How to Feel Better About Your Period and Respect Your FemininityMar 17, 2020
Your menstrual cycle is one of the most natural parts about being a woman. So why do we resist it so much? Instead of seeing your period as something you have to “put up with” as a woman, I’m offering alternative perspectives to help you feel better about your period.
Obviously, I hope you’re finding ways to physically feel better while you’re in the bleeding phase of your cycle, but that actually starts with how you feel about your period.
Resisting anything natural about your body leads to self consciousness, shame, and insecurity. Your body picks up on feelings on shame, stress, and discomfort which can manifest into physical pain.
Acceptance releases discomfort
Call me crazy, but once I started seeing my period as a good, useful, essential part of who I am – my cramps decreased, blood flow shortened by a few days, and I can’t remember the last time I spent all morning in bed because I was so exhausted.
Instead of resisting my period, I remembered there’s a purpose to all this. My body is able to create life – that’s a powerful thing, even if I never use that ability.
The reason it’s hard to accept our period is because of how it’s talked about in culture. This taboo subject is a monthly reality for 50% of the population, and yet it’s dismissed as a something we need to deal with, and not let it slow us down. Women are taught to feel shame and embarrassment around a powerful function of their body that requires energy, rest, and respect.
Instead, we hear critical things and respond accordingly. We’ve all…
- Tucked a tampon up our sleeve before walking to the bathroom
- Wrapped our tampon in toilet paper before throwing it away to hide the sight of blood
- Said we were too tired for sex instead of just saying we’re having our period
- Had our dad (or brother) walk out of the room in horror whenever we talk about periods, tampons, or pads
- Heard someone make fun of a woman for being sensitive and “she must be on her period”
- Talked ourselves out of bringing up an issue because we’re on our period and might be “too emotional” right now
- Felt bloated and hated the way our body looks right before our period
- Hidden our blood stained underwear because we’re embarrassed that we leaked
So instead of treating our body with care, respect, and patience, we have an expectation to “push through” and not be impacted at all. But that’s not a fair expectation.
When I switched from tampons to menstrual cups, I was able to see how much blood my body was releasing. I realized for the first time the amount of work my body was doing while I was sitting there poking at my stomach wishing it would go back to “normal”. Whatever that means.
Menstruation is a lot to manage.
The mental space it takes to track and manage your period is nothing to brush off. Will it be late, early, heavy, light, leak through the night, who knows! It’s a surprise.
More of my money goes towards replacing bedding, jeans, and underwear every year than I spent on my actual bed. Not to mention worrying about what it could mean if your period is late.
What does all this mean? You’re allowed to take it easy while you’re having your period. It’s justified. Your body is bleeding – just because it’s expected doesn’t mean it shouldn’t effect you.
Taking it easy doesn’t make you weak, it makes you respect the work your body is doing. It’s the mental energy that goes towards planning, monitoring, and managing the possibilities that drains my energy more than the physical loss of blood. So you’re allowed to rest – physically and mentally.
TIPS FOR A LESS STRESSFUL PERIOD
Using a menstrual cup takes a lot off your plate, management-wise. Instead of keeping tampons stocked and with you at all times, you just need to throw the little cup in your purse and you’re always prepared! It never runs out and it’s so comfortable for light or heavy flow days.
I forget I even have my period while using it!
You need a bulletproof birth control plan so you’re not wondering about pregnancy. These days I’m practicing abstinence for my preferred method. When I was having sex, I used a copper IUD. That saved so much mental energy around periods and pregnancy.
Less stress = less resistance
My best advice right now is to approach the situation with respect for the process your body is going through. This is a powerful, normal, healthy process that deserves respect from everyone.
The only person you can control is yourself, so respect has to start with you. You are not your body – you live in your body. So start seeing your body as a person you live with. If your friend was bleeding, would you give her crap for not making it to morning yoga – or would you ask her how you can help?
Your body is your friend, your forever life partner. If you want to feel better about your period, it starts with treating your body with care and respect.
DID YOU LOVE THIS?
My Facebook group – Confidently She Makes it Happen talks about all the women related things! Get in the group to have a place to talk, share, and be HEARD by women just like you.