It’s the first day of your period and it hurts, badly. You would rather lie down in bed complaining and rolling around rather than doing anything else. And it is completely okay, listen to your body. This is me, right now, so if you are experiencing the same welcome onboard.
First of all, let me start off saying that it’s okay, it’s normal, most of us have to endure these pains in order to have beautifully working ovaries in our bodies. Some less, some more than others. Me, I am currently awakardly lying down with my abdomen placed on a weird heating massage contraption, that I stole for few minutes from my family household, hoping that it will give me a breather. So you can totally picture where I fall on the pain spectrum at this right moment. Does it alleviate the pain? No. But does it distract me enough to write this article? Yes. And I must say, the heating part it is rather nice. But bleeding doesn’t have to be a burden, and it can be recognised as a extraodinary necessary part of our lives.
Please do also remember that if the pain becomes highly intolerable, not seeming to stop after days, or causing high distress, to contact your doctor. It is always a safe and good idea to get a check-up in order to avoid unknown underlying medical conditions.
I have been in the process of switching to a more eco-friendly lifestyle the past years, changing everything I possibly can at the moment, in order to live a more conscious life. So, I will reveal my tips and tricks to smile through our moon cycle minimising (or completely erasing) the use plastic, or trying to buy extra products.
Apply heat (make your own heating pad).
You don’t have a hot water bottle, heating pads or so on? Don’t worry make your own heating pad at home with the things you already have around!
Grab a clean pair of socks, insert as much salt crystals in one sock as you can, close it by pulling the other sock the other way around over it and heat it up in the microwave. Be mindful not to leave it in there for too long though! And here you go, you got yourself your own heating pad. Why salt? Salt is known to help relaxing muscles and it is easy to find in form of crystals (especially fancy pink Himalayan salt). Alternatively, you can use rice. Please make sure to creatively re-use the salt if you want to dispose of your little heater, for instance, you can throw it in your bath as to replace bath salts!
(Be mindful that usually applying heat around the abdomen encourages a faster release of blood, so you might experience more bleeding than usual).
I find that taking magnesium helps my body muscles relax. My favourite is the water soluble version which I can mix with hot water. If it is not readily available for you, or if the packaging is wrapped in unnecessary plastic, try to eat a minerals and magnesium rich and balanced diet. This includes nuts, legumes, seeds, whole grains, bananas and leafy greens.
Move your body. It’s plastic free, sustainable and the process expels toxins.
You can find many great yoga videos especially catered for period/belly aches lying around on the web. And if you are not in the mood for yoga, do still workout, it takes your mind off the pain for a while!
Did you know that smoking induces more painful menstrual cramps than normal?
My mother swears by breathing exercises to help reduce the pain, so why not trying some breathing meditation to calm the body and mind down?
So, that’s all the knowledge I have gathered in my twenty-plus years of existence. Please remember that commercial menstrual products are highly polluting the planet and creating heavy quantities of non-recyclable waste. More eco-friendly and actually economical products are menstrual cups, re-usable organic cotton pads, and liquid absorbing underwear. You can find different options for different needs, all re-usable and durable so that you don’t need to throw anything away at every cycle! Hope any of these hacks have helped you in any way, “happy bleeding” my friend!