Periods. They are a taboo topic. I want to try and change this and make everyone feel more comfortable around here. I find it so awkward to talk about them with anyone including my own sister! I hate when they come around – it’s like a monthly dread that I wish we didn’t have to deal with but we do and that sucks. I’ve learnt a few tips over the years that have helped me and hopefully they could be of use to you too. Think of it as a bit like a period survival kit to help you get through that time of the month.
So obviously the first thing I wanted to talk about was the essentials: pads and tampons. You are all probably rather familiar with what is out there in the market, however, there is one brand which I will always go back too. Always is my go to brand! All their pads just do the job and work best for me but I have heard that Veeda is a lot better for the environment as they are made with 100% natural cotton and are chemical, synthetics and dye-free. I haven’t got round to trying them to give you my opinion but Lauren and Amie have done a post about them. I usually pick up the Ultra Long for during the day and Always Maxi Comfort & Protection for during the night. I just find them so comfortable to wear that sometimes I even forget that I am on my period at the time. The other good thing is that they are so easy to remove but they still give you the ultimate protection.
There would be days that I would be laying in bed in so much pain because of the cramps, however, there are a few essentials that I turn to for help. The first is Nurofen specifically for period pains. I don’t know whether they are any different to other pain killers but they work so fast and are easy to take. If you don’t like taking tablets then I usually opt for a hot water bottle or a microwavable teddy bear. The one I have is a dog from Sainsbury’s and I use him religiously. Most of the time it is as bad as when I had appendicitis, no kidding! I have been to the doctors plenty of times about the pain but they don’t offer much advice.
Of course, chocolate is the first thing that I turn to around that time of the month. I have learnt that dark chocolate, such as Cadbury’s Bournville, will satisfy your craving and increase your happiness levels without being as fattening as other types of chocolate. Dairy is something to stay away from as that can increase bloating and just make the whole week very uncomfortable. Bananas are the next food I turn too. Whether I make ice cream, milkshakes/smoothies or eat them as they come. They are known for helping you to avoid cramps and reduce bloating.
Other foods I have heard is good for you are: hummus as it can help you sleep better and put you in a better mood, spinach or kale as it can help with cramps but is also a great source of calcium and nuts. Don’t forget to drink enough water to keep you hydrated, keep away cramps and help with bloating.
Pampering yourself is definitely a key aspect in maintaining your happiness levels. It helps me feel a lot more relaxed and a little bit more human. Warm baths are really soothing for my cramps and of course this means using bath bombs and bubble bars. Another skincare essential is Mask of Magnaminty. My skin ends up feeling oily and breaking out before, during and after my period so I’ve found this mask to be the best on the market. It’s so cooling due to peppermint oil and overall it reduces the breakout of my skin. The other beauty essentials that I use are Superdrug’s Feminine Body Wash and Feminine Deodorant. Not only are they cruelty free and suitable for vegans but they leave me feeling clean, fresh and ready to start the day.
Update: Since originally writing this post I have been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). I originally went to the doctors because of the pain. My periods were getting progressively worse and irregular. Many different tests later they diagnosed me with PCOS which explains why I was in so much pain all the time. If you do think the period cramps are abnormal I encourage you to go to the doctors. I keep track of all my symptoms using an app or the Health settings on my phone. If you want me to write a more in-depth post then I certainly can.
Do you have any period essentials that get you through that time of the month? Let me know whether you use any of these.
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