Alright, no one kill me as I say this next line but periods are a good thing for us women. Yes, it involves some serious pain, and moodiness, and acne, and exhaustion BUT it identifies you as a woman-the strongest creature on this planet (and not just because we can make it through that type of pain).
Our periods gives us a chance to embrace what it means to be a woman. Even though I personally dread the pain on my period, it is the time of the month when I feel like can embrace my womanhood and take a bit more care of myself than normal.
One of the best things about women is our compassionate, giving, and tender hearts. This is what makes us distinct from the world. For 25 days out of the month, we love our friends and families, hand out smiles through campus, show up for our friends when they need us, listen and console. Tell me when was the last time you did this for yourself? The last time you had compassion for yourself? Treated yourself gently?
This is the purpose of resting during your period. You get to intentionally focus on what you need in order to return back into the world, delivering your beautiful heart and soul to the people around you who are blessed to have it in their lives.
Now for me, back pain, cramps, moodiness, anger, and exhaustion, are specific to the first two days of this wonderful ordeal. All I want to do is lie in bed for those 48 hours and rest.
But noooooooo, I gotta keep going, keep pushing, getting things done. I think the time of our periods should be a lot more sacred week in our lives than it is now.
Currently, we see it creeping towards us over the horizon and when it hits, we just power right through it. But our bodies are asking us to slow the heck down. Our bodies are showing us that we can let go of what we don't need anymore. So resting and rejuvenating and reflecting can show you what your heart no longer needs to be lugging around either and put some creativity and life back into your system.
Here are some tips on how to embrace what our periods are trying to show us:
1. Tell your friends and family ahead of time.
You know when you see that friend walk through the classroom door for at 8:00 am looking like she could just maybe kill someone and you immediately know "it" has begun?
Or you schedule a dinner with a friend to work out some small conflicts in your friendship and then you just start crying and getting super emotional and your friend is staring at you with some definite confusion?
Yup unfortunately been there both times. I have now made it a point to tell my close friends (and family when I am home) that my period is coming and there's nothing anyone can do to stop it so everyone just hold onto your hats. This doesn't give me permission to act any way I want but does let them know that I am going to need some space and gentleness and rest.
2. Try to get work done before your period starts.
If you have a bunch of projects and homework coming up during the first few days of your period, get it done beforehand. I cannot tell you how much this helps bring the stress level down and gives me permission to rest more and talk more kindly to myself without the regular chatter of to-do lists in my head.
3. Take care of yourself.
Take an essential oil bath. Give yourself a foot massage. Have a deep conversation with a friend. JOURNAL. Take a walk at sunset. Color mandalas. Paint a canvas. Watch an inspirational movie. Paint your nails. Decorate your room. Play some piano. Read a book. Bake something delicious (or in my case, burn something delicious).
The purpose is just to carve out some time for yourself to slow down and do some reflecting.
4. Give yourself permission to be emotional.
Many people think of expressing emotions as a weakness, especially if you are a woman. You know how they say: "Oh she's emotional so she must be on her period." No more of that, please. Emotions are powerful so if you want to cry, then cry. When you cry, scientifically, your body experiences a release of tension and stress. These tears are a gift and they help unburden your heart.
On your period, please rest. Honor your womanhood. Do not be ashamed of it. Yes, there's a ridiculous amount of never-ending stuff, but do let your heart and body take a break. You are worth taking care of and you are enough, just as you are.