That’s something I loooove talking about. It’d probably be in the top 5 of my favourite conversational topics if I had such a ranking. And no, I’m not talking about punctuation.
I’m talking about periods, cycles, menstruation, that time of the month, Niagra Falls… whatever you want to call it.
Again and again I realise that some girls feel completely uncomfortable and embarrassed about their periods. Oftentimes society tells us that it is another thing on the long taboo list, something gross that you should never, ever talk about. EVER.
Screw that! It happens once a month, it hurts, it is uncomfortable and it is the most natural thing ever. The female body performs a miracle once again and I’m supposed to shut up about it? Nope. I’m not having that.
When PMS hits (the time before the period starts) and your emotions are all over the place, you might often find yourself crying about the most irrelevant things. Maybe you are angry and want to destroy every fancy cake you see in the bakery, or you might be extremely tired because your body is planning to throw all kinds of things at you in the following week. That’s okay! I’m not encouraging violence, please don’t smash those cakes to pieces, but just know that this state is completely normal and it will pass.
Do you want to cry in public for no apparent reason? Go ahead, it’s quite liberating actually.
What about cramps? They are lovely!! Sarcasm. They can be absolutely horrific. The first few days of your period are often the worst. There are the small tugs that cause some discomfort and then there are the so-called Murder Cramps. They make you double-over and think you’ll die in your bed as you curl into a tiny human ball. Little tip here: do not drink coffee when that happens. Caffeine just makes it worse!! Been there, done that.
Instead get some sleep, drink lots and lots of water and eat healthy food that’s high in iron. For example broccoli or dark, leafy greens are amazing to keep you fit. Some people like to do yoga to stretch their bodies, others rumble through their drawers to find a hot water bottle. There’s no exact science behind this, do what feels right to you.
Grab some chocolate while you are at it. Your body is probably craving some carbs because it is performing some intense work down there in your tummy. Make sure it has enough energy and water to do that efficiently and it will all be over soon.
Never forget to take good care of yourself when you are on your period. It is a mentally and physically draining time of the month but it is also part of being a female human which enables you to have children. Not every woman may have that privilege.
Keeping track of your period is probably one of the best things you can do to get to know yourself better. There are many books and apps out there that can help you. Personally I am using the app ‘Clue’. It’s great because you can make note of any observations you have and it will notify you when PMS starts, your cycle is about to begin and when you are ovulating. Additionally, it never hurts to brush up on your biology classes to understand the processes that take place every month. The internet can be a great resource as well, just keep in mind that not everyone is a doctor. If you have severe problems, you should probably get that checked out sooner rather than later. Stay healthy, ladies.
Lastly, it is important to communicate. Talk to your girl friends about your experiences, talk to your mothers or aunties or whoever may have some advice. Talk to anyone about periods to get rid of this stigmatized view that still prevails. Educate the guys that don’t know better. Periods are not gross, they are completely normal so do not shy away from talking about them.