If I have had a really stressful month I can guarantee I am going to have an awful period. It will start in maybe the third week of the month and it comes in phases.
Let my break it down for ya:
The first phase - Fuck Off
I will feel a little more anxious and annoyed, I am always upset and my temper is easily stirred. I clean and organise lots. I don't like food and I find it hard to sleep.
The second phase - #TotesEmosh
I am a teary, clingy, jumpy mess. I am way more likely to have panic attacks and be found crying about something dumb. I want all the food and I wake up really early in a really good mood, which usually ends around 8am. I will clean and re-clean everything, I bake and cook loads.
The third phase - Numb
I am really void of emotion and motivation. I just want it to be over. I don't get hungry. I don't want to do anything. I avoid people a lot.
Each of these phases lasts a couple of days or depending on the month it can be just the one. This month I seem to be flitting between phases two and three.
I have a few things that I do to help myself and make this shitty time better and I'd like to share them with you. I'ma be your fairy boss mumma and help you solider through dis shizzzzz, (Interesting fact: tampons were used to plug up bullet wounds, especially during WW1) so let's get to it:
I track my cycle as diligently as my brain will let me. I use the Clue App, it was mentioned in a Laci Green video and honestly it's the best I have used, since I've had an iPhone I've gone through a few and I've either hated using it or the icon but the Clue App has a pretty cool icon and navigation of the app is simple. The app allows you to pick and choose what you track things like your period (obviously) but also, body stats - fluid, temperature, hair and skin, vitality - energy, sleep and activities - sex, exercise. I find it really helpful to be able to track things like my sleep, mood and exercise. I feel bad when I don't tick the yoga option so I am likely to do just a few minutes at least to make my self feel better. You can also set reminders to fill in my Clue daily and other things like breast checks. They're are customisable so I may have made some inappropriate reminders...
As you can see I have a really awful sense of humour. I always laugh when they pop up but it is actually quite nice to know what's going on. My days sort of meld together and I'm terrible with dates so it's really helpful. I've been able to identify a lot using the app; last month my poor family had to deal with me having a really tough time, lots of tears and hyperventilating and with the help of the app I realised I wasn't sleeping well, was a bit miserable and stressed but I just hadn't really noticed that it had been a little while that I had been feeling down and that was what led to my anxiety spiking. I had been letting it all build up until I just could anymore instead of asking for help, which is dumb because all four of them always ask if I need help or a chat. At the end of the month the guys at Clue send you a cycle review, with some facts and tips. I really recommend getting the Clue app. It's free and a great way of keeping up with your body.
So, I love getting post, hate going to town to pick up my supplies and am terrible at shopping, My husband is always telling me to treat myself but I rarely ever buy things I don't need (unless it's food, but if you ask me - it is food so I need it) I decided to get a Pink Parcel after seeing it on Facebook. The monthly subscription service sends your supply of tampons and/or towels in the brand, absorbency and quantity you specify when the sign up and they send them out to you on one of three selected dates close to your period, along with some treats such as tea, chocolate, cosmetics, jewellery and beauty products as little pick-me-up gifts to make you smile. The first box is £9.95 and £12.95 (including P&P) there after, you can cancel anytime free of charge unless your Pink Parcel has already been dispatched then you will be charged for that one. Although I've heard that it's price is going down to £10.50. The packaging is discreet and elegant and I always look forward to it.
Here is what I got in my Pink Parcel this month.
The packaging is so pretty! I love the colours and organisation. I would love to add ribbon to the drawstring bag or a little tissue paper in the for you box. I love the Pink Parcel Post booklet! Super cute and concise but informative. I got all my normal sanitary products, although I'm interested in the organic tampons so I may try them next month. Omg the FabLittleBags are genuinely FAB! I'm gunna be ordering a couple of packs from their website (also available at Waitrose, Ocado, Whole Foods and online at Ethical Superstore). I love that they aren't noisy, you can use them one handed and they are partly made from sugar cane so they are biodegradable! #MotherNature
The nail polish by True Brit is so nice, it's such a pretty neutral grey! I used to wear a colour almost identical to it but I couldn't find another bottle when I ran out so this made me super happy! I'm really into my Simple products so I'm so happy that I've a travel friendly toner that I can take with me on holiday in a few weeks. While the Badger Balm smells gorgeous and is super calming it doesn't help me sleep, but it seems to be working on my little one, nap time was a breeze. I love the Lottie brush, it's super cute and soft, I've been using it for my brows. The Cougar Perfect Pout product didn't really do anything for my already pouty lips but it was nice as a lipgloss so I'm happy with it.
