Be it work or home front, women are usually good multi-taskers. From tracking work deadlines to managing the chaotic schedule of kids, planning comes naturally to them. Yet, while juggling between work, family, friends and other priorities, one aspect that women often miss out on is to properly prepare for their personal monthly visitor – periods.
Even though many cultures celebrate the first period of girls as representing the essence of femininity and an auspicious ‘power of giving life’, menstrual periods are predominantly considered to be a taboo subject in the Indian culture. More than 45% women who participated in the everteen Menstrual Hygiene Survey 2017 with Women’s Health Organization claimed that menstruation was still considered a taboo in the Indian society. It is then natural that this aspect of womanhood often gets brushed under the carpet without proper discussion, learning or preparation.
More than just stocking up on sanitary products, planning for periods requires much more. Some women experience horrifying Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (or PMS), with a lot of emotional and biological changes including headache, bloating, lethargy, mood imbalance, severe irritation and even depression. everteen, the feminine hygiene expert, in collaboration with Woman’s Era, brings to you 7 essential tips that will help you effectively plan ahead of your periods.
KNOW WHEN YOU ARE DUE
A majority of women forget dates of their last menses. However, this is the first essential step to be well prepared. And it’s easy. You can download any good period tracker app on your phone to keep a log. Or simply maintain a diary to aid you in this.
TAKE STOCK OF YOUR STOCK
While it may seem obvious, keeping sanitary necessities ready doesn’t always occur as a given for all women. At least 43% women respondents in the everteen Menstrual Hygiene Survey 2017 did not have ready access to sanitary essentials at the beginning of their periods. As many as 67% women said they had to borrow a sanitary essential from a friend, colleague or family member. Further, more than a third of all women felt uncomfortable while buying sanitary essentials from a chemist shop in the presence of other customers. Whether you prefer sanitary napkins or tampons or menstrual cups, finding your exact size and choice at one shop can be challenging and frustrating. Now you have a convenient alternate: just subscribe to the everteen Period Box once and sit back. Your favorite sanitary products will be delivered to your doorstep before your due date, month after month. This everteen Period Box lets you customize by choosing from India’s largest range of feminine hygiene products, and opt for a quarterly, half-yearly or annual subscription. You can also add other feminine hygiene products like intimate wash and hygiene wipes in your box to feel fresh even during periods.
Apart from this, don’t forget to keep a strip of painkiller handy, especially if you experience extreme cramps and pain.
STOCK UP ON SOME GOOD FOOD
PubMed Health suggests that dietary supplements like vitamin B6, calcium, and chaste tree extracts may help relieve PMS symptoms. You can stock up on foods naturally rich in these substances. Banana is a rich source of Vitamin B6. Yogurt, milk, soy products and low-fat cheese are bountiful in calcium and also help ease PMS symptoms. Chocolates or goodies are good to elevate mood if craving strikes you.
WATCH WHAT YOU EAT
Occasionally indulging in cravings to feel good is fine, but loading your tummy with too much of junk or processed foods is not. Calorie-loaded snacks are known to cause stress and mood swings. Things like caffeine and too much salty or sugary food can also cause anxiety and bloating. Alcohol intake may aggravate depression. Try cutting these foods from your diet and absolutely avoid them just before and during your periods.
KEEP EMOTIONAL STRESS AT BAY
If you experience mood swings and emotional upheavals as part of PMS, be mindful of keeping stress away as much as possible. Just relax and take it easy. As you plan for your periods, you can schedule yoga, meditation, or behavioral therapy to be ready to navigate through your roller-coaster ride. Guided meditation apps can also come to your rescue in managing mood better.
MAINTAIN A HEALTHY ROUTINE
Maintaining a healthy routine before your periods start will help make the onset smooth. Exercising is among the best things you can do. Try and include one hour of moderate intensity exercises such as brisk walking every alternate day. Besides keeping you active, it also releases the happy hormone, serotonin. Another good practice is to get enough sleep before your periods start. Because in the days to come, PMS symptoms like bloating and cramps may not let you sleep well. As per SleepFoundation.org, women are unable to sleep well prior to and in the first few days of their periods.
INCREASE YOUR WATER INTAKE
Drink lots of water to keep yourself hydrated. SheKnows.com says, “Staying fully hydrated actually helps eliminate that bloated sensation… two liters every day will speed up your digestion and help prevent water retention caused by monthly hormonal changes.”
Hope these tips help you prepare well ahead of your periods. Watch out for our article on how to manage periods as part of this everteen Feminine Hygiene Secrets series.