Mind & Body,  Mindfulness

How to have a happy period

So far in this little mini-series we have covered Natural remedies for period pain , How to balance your PMS mood & emotions and How to Balance your hormones naturally. What I’ve tried to cover are hopefully the key and most predominant symptoms– the pain and emotional rollercoaster, before diving deeper into the more ‘long term’ solution of balancing your hormones. As a final instalment I think it’s also important to look at your mindset around your moon cycle & your relationship with your body. Plus some easy lifestyle improvements. So how to have a happy period will be my top tips & advice to round the series out.

I hope you’re finding all these posts useful, and I would love to hear if you have any questions or suggestions if you think I’ve missed something. Now let’s dive in!…

Your mindset around your moon cycle

Have you ever heard of the scientist experimented with jars of water?

One set of jars were told positive things, spoken words of encouragement and happy thoughts. The second set of jars were told horrible things, negative comments, and swear words. At the end of the experiment one set of water remained fresh, clear and thriving, the other set turned mouldy, and horrible.

Can you guess which was which?

Now consider this; the human body is made up of over 70% water! In other words how you talk to yourself matters!!!

When you start to get PMS or moon cycle symptoms creeping in, or the first day of your menstruation, How do you talk to your body?

Do you have an internal dialogue of ‘Oh great, this cr*p again’, or ‘this isn’t fair’ or is hate my body for putting me through this’?…. or are you able to embrace the changes, be thankful your body is working, and give yourself a bit of grace.

There are cultures that respect and honour the menstrual cycle. There are rituals and celebration during menstruation. Native Americans had their women go to a moon lodge to retreat, rest, and dream… a time to withdraw and receive gifts from the universe.

How to have a happy period

But in Western culture we are taught it is dirty, something to hide and be embarrassed about. There’s is a general feeling of disgust around women’s bodies and their functions.

The reality is we should find our monthly cycle as magical as we find giving birth and creating a new human!

Your relationship with your body

This self-talk doesn’t just have to be around your moon cycle either. What do you think when you look in the mirror? What’s your inner dialogue on a daily basis?

If you spend your time thinking you’re not smart enough, not good enough, not pretty enough, not whatever enough… You are doing yourself a disservice for one. But what do think happens?

Yep. That’s right you start to become all those things.

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right”.

Henry Ford

Check your Language

How you talk and think about yourself matters.

I’m the first to admit I can be super self-critical. But I’m learning to be kinder.. I think a lot of self-acceptance comes as you grow older. But two things that have helped me are this:

– No one is watching everything you do. Everyone is so involved with their own lives, problems, and insecurities. Trust me they aren’t focusing on yours. In other words make all the mistakes you like as long as you learn from them!

How to have a happy period

– If you wouldn’t say something to your best friend then don’t say it to yourself either. That nasty little mean girl in the back of your head every time you aren’t feeling your best? Every time she starts to pipe up tell her to leave!

Learning to love yourself is a journey. And not one that will happen overnight. However, taking those small first steps makes a big positive difference.

Mindfulness for a happy period

Incorporating some mindfulness techniques around your thoughts and self talk and generally using mindfulness to be more aware of what goes on in your head, what thoughts you have throughout the day, and what sort of things tend to trigger those negative thoughts will help you to start managing those thoughts as they come up.

Once you are aware of situations that can trigger your negative self-talk and areas or symptoms during your moon cycle that cause you particular problems you can begin to preempt your negative thoughts and stamp them out before they really kick off.

In other words once you know the direction your thoughts are headed you can get off the bus at the first stop instead of enduring the whole bus journey.

How to have a happy period

My Top Tips for How to Have a Happy Period

Simple, straight forward, and easy tips and lifestyle changes…

1. Look at the products you are using.

This is relevant for both your body AND the planet. But being more aware of what products you are using when it comes to feminine hygiene is important!

Now we know that many tampons are full of toxic chemicals that get absorbed by your body and how much waste we produce that cannot be recycled — tampons, pads, and all their packaging included (not to mention water pollution), we must all be responsible and aware of the products we use.

Try switching to natural eco friendly products, or (ideally) try using a Mooncup.

2. Slow down and give yourself a break.

Rest. During menstruation your body is going through a lot. The Native Americans had the right idea in sending their women off to a retreat — read spa experience. The week leading up to and the week of your period should be a time when you are consciously slowing down and looking after your body. Making sure you are getting enough sleep, hibernating at home with your feet up and doing things that nourish your mind and soul.

Read a book, get creative.. do the things you don’t usually have time to do.

3. Check your diet & nutrient intake.

As well as making sure you have a well balanced diet including all your vitamins, minerals and nutrients all year round. Women especially need plentiful calcium, zinc, magnesium, and iron.

It is also worth mentioning OMG the damage xenoestrogens and the hormones found in foods and plastics can do. Xenoestrogens are man-made chemicals that mimic your body’s natural oestrogen hormones and cause havoc to your endocrine system as well as disrupting your natural hormone balance. This can cause all sorts of damaging health issues. To read more on Xenoestrogens and where to find them this article from meghantelpner.com is very informative.

4. Learn to be intuitive with your body.

I’ve talked about this quite a bit before across this blog. But only because I truly believe in how important it is. We have all forgotten we have the ability to listen to and understand our bodies. You can re-learn though!

Learning to be intuitive with your body allows you to heal, know when to rest, understand what you should be eating, and identify problems early on, and much more!

I have a post Get reconnected to yourself ; to your body, intuition & purpose if you want to read more.

5. Mindfulness & meditation.

As mentioned above mindfulness is a wonderful tool for helping you manage your thoughts and emotions around your menstruation period. It is also a good tool to have if you suffer from PMT and know that you are prone to certain emotions or heightened emotional responses.

For eg. if you tend to get annoyed or angry more easily OR you get upset more easily around that time of the month…

using mindfulness allows you to take a small step back and observe what you’re feeling and why. It is the ability to take a breath before you act & analyse the cause of your emotion, instead of reacting on impulse and letting the emotion get the best of you.

In the same way you can use a Meditation practice each day to help calm and centre your mind, and start you day from a grounded & intentional place in body and mind.

6. Sleep.

It may sound really obvious, but sleep really is the best medicine! While you are asleep your body heals, re-sets, grows, and processes everything you have experienced that day. Making sure you get enough sleep is essential when your body is working overtime. Getting 1-2 hours more than your normal sleeping routine is even better.

7. Exercise.

While it is often the last thing you want to do when you are feeling bloated or in pain, exercise is (surprisingly) one of the best things you can do to help relieve your symptoms and make your body feel good. Your body needs movement to sty healthy, so even if its just a gentle walk, get outside and move.

Whether its the endorphins or something else entirely exercising will actually help relieve your period pain. It will make you feel a ton better and like you’ve accomplished something too so its a win win for your mind and body!

 

I hope you find these helpful,

xo Emily

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