How To Have An Easier Period
Having an easier period that you don’t dread means changing your relationship with your period altogether. It’s going to take some self-reflection and some self-compassion.
Let’s start at the very beginning…
The Beginning Matters
My swim coach, even though she was a woman, told me that I wasn’t dedicated to the team if I didn’t come to practice during my period.
So there I was, 12-years-old, in the cold bathroom before practice, while my mom half-hysterically taught me how to put a tampon in.
A couple of my friends didn’t get their periods until grade nine, and seemed to yearn for it. They were jealous of me for having it already, but I tried to explain to them that it wasn’t actually an exciting ritualistic transition into womanhood.
For me, it was bad from the start. Seven or eight days long, and coming every 24. Even at the age of 12, I could do the math. I was bleeding for an entire third of my life.
On top of that were the cramps and the flu-like symptoms I couldn’t really describe. Unfortunately, my parents, teachers, and swim coach all thought I was exaggerating.
I hated my period as a teen. I hated the way it made me feel physically and emotionally.
Do you have some bad adolescent experiences surrounding your period? An important part of learning to have an easier period is remembering what your period was like at the start, and the feelings it provoked in you.
Hiding From Your Cycle
I forgot about my period, and how much I hated it, for ten whole years.
Even if you don’t have endometriosis like me, cramps are still zero fun. Maybe you’ve gotten into the habit of staying silent when you’re PMSing, and pushing through, popping pain killers, and continuing with your life as though you didn’t have a uterus. When in your life have you hidden from your cycle?
Back To Your Natural Cycle
After I got married, I stopped taking birth control. Month after month, my period got longer and more painful. We started trying to conceive, and after eight months of no success, I would cry when my period arrived.
I was back to dreading my period again. Clutching my abdomen in pain and cursing my uterus. Wishing it were better. Only this time, I couldn’t just take a pill and make it go away.
On the plus side, I was starting to learn about my body and my cycle again. What was normal, and what wasn’t for me. I paid attention to my changing temperature and cervical fluid over the month, as well as what the moon looked like when I ovulated or had my period.
If you have switched to natural cycles in order to try to conceive, how has that changed your relationship with your cycle and your period?
Start Looking Forward To Your Period
Yes – you read that correctly…
While dealing with infertility due to endometriosis, I knew that I couldn’t keep having my heart broken every time I got my period. It was just too much.
Over time, I learned how to make menstruation a time when I treated myself a little better. I started asking for more support, and clearly stating what I didn’t have energy for. During the rest of my cycle, I would save some nice self-care rituals for when my bleeding started so I had something to look forward to.
You deserve to have a more positive relationship with your period. How can you make these few days every month a bit more special, and show yourself more compassion?
An Easier Period Is Possible
If you were like me, then at a young age you were taught that you have to just stick a tampon in and go to swim practice. You were taught that during your period, you should act the same way as usual, and fulfill all of the same expectations as usual.
Denying the fact that you feel awful and are in pain means ignoring the signals your body is sending you. When you start to be more mindful of how you feel and what you need, you can meet your needs more self-compassionately.
Get into the habit of asking, “How can I make this easier for myself?”
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