Get to know your body through a better understanding of your anatomy and find the answers to some of your most common questions.
We’re not saying that a supplement or a cup of tea is going to magically take away your period pain, but rather we are inviting you to shift your mindset and behavior around your cycle and period by starting to listen and trust what your unique body is trying to tell you, what it needs to heal.
Here are some of the practices that we’ve learned and adopted ourselves to better manage our discomfort and pain.
Practice Menstrual Cycle Awareness by starting to track your entire cycle, not just your period days. You can use a period tracking app or a pen and paper. Start to become more aware of how you feel at different phases of your cycle, note the feelings down, and try to notice patterns. By tracking all the days of your cycle, not just menstruation, you will start to see how intricate this inbuilt system is and how cyclical we are.
We are living in unprecedented times where we are always going somewhere or doing something. Menstruation is demanding that we slow down and reconnect with ourselves. We know responsibilities, schedules, and duties can make that difficult, but if you are more aware of when your period is coming, you can start to adjust your schedule to slow down around that time. It's the time to say "yes" to ourselves and "no" to the outside world.
Menstruation's role is to undo you, so you can experience some true respite. Then it puts you back together again, freshly minted to go out and conquer the world once more.The Red School
While you're bleeding, try to take it easy with your workouts. Your body is doing so much work right now, so allow it to rest. Go for walks and opt for other forms of gentle movement, like stretching or gentle yoga. Nourish your body with foods that are warm and rich in iron and vitamin B to support blood loss and low energy. Loading up on good fats can also help stabilize your mood. Some suggestions are soups, stews, salmon, red meat, dark leafy greens, beets, brown rice, dark berries, flaxseeds, and pumpkin seeds.
This is meant to be a time for you – a time to rest, nest, and recuperate. Although we resist that, because we want to go about our day as if nothing were happening (perhaps to prove that we are no different than men and periods don’t hold us back), we are only denying our own needs by doing so.
We are not suggesting you change your whole life and routine according to your period, but try to carve out some time for you, to do what might ease your discomfort and allow your body to get into a resting state.
If you’re too distracted with the outside world and not paying attention to yourself and your needs, your body is going to try to get your attention, and sometimes in the form of pain. One of the best ways to mitigate pain is to actually listen to what it’s trying to tell you. Next time you start to feel pain or discomfort and you feel the same old emotional response (frustration, annoyance, anxiety), take this as an invitation to stop and reflect. What if P.A.I.N. was your body’s way of saying "Pay Attention Inside Now"?
Menstruation is a shedding of the past and a start of something new. Once we start to shift our perception of menstruation, our attitudes and behavior can also change.
The range of pain and discomfort during and before a period varies very much from woman to woman. As we've said before, debilitating or severe pain is not normal, and we recommend you see a healthcare professional who can help you get to the root cause of that pain. If they dismiss your pain as “normal,” try to find someone else who listens to you and is willing to help.