Even though the menstrual cycle is ongoing, many of us say ‘my period’ when we are referring to those not-so-great, 3-5 days when we are bleeding.
This phase is actually called menstruation. It is when your hormones (estrogen, progesterone and testosterone) drop to their lowest point of the month. Think of this as ground zero and day 1 of your cycle. Your body is exhausted and your mind is tired. Most woman lose approximately 2 ounces of blood during this time also making them prone to anemia and even more fatigue. So how do you make ‘ground zero’ better? Here are 5 easy tips from the Bloomi to make your next period a happier one!
1. Track your cycle
Cycles can last anywhere from 28 to 32 days on average, and every woman experiences her own set of symptoms and mood patterns. First, learn about the menstrual cycle phases then use a tracking app like Clue, or Glow to recognize what phase you are in and narrow down your individualized calendar. Planned Parenthood also has their own app, Spot On, that lets you track your doctor appointments and birth control reminders, as needed.
2. Stock up on period underwear
We are a fan of everyone creating their own cocktail of period products: tampons, menstrual cups, pads, or any combination (organic, of course). However, we can’t say enough good things about adding some organic period undies, like Lunapads, to your collection. Not only are they comfortable, eco-friendly and feel like regular underwear, but the advanced cotton absorbency helps you stay leak-free all day long. Your vagina will also thank you for these; since you are not absorbing your vaginal secretions –this happens with tampon use, your pH balance is easier to maintain. Lastly, buy a couple of these to limit your laundry duties during your period.
3. Use essential oils to prevent PMS, cramps and fatigue
Lavender is an essential oil that can be used to relax and alleviate stress. However, consider using other aromatherapy benefits of essential oils like Clary Sage or Jasmine, which help to alleviate physical symptoms of PMS and cramps while also increasing concentration. Simply add a few drops in your diffuser near your bed and voila!
4. Max out your self-care tricks
When you are menstruating, step up your self-care game. The drop in your hormone levels is making you more irritable, achy and tired. Plan ahead for more rest and less activities, when possible. Since you know your cycle days and mood patterns from item #1, schedule a work-from-home day, squeeze in a power nap, read that book you’ve been eyeing, make yourself a bath or take a cooking break by ordering take out.
5. Communicate with your partner
Chances are, if you live with your partner or you see each other often, he or she will know when you are menstruating. Letting your partner know you are not feeling 100% should score you some much needed alone time or some extra spoiling (whatever you prefer). Having sex on your period can also help alleviate cramps, headaches and overall make you feel good. If you’re worried about staining your sheets, use a towel or a waterproof mat like the Adult Play Mat, created by Sexual Wellness Coach, Dr. Brim.
Brown, S., Calibuso, M.J., Roedl, A.L. (2010). Women’s sexuality, well-being, and the menstrual cycle: methodological issues and their interrelationships. Archives of Sexual Behavior. doi: 10.1007/s10508-010-9630-3.
O, M., et al. Pain relief assessment by aromatic essential oil massage on outpatients with primary dysmenorrhea: a randomized, double-blind clinical trial. J Obstet Gynaecol Res, 38(5), 817-822.
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