Omg the Rococo bar was delicious, I shared it with my son and he was so pleased. The tea was really nice too, I'm not sure if I would buy it as I couldn't drink it all of the time but it was a pleasant treat! And the fudge... I'll be persuading the Mr Husband Man for a box of this it's so good. My birthday is coming so I might just have a birthday cake of fudge! Fudge Kitchen, you guys down?
So this splits into a few smaller topics.
Like most girls I have a bunch of underwear set aside that I don't mind getting ruined but instead of them being old panties that got ruined at some point so they have been relegated to a sad life or boring ones that I don't like, I found a bunch of cheap, cute, comfortable, super soft and properly fitting underwear that I can match up with some bras that I have (because I have to wear matching underwear, even if just vaguely matching or I feel really uneasy) and it's made such a difference. I feel like I have my life together just because I am not loser in ugly mismatched pants with cramps. Also, the fact they fit really well means my pads stay in place at night and my liners don't bunch up or stick to me during the day.
- Sanitary Products
I switched from pads to tampons (Tampax Pearl in Regular with an Applicator) when I got married and I wish I had done it so much easier and cleaner but after being instilled with the fear of God and death when I mentioned them to my mother, I was terrified of dying from TSS and so decided against using them. As such I suffered more than I needed to but when I got older I looked into it and realised that like anything if you are careful about the proper use and follow instructions you're quite likely to be okay, so always your hands before and after changing a tampon, use the lowest absorbency you can, change regularly (between 4-8 hours), don't use them at night and use pads or liners for lighter days. I actually set a three hour timer on my phone after I've changed so I don't forget, with chores and my son three hours can feel like an hour and so it's very easy to lose track of time, anything can be dangerous of you don't use it properly/safely. I also use liners (Always Dailies flexi thin, non-scented and Bodyform Daily Fresh Mirco liners) to give me that extra confidence that I haven't bled over everything I love, I'm like "Fuck it! I'll wear white jeans, come at me Mother Nature". I cannot stress enough that finding the right products for you instead of just making do is such an important thing for you to feel as comfortable as possible when your uterus is going all Hari Kari on you.
- Pain Relief
So, I keep painkillers and hot water bottles close by, using them when I need to because I am weak, no it's not because I'm weak it's because it fuckin' kills. I have pretty shitty cycles so it just makes sense. I got stuff to do, ain't no pain gunna stop me- I'ma stop pain, motherfucker.
I will eat whatever I want. It's not the healthiest approach but idgaf. Ain't no bitch tellin' me to eat less chocolate and drink caffeine because it makes it worse. Bitch, it's bad enough who gives a fuck if it's a little worse. But I do have a few things that I've heard help - things that are high in calcium such as soy, sesame, cheese and almonds are good bets. So I like to pick up a pack of sesame snaps, some soy milk chocolate shake, a few nice bits for my cheese board and a pack of almonds just for me to nibble and graze on, if I'm honest I have no idea if it helps but they taste good. Oh and large navel oranges, the vitamin c in it is meant to help you hurry along the bleeding, again I have no idea if it does work for me but I do know I would eat crappy unhealthy food all day if it were my choice so it's a good thing to add. Just don't eat like 12 oranges in a really short space of time, especially if you have really sensitive skin... You may break out in Fordyce spots on your lips and they are awfully sore. I didn't do this... I heard it once :/
I don't just mean exercise, but very light yoga and such does help me feel less scrunched up and alleviate cramps ever so slightly. I do however suggest sleeping early if possible, taking time out of your day to do a something that you like, watching a movie that always makes you cry - I always feel dumb crying over a burnt piece of toast or something minor because it is just not really worth the energy but I can't help it so I like having a way to channel it that feels valid to me like Baz Luhrmans 1996 version of Romeo and Juilet. No but, Leonardo DeCaprio clutching and crying over a sixteen-year-old Clare Danes' body always gets me "Thus with a kiss I die" *SOBBING* NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
I find just taking some time to be alone with myself is helpful to me. I feel calmer when I've had some me time.
Let's face it periods suck but hey at least you can do s few things to make it suck less! Learning your body will help you to get more comfortable with it, one thing I've noticed since the last year, is that I'm less conscious of it. I used to use only scented products and be constantly worried about leaks and stains but I've now converted to unscented and I feel more in control and confident. But remember your body isn't a clock and day-to-day life stresses will have an affect on you. If you're suffering awful cycles or are worried about whether you're healthy/normal make an appointment with your doctor and find out - the sex ed in the UK is terrible but you can always educate yourself with the right sources and help.
Anyway, I have some of that Rococo Bee Bar left and I am desperate to eat it so laaaaaterzzzz and may your day be pleasant.
What's your favourite euphemism for periods?