9 Period-Related Promises To Make This Year
Tiny changes to make the whole thing slightly more bearable
Apart from confirming the news that you’re gonna be giving birth to zero babies this month, and maybe providing you with more of an excuse to eat an entire family packet of chocolate buttons in one go, periods aren’t good for much.
If you're yet to hear the tale of Sophie Kasaei's first period, then you're in for a treat...
In fact, thanks to all of that crippling pain, inexplicable rage, out of control emotion and y'know, your uterus falling out of your vagina, they’re probably the worst four days of your month. But haven't you ever heard of the famous phrase 'New Year, New Period'?
Yeah it's totally a thing (that we didn't just make up), so It’s time to step away from the green juice and the carrot sticks to make way for some new year’s resolutions that’ll actually make a difference to your life.
2018 is all about sticking to the period-related promises, so hold your left hand up, place the other on your heart and repeat after us that you're ready to commit to this lot when your period next rolls around.
1. I will stop risking my best knickers
Those brand new, box fresh, bright white Calvin Kleins that you’ve invested a small fortune in for that pampered peach of yours? Meh, it's kind of a heavy one and sure, it feels like a steam engine is working its way through your uterus right now, but what could possibly go wrong?
STEP AWAY FROM THE KNICKERS. Put ‘em down, leave ‘em alone. Don’t be that naive fool who bets that there’ll definitely be no leakage today, and don’t let your tampon be a traitor.
It’s January 2018 and enough is enough. Join us in a vow to stop risking it and ruining our best undies with stains that literally never go away. Leave the new undies safely in the drawer from days one through to four, and stick with your classic black granny knickers instead. Probably not very sexy, but definitely for the best (and knickers that come up to your armpits are always a comfy choice anyway).
2. I will try a mooncup
We’ll admit it. The idea of a teeny, tiny, squishy silicone bucket sitting quietly in your cervix sounds like it should be a no from all of us - but HONESTLY, believe the hype.
Make this the year that you trust the sanitary gods and discover the magic of the mooncup for yourself. There’s no doubt that pads and tampons work great for a lot of girls, but where’s the harm in trying something new?
There’s SO many benefits to using a menstrual cup - it stays put for 8 hours, they’re hugely beneficial for the environment, they're generally safer, you’ll save a ton of money from ditching your monthly box of tampons, and errr.. it’s weirdly satisfying to see the wonders of your own period in all its glory. Trust.
3. I will actually do some light exercise
When you’re curled up in the foetal position, wondering what you did in a past life to be cursed with this female existence and why it feels as though a T-Rex is chowing down on your ovaries, the last thing you ever feel like doing is hoisting on your sports bra and getting sweaty.
Wrapping yourself in a duvet and watching Friends for nine hours probably sounds much more appealing right now, but the age old advice of combatting period pain with a sesh of light exercise is unfortunately very wise and very true.
Nope, we’re definitely not talking HIIT training or a cross country marathon, but commit to a it of yoga or a quick swim and you’ll find that the cramps ease off a little. Moving your body can really help to fight mood swings thanks to the ol’ endorphins, so promise us you'll try this one.
4. I will stop being grossed out by my own body
It’s 2018 and somehow there’s still a MAJOR taboo surrounding periods, which can probably be largely blamed on the education that we all (but especially men) receive about them while growing up. Spoiler alert, it's basically next to nothing.
According to an ActionAid study, 54% of girls and women aged between 16-24 shy away from discussing their period, which really sucks. People seem to forget that periods are a normal fact of life, and many even avoid saying the word entirely. Y’know, ‘time of the month’, and all that jazz.
Let's start talking about periods with more positivity and pride. They’re an awesome thing, your body is COOL, and women are seriously amazing for bleeding out of their vagina once a month like it ain’t no thang. Whether it's PMS, aches and pains, period sex or any other pierod-related chat, there’s definitely nothing to be embarrassed about here.
5. I will always carry an emergency tampon
We’ve all been there, we all know THE FEELING. The feeling when you’re minding your own business, going about your day like a good citizen, only to realise that the period has struck without warning and… oh gahd, you didn’t chuck a tampon in your bag.
So say it louder for the people in the back. I, *insert name here*, solemnly swear that I shall never depart my house again without making sure that there’s a spare, life saving pad or tampon shoved safely into the bottom of my bag. Never again will I suffer the stress of folding up a load of loo roll and balancing it in my undies. I deserve better.
And also, who doesn’t love the girl who’s on hand with a spare tampon when another sister is faced with the horror? Everyone wants to be that girl, that girl is a total babe.
6. I will talk period poverty
Saving your best knickers and eating more chocolate might be fun promises to keep, but period poverty is no joke. In October last year, it was revealed that one out of every 10 girls in the UK is unable to afford sanitary products when her period rolls around, leaving her embarrassed, ashamed and often skipping school as a result. That's one girl too many.
We all take it for granted that there’ll be a stash of tampons in the back of the cupboard at any given time, but girls are literally missing their education and future opportunities because of period poverty.
If you believe that sanitary towels and tampons should be free to those who need it most (girls from low income families who receive free school meals), then you can find out more on the #FREEPERIODS campaign here). Talk about it, raise awareness, use your voice.
7. I wil get enough sleep
If you feel like you need to sellotape your eyelids open just to stay awake during your period, then you’re not alone. Life is better in bed at the best of times, but being due on and battling the cramps, headaches, bloating and emotional rollercoasters can really wipe you out.
Your hormone levels are all over the place as your body goes from high alert to totally drained, so it’s no wonder that you’re craving pillows and a blanket asap.
There’s a few simple and natural ways that you can give yourself a boost when you’re feeling tired. Obviously, try and get at least eight hours of good sleep, but drinking enough water, doing some gentle exercise and keeping your energy up with the right foods will also make a difference.
8. I will look after myself more
Being on your period is also the perfect excuse for a little bit of self care, so it’s about time that you also made a promise to look after yourself a little more when the time rolls around.
You’ll make your period a whole lot happier simply by treating yourself right, so listen to your body and eat intuitively, indulge in your favourite things like movies, bath bombs, pamper sessions and chocolate biscuits - and make sure to feel zero guilt about taking some time out to regroup.
You totally deserve it, so go and run that bath right now.
9. I will not let it stop me from doing anything
And last but not least, right here right now, let’s make a promise to never let our periods stop us from doing ANYTHING. Unless you conveniently want it to, because it’s always a good excuse to get out of a hellish PE lesson.
You can literally climb a mountain, dance until your feet hurt, sprint a marathon, take a vacay to the moon… Basically, you can be on your period and still do whatever you want - providing you’re also taking some good quality rest time and keeping your energy levels up, too.
If you do think your symptoms are severe and are getting in the way of you functioning normally, then have a chat with your GP, but generally nothing needs to change for the few days that you’re on your period. Do your usual thang while bleeding continuously from your vagina, because you’re kickass and it’s totally no big deal.
Words by Lucy Wood