Ignoring your period has become the done thing. Let’s take it back to the 1960s with the introduction of the pill. No longer do you need to worry about getting pregnant, no longer do you even need to worry about your period. Let’s just sack it off in favour of using our yang energy and forget our yin completely. We were moving forward in a ‘mans world’ and there ain’t no time for bleeding.
Sounds great initially, masking period problems in favour of ticking off to do lists. The problem is that issues you may be having manifest themselves or are just hidden. You don’t deal with them.
Over the years levels of anxiety in our society have risen, there’s people who burn-out and some people who are on a ‘get shit done then burn-out’ cycle.
And, I get it… because I have been there. I am a go-getter. I will push until there’s nothing more to give without firmly telling myself to STOP.
In 2010 I was in my last year of University. I had been on the pill for three years and I had break-through bleeding. I wouldn’t have told you what a cycle is really and I certainly didn’t live cyclically. I pushed with all I had to achieve my degree. I was going to be a Teacher and nothing was going to stand in my way. So I couldn’t understand it when I collapsed in the toilets on my final placement one evening when all had gone home. I some how managed to drag myself home and then all weekend I was gone. I was completely burnt-out. I couldn’t walk, my legs were so shaky, I just had to sleep. I wasn’t ill- I was just so done-in. I remember it clearly, it was March- the weekend of Mother’s Day and my mother- well that’s a story for another day but her feelings around it added to my general anxiety. I had already been suffering with PTSD 1.5 years before, my panic attacks were under control but still lurking. In general I was a mess. But you know what, I carried on as is on the Monday.
Did I learn and get it? Not really. In my mid- 20s the same thing happened. Not quite as bad because I read the signs but I was working 70 hours a week and for what? For the school to turn around to me and say- oh sorry you can’t have that payrise and job title we mentioned because we added in a clause that you have to be working at our school for two years and you have done 1 year. So continue doing all you do and we won’t honour it with a penny. So I quit. Fuck you. To be then told that the teacher I helped a lot and one where I had helped her through her NQT year was being given a payrise instead after I handed in my notice because they knew they’d messed up with me.
So what was I doing it all for? For me? For them? For my family? This was the catalyst for learning that I was done with the system.
Things my burn-out cycle didn’t help with:
- My gut
- My mental health
- My relationships
- My general well-being
One of the biggest changes I have made since living cyclically is honouring my period.
In order to not feel the repercussions of ignoring a period and to honour myself as a bleeding woman, I now embrace my periods. This has completely stopped my constant burn-out pattern. Is it just this? Well this plus self-care. But deepening my understanding of my period when I am menstruating has certainly been the biggest game changer.
My Top Tips:
- Buy some lovely period products. I love my ohne tampons (NAOMIGVIP for a free box) the delivery is a treat and they are of course 100 percent organic. Alongside these I use my Period Pants and I love them when I just start to bleed.
- Move to the pain. Lie down, breathe into it and pop on some meditation music. Feel the release from within and gently sway into this.
- Change your routine- making small changes like- going to bed much earlier or getting up to enjoy some alone time.
- Edit your exercise. If you are a gym addict for example, switching to yoga, gentle walks and less impact training is key. Of course, when doing yoga I definitely would recommend no twists or inverse poses.
- Listen to your body when it comes to food- craving iron- go with it. Need all the greens- go for it.
- Can you limit and edit your working life? Can you work from home on day 1, can you cull all weekend plans to just be?
- Don’t do any to do lists unless they will make you feel good. Now is not the time. Spring and Summer are for doing your to dos.
- Having a wank- I mean it’s true in that it releases all the oxytocin love and of course this helps with pain too.