PMS Doesn’t Have to Ruin Your Month: How to Build a Period Toolkit
posted on July 19, 2020 | by Megan Lierley
This post has been sponsored by Midol®. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
#ad This period of isolation and uncertainty has been an emotional rollercoaster for many of us—lots of anxiety, sadness, and pain. I tend to have a tough period with really painful cramps, sore breasts, and when Mother Nature is feeling particularly ungenerous, lower back pain, to boot. As my period approached this past month, dealing with this on top of the emotional stress of a global pandemic felt, well, daunting.
Luckily, over the years, I’ve built up a period toolkit with super simple supplies you can grab from your local Walmart—and that gives me comfort in trusting that my period, no matter how painful, can be one less thing to worry about right now. Once I came up with a period toolkit that worked for me, I was able to start leaning into this time of reflection. When we menstruate, we’re literally shedding layers of our body, so I like to take this time to think of what else isn’t serving me or what I want to let go of. Thinking, processing, and taking time to contemplate the best version of me are all much easier to do when you have period pain relief. So let’s start with first things, first—the period toolkit.
Multi-Symptom Period Relief
If you suffer from period symptoms like cramps, headaches, bloating, fatigue, or any kind of physical discomfort, I recommend Midol® Complete on-The-Go Pouches(follow label instructions and use as directed). You can purchase Midol® products at your local Walmart, where they have different options to tailor to what you’re looking for. I particularly like Midol’s caffeine-free option if I’m cramping before bed, or Midol® Complete On-The-Go Pouches so I can buy a box and throw a pouch into my work and gym bags—it’s always better to be prepared when it comes to unexpected period symptoms.
Heat Relief—Inside and Out
First up, tea. There’s something both physically and mentally soothing about a cup of hot chamomile tea. I like to stick to herbal tea, and give yourself the space and time to slow down and enjoy these quiet period moments.
Additionally, placing a heating pad or patch (or warm water bottle) on the area of pain of your body is a game changer for my cramps. Especially because it offers immediate relief while the Midol® begins to kick in and tackle the super painful cramps. I like disposable pads that stick to your underwear for heat relief on the go. However, there’s a lot to be said for making the time and space for yourself to lie down with a heating pad and allow yourself the time to accept what is, lean into it, and eventually, make the best of it.
In non-COVID times, I’m always on the go. Once I started to better understand that my period is literally my body and mind asking me to slow down, I came to cherish this time of the month as sacred alone time. Like I mentioned before, I view it as a time for shedding old beliefs and practices that no longer serve me, and I hold my busy, chaotic, other-3-weeks-of-the-month self accountable by writing these ideas in my journal.
Slowing Down and Feeling Your Feelings
While my period toolkit includes physical items, it’s also filled with years of coming to terms with, accepting, and finally revering my period that have enabled me to go with the flow when it comes to PMS. In today’s busy society, we love to just. keep. moving. But PMS isn’t in your head—it’s real, with low hormone levels, a contracting uterus, and very real symptoms that make it difficult to carry on in the same way we might in the other three weeks of the month.
One of the small luxuries afforded to us as a result of the entire world slowing down is being able to lean into slowing down and feel your feelings before and during your period. So instead of rushing out the door, grimacing in pain from your period as you run to catch the bus while pretending everything is fine, try moving slowly through the emotional part, focusing on this monthly moment for introspection and self-care—which we could all use a little more of right now.