How I Prepare for My Period, Part 1
When I was diagnosed with endometriosis, I was never prepared for my period. It always took me by surprise, I had no idea how long my cycle was, and my coping mechanism was taking as much codeine as possible (unwise, I know!).
As I’ve come to understand my body and endometriosis, I’ve been able to create a routine that helps me prepare for my period and actually allows me to get through this time as easily as possible. So in this two-part series, I’m going to take you through the different preparations I make, in hope that they may inspire you to create your own routine...
I prep all month
Preparing for my period is a month long practice - I can’t just wedge all of my management methods into my pre-menstrual phase and hope that it’s enough to do the trick.
My month long preparation involves avoiding my trigger foods and foods that heighten my inflammation levels (such as sugar, caffeine, alcohol and dairy), eating foods that support my body and cycle (WomanCode and Take Control of Your Endometriosis are great sources for this), and taking supplements that reduce inflammation and help balance my hormones, such as magnesium, omega 3, and a vitamin B complex.
I block out my diary
There is nothing worse than having to force your way through a meeting whilst inside, it feels like your uterus walls are collapsing. Whilst this is a trickier one when it comes to navigating work, there are ways around it. Firstly, I was honest with my workplace and told them about my condition. Therefore, if a meeting or big date was going to be scheduled on the first day of my period, I spoke to my manager and either moved it, or if that was impossible, they still had the knowledge that I might not be my best that day. I also always booked up that day in my calendar with admin tasks, so that when people looked at my calendar to book in a meeting, they usually tried to avoid it because it looked like I was already busy. Now I’m self-employed, I just mark that day in my diary and either swap it with my day off, or take it easier. I can’t guarantee a big meeting that you just can’t get out of won’t arise, but you can try to minimize that occurring by being smart with your calendar and as honest as you possibly can be with your colleagues.
I also no longer make social commitments for when I’m due. If it’s a major event like a wedding, there’s really only so much I can do, which is why the rest of the prep is so important! Other than that, I keep my calendar free and if I feel up to something, I see who’s around and available to do something that’s easy and not too strenuous.
In the second installment in this two-part series, I’ll be taking you through my rituals and my go-to endometriosis toolkit.
Read Part 2 here
What's in your emergency endo kit?