of on the periods. Over the course of your next few cycles, really pay attention to yourself. Do you notice any patterns? Do you notice your pain get worse with some foods, and better with others? Take those mental notes!
5. Get yourself a period-tracking app.
If you don't already have a period-tracking app, you're SERIOUSLY missing out. It accurately tracks your period so you'll never wake up with a surprise again. It also tracks your ovulation, average cycle length, fertility, average symptoms, etc.
If you think you're pretty in touch with yourself, wait until you get this app.
6. Tea, tea, and more tea.
Tea has beens everyone's favorite cute for everything for centuries now, right? My favorite tea for dealing with menstrual problems is Yogi's Moon Cycle tea. It's caffeine free, so you won't have to worry about it triggering you. Quite frankly, it's literally carefully built to support a healthy cycle. Lemon Chamomile is a crowd-pleaser, too! Any herbal tea will do wonders for you.