You can tell I haven’t blogged about personal stuff in far too long because today I’m going to talk all about periods. I have probably always suffered a degree of misery before my period, although when younger I wasn’t specifically aware of it. It was only really after having children (and becoming far more aware of my cycle in the process) that it became a thing.
And the thing is, that I spend approximately 12 days of every month in abject misery. Black mood, tearfulness, irritability, you name it. I feel utterly crap for almost two weeks of the month, every month. Over the last year it has become so pronounced that I am mindful not to make any serious decisions in those 12 days for fear of the mess I will have created for myself when I re-emerge from the darkness.
The months immediately after Mum died were particularly gruelling, dealing with grief and PMT simultaneously. And I’m a crap parent as well in the second half of the month. I am less patient, less tolerant and less nice to be around in every way.
When my period arrived at the beginning of this month and the overriding feeling of well-being returned once again, I decided something had to be done. I set to reading everything I could find about PMT and came up with a plan. Because during the rest of the month, I feel amazing. I am calm, capable and in control of everything. There are about 16 days of every cycle where I feel fantastic. And where I think everyone else is fantastic too. Especially hot men on the cover of Men’s Health magazine, mmmyes.
Uh… where was I?
The bottom line is I want to feel that way all month long. Not just for 57% of it.
So, apparently the scientifically proven things to help PMT are:
- Low GI diet
- Starflower oil
- Omega 3s
So that’s my current five point plan. I am exercising like a demon (more on that in a minute), I’m trying my hardest to stay away from the dreaded sweet stuff, and I’ve got a collection of the above supplements on the kitchen counter to take each morning. I’m currently still riding the wave of oestrogen-induced joy, so cannot vouch for the efficacy of any of it yet, but I will let you know how things are a month or two down the line.
Something else I have done recently is switch to re-usable period pants. I have been using towels for just about ever. They are fine and all that, but:
a) as I began to look at the waste we generated in our home it started to really bother me that I was throwing these plastic backed things away every month, and
b) I leak at night on my first night, even with night time, extra long, super-duper wings and everything.
So, I did a LOT of research into re-usable towels, but I think it was on a sustainability group I’m part of where I heard period pants mentioned for the first time. Period pants are basically knickers that have a thick absorbent layer sewn into them. Genius eh? Why did no one think of this before?
There aren’t many companies that produce them commercially so far, so choice is limited. The problem I had, right from the start, is that all the brands I looked at were made with nano silver in the absorbent lining. Now… nano silver is one of those “good ideas” that was probably not a very good idea after all. I contacted two companies who assured me that the nano silver in their pants was non-migratory (i.e. it isn’t absorbed into your body), but my own research led me to believe it wasn’t worth taking the risk [1,2,3].
That led me to Etsy and I found an amazing UK seller called MuffDusters (yep, honestly. No affiliate link, I just love them), who makes period pants for you. I ordered a pair, loved them and ordered two more. Best of all? When I emailed her about nano silver she gave me the option to go with the absorbent material that had zero nano silver in. My period pants are silver-free.
And I love them. I truly love them. They are comfy, they look cute and the absolute best thing of all is that they do not leak at night. This is achieved by the nighttime version having a lining that goes all the way up the back of the knicker to the waistband. HOW COOL IS THAT? It’s so annoying waking up in the middle of the night, feeling the sensation of blood dribbling down and knowing that it’s totally missed the night time, extra long, super-duper wings towel and gone straight through your pants onto the sheets.
I am a total convert. And they are planet friendly too. Talking of which, one of my best friends has just done her first month with a Mooncup and loved it. Hurrah for re-usable period products 🙂
After 14 months off I am officially back at it. And you know what? The funny thing is that now I have actually started, I’ve remembered why it’s so good. Exercise actually does make you feel good afterwards. Sometimes even during!
And I’ve been wondering – what if I did something every day? What if I just made movement a normal part of my day instead of having to exercise as yet another to do? I don’t know how feasible this is, but I’m planning on trying to do something daily. Not least because I want to banish the PMT, but mostly because I really want my waist back. I’ve never had a massively defined waist as I am kind of beanpole shaped, but after my first baby, my waist completely disappeared and has not been seen since. I am very much an apple, which is actually getting kind of annoying now I’m three years on after my last child.
So, the last seven days of exercise went as follows:
Friday – 1.24m run (16 minutes) – mostly pain, followed by more pain for two days afterwards
Saturday – 25 minute walk around the village
Sunday – Did a forest walk with the kids
Monday – Bouldering introduction course! Loads of fun. Hands were so raw afterwards I could barely drive home
Tuesday – Forest walk with my daughter
Wednesday – 30 minute Cize workout – LOVE!
Thursday – 12 minute kettlebell workout from YouTube
One Year On
It was a year ago, last week, that I became a single mum. Can you believe it’s been a year? I think it partly went so fast because everything was overshadowed by losing Mum in May. Single parenting has its pros and cons, but overall I am so much happier now than I was back then.
So, I think overall I’m feeling pretty positive about the year ahead, and January has gotten off to a good start. I’m hoping that it’s going to be a better year (odd numbers generally work well for me – all my kids were born in odd-numbered years). My freelance work is intentionally slow but steady, which has given me extra time to focus on this blog and the Declutter in 2019 course I am currently running. I’ve got such a great group of ladies working through the course and I’m loving it.
What I need to do now, is just keep doing what I’m doing. I am restless and get distracted easily, and when that happens all my hard work and effort go to waste and I end up eating crap, surfing the net aimlessly and wondering why I can never stick at anything. Sticking at stuff is hard (if you’re like me). I have written my word for the year – routine – on my desktop wallpaper to remind to stay on track. Do not deviate. Goals will be achieved with small steps in the same direction, not running around in circles from one thing to another.
Until next time x