Let me state the freakin’ obvious here: periods aren’t the most fun thing in the world. I can think of better ways to spend an afternoon than curled up on the couch in a crampy, cranky ball. I have found a couple of fail-safe items that really do help make periods a lot less sucky. This is what’s in my Period Survival Kit:
I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to feel good about myself when I’m wearing a pair of saggy, daggy underpants. I know that a lot of women save their grungiest undies for when they have their period, but I don’t like to do that. To me, having a pair of yucky, “period panties” just reinforces the idea that periods are awful and makes me feel worse about myself. I find that slipping into a pair of cute, cotton underpants gives me a little lift. I got some gorgeous hand-made underpants from Katastophic Designs and that are perfect.
A soothing cup of tea is perfect for calming frayed nerves and settling a frazzled mind. I try to avoid caffeine when I’ve got my period, because I find that it makes my cramps and mood swings worse. Instead, I stick to herbal and fruit teas. My favourite blend is Twinings chamomile, honey and vanilla. It’s deliciously sweet and calming.
A heat pack
A heat pack or hot water bottle is heaven when you’re cramping. I have a microwavable heat pack that’s filled with wheat. It provides warmth and slight pressure to my tummy or lower back to ease period pain.
Luxurious bath products
Another way to ease cramps is to take a soothing bath. What better way to make a bath even more luxurious than with some fancy oils, bubbles or salts? My favourite thing to use when I’m feeling icky is my home-made tub tea. I mix milk powder, rolled oats and Epsoms salts with a few drops of essential oils. I make little bags out of old tights and fill them with this mixture. All you need to do is toss one in a warm bath for a soothing infusion (and the bag catches all the bits so you don’t have to fish oats out of your drain).
I infinitely prefer cloth pads to their disposable cousins. They’re more environmentally friendly, they’re cheaper and they don’t rub my lady garden red-raw.
In my experience, yoga is one of the most effective ways to ease cramps, settle your mind and sooth headaches. When you’ve got your period, opt for a slow, gentle practice to nurture your body and leave you feeling refreshed. My all-time favourite yoga workout for period pain is this one from Yoga with Adriene.
I’m not usually a big chocolate-eater, but I always get massive cocoa cravings right before my period. I always make sure that there’s a block of delicious chocolate in the cupboard to deal with these cravings.
There’s something so calming about the scent of lavender. I like to use a lavender body lotion to give my feet a little rub when I’m feeling a bit tired and emotional during the first couple of days of my period. a few drops on your pillow will promote restful sleep and a lavender-scented candle can be used to create an atmosphere of tranquility at your desk.
I find a good chuckle is just the thing to chase the monthly blues away. Laughing releases endorphins that actually increase your pain tolerance and improve your mood. I love busting out some of my favourite comedies and having a little giggle-fest to cheer myself up.
What’s in your period survival kit?