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It’s time for some real girl talk ladies.
Time to talk about some things that we’re not always comfortable talking about. Maybe it’s not even that we’re uncomfortable, but we just avoid talking about it because we don’t want to remind ourselves of that dreaded time of the month.
Yeah, I’m talking about our periods and our lady bits.
Menstruation and vaginas.
Whatever terms you want to use, we’re talking self care on your period today! Because did you even think about the fact that you should be practicing self care on your period? Probably not. So I’m sharing some simple self care practices and tips that you can use to make that time of the month a little less unpleasant.
Self Care on Your Period: The Ultimate Guide
1. Tea, Tea, and More Tea
Drinking tea is one of my favorite simple self care practices for any time of the month. Yeah, I love coffee, but tea is a much better option while you’re on your period for a few different reasons. When your uterus is practically falling out, the goal is to relax and be calm, and we all know coffee does the exact opposite of that. There are many different teas with calming properties that are perfect for when you’re on your period, such as chamomile and peppermint. Rose tea is another one commonly used for soothing menstrual cramps. Chamomile tea is also effective for menstrual cramps because it relaxes your muscles. So brew a cup and sip on it slowly to calm your raging uterus.
2. Use a Heating Pad or Warm Cloth for Cramps
I get pretty bad cramps on the first day of my period. Sometimes I feel like World War III is going down there, and I can barely walk. It’s not as bad as it used to be when I was high school, but over the years my heating pad has become my best friend. I use a heating pad that I can throw in the microwave for about a minute and then apply it to my abdomen, back, or legs. Whatever is hurting. Another option is to use a warm wash cloth. This doesn’t stay hot as long, but you can add some essential oils to it to pump up the relaxing effects. Add ylang ylang, lavender, or peppermint oil to your warm compress to reduce stress and cramping! Harness the power of essential oils for your period girl, you deserve the best.
3. Diffuse some Mood Boosting Essential Oils
We can definitely get a little grumpy, sad, anxious, and/or stressed while on our period. Unfortunately I can’t help you turn your period into the happiest time of the month (that’s probably impossible). However, you can do little things to boost your mood and help you feel a little more positive despite your very active and messy uterus. So grab an oil diffuser and some of the following magical oils:
- Bergamont: a highly stimulating oil that promotes happiness and boosts energy through improving blood circulation
- Lavender: how many times have I recommended lavender oil on my blog though? Lavender oil is great for relieving stress because of its calming effects
- Sweet Orange: increases feelings of happiness and warmth
- Jasmine: also reduces stress and produces feelings of confidence and optimism
- Rosemary: fights physical exhaustion. Because we all know we become queens of laziness while we’re on our period
- Lemon: another calming oil. Also promotes concentration
4. Eat Food Rich in Protein, Healthy Fats, and Iron
Self care is also about how we treat our insides. When you’re on your period, you’re losing a lot of blood so it’s really important to make sure you’re well nourished. Since you’re losing blood, you’re losing iron. Eat foods rich in iron such as grass fed beef, spinach, dark chocolate (yes, chocolate!), lentils, black beans, pistachios, and tomatoes. Many of those also give you the protein that you need. Then, throw in some healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, nuts, salmon, eggs, and cheese. Warm food is especially comforting on your period for the same reason as hot tea, so use that to your benefit too!
5. Use Feminine Products with Ingredient Disclosure
Speaking of how we treat our insides have you ever stopped to think about what the heck goes into tampons and other feminine care products? I mean, we’re putting those things inside our ‘hooha’ which is the most delicate and sacred area of our bodies. With that said, we have a right to know what’s inside the feminine products we use, and trust to take care of our sensitive areas during that time of the month.
To ease my mind about this mystery surrounding the ingredients in tampons I use Seventh Generation feminine care products because the ingredients are disclosed directly on the packaging. Their Free & Clear certified organic cotton tampons are hypoallergenic, and don’t contain any artificial dyes or any sort of fragrance, natural or artificial, making them perfect for sensitive skin. I’ve personally been loving the new Seventh Generation Comfort Applicator Tampons (18 count). The premium applicator is super easy to use, and is made of BPA-free plastic. Plus, the Seventh Generation applicator these tampons are made with is 95% plant based materials, making them one of the only plant-based plastic applicator tampons out there. So you can even be eco-friendly while you’re on your period, how cool is that? In addition, they use plant essential oils and botanical ingredients in their products that do contain fragrances (their feminine care products don’t contain any fragrances!) I absolutely love that I can trust these tampons to treat my lady bits well while they’re renting space up there five days a month. Because what’s self care on your period if you’re not taking care of your sacred place?
Another plus? You don’t have to go to some kind of specialty store to find Seventh Generation products! I get my Seventh Generation products from Target in the feminine care aisle or online at Target.com. Please, find me a woman who doesn’t have an obsession with Target. (Whenever I go to Target I leave with like, half of the store. Who’s with me?)
6. Light Exercise
I know this is probably the last thing you want to do on your period, but it can really help for a few different reasons. Now, I’m not saying to do crazy strenuous exercise, especially on the first few days of your period. Trust me girl, I won’t be participating in that either. The truth is, even light exercise can provide you with the benefits that you’re looking for when it comes to self care on your period.
- Exercise helps to boost mood: go ahead and diffuse some of those essential oils we talked about earlier while you work out at home for an extra happiness boost! Seriously though. Exercise can boost your mood so you can be a little nicer to everyone around you despite the thunderstorm going on down below.
- Exercise improves blood circulation, which helps alleviate menstrual cramps. If you’re having super terrible cramps I don’t expect you to get up and start running around. However, I’ve found that if I’m experiencing light cramps, exercise helps to make that yucky feeling go away.
I know that having proper protection down under is super important when it comes to exercising on your period. Well, proper protection is super important for existing in general on your period. I need to feel safe and supported by my tampon ok? Anyway, Seventh Generation tampons provide effective leak protection and come in regular and super absorbency to help you feel extra supported. Because who wants to worry about a leaky faucet when you’re trying to get your workout on? If you’re not a tampon girl, try the Seventh Generation Free & Clear fragrance-free Ultra-Thin Pads with Wings (18 count), or their Free & Clear Pantiliners (50 count) for the lighter days. The innovative Purefit design of the pads and pantiliners gives you reliable, leak free protection and comfort that conforms to your body to keep you dry! Plus, Seventh Generation pads and pantiliners are free of fragrances in order to give you the protection you need, without exposing your skin to unnecessary chemicals.
7. Take a Warm Bath
Warm baths work wonders for menstrual cramps. So why not try one as an option for self care on your period? If you’re not comfortable with the idea of a bath while you’re leaking bodily fluids, just pop in a Seventh Generation tampon and relax. I promise you it won’t look like a shark attack if you don’t wear one though. In my experience, that’s never been an issue. Anyway, you can drop some essential oils (lavender oil!) in your bath to produce an even more calming effect. You can also throw in a luxurious bath bomb, play some relaxing music, and brew a cup of tea for the ultimate spa day. Because, yes, you can still treat yo’self to an at home spa day when you’re on your period!
At the end of the day, self care on your period is just like self care when you’re not on your period. My main point is that we tend to neglect self care while we’re on our period because we just want to be lazy and eat junk food. The only problem is junk food is going to make you feel even worse, so trade that in for a healthy self care practice instead.
I highly recommend picking up some Seventh Generation tampons on your next trip to Target and make sure you check Cartwheel for $$$ saving deals! Organic feminine care is finally becoming more mainstream, and I think that’s definitely something to celebrate.