Mimi’s Self-Care Tips for Better Periods
When I was a freshman in college I started missing classes regularly due to crippling period pain. On a few unlucky occasions I got my period cramps unexpectedly during class, and those days were simply disastrous.
So of course I began carrying all manner of over-the-counter painkillers with me wherever I went – something I had never done before. Tylenol, Advil, Motrin, Midol… they were my crutch. And this bugged me. I considered myself a conscious consumer, and examined all the ingredients of everything I ate to ensure that they were safe and healthy for me. I was frustrated that I could not do the same for the medicine I was consuming.
My breaking point came when one day I suffered a bad reaction to a pain medication that I was taking (I won’t mention the name here). I was light-headed, nauseous and faint, and my heart was racing so much that I couldn’t go to class. I ended up in the hospital, and that day I decided to find an alternative solution to my period pain. The goal was to create a solution that actually supported my menstrual health systematically with herbs and nutrients, instead of just covering up the pain.
Fast forward several years and I am the CEO of my own menstrual health company, De Lune. My journey to an empowered period has really been one of learning self-care. I gradually learned what natural nutrients would be best for my health during my cycle, and I stopped looking at my period as something to dread. Today, my period is something I celebrate with a warm glass of tea and a few drops of my natural period support tincture. I slow down, I listen to my body, and I take care of myself.
Up your vitamins and minerals!
Periods can be painful and exhausting. To combat cramps and fatigue naturally, supplement your nutrient intake during your bleeding. Magnesium, Zinc, Iron, and Vitamin B6 in particular are commonly depleted during menstruation. The De Lune tincture, which was formulated alongside a registered dietitian, is like a one-stop-shop for all these nutrients, while also delivering anti-inflammatory herbs – motherwort, fenugreek, cramp bark, dong quai, ginger, and calendula. Combining nutritional and herbal supplements in this targeted way has been shown to be as powerful as using conventional painkillers. Try it yourself – your body will thank you.
Switch your pads and tampons to organic cotton.
There are just no more good reasons to be shoving toxins and synthetic fibers in your vagina every month, people. Yes, it used to cost significantly more to buy organic, but companies like Lola Cora Kali Freda Bon and Sustain Natural are now making pure cotton pads and tampons the norm! Take your pick, order online, and use your consumer vote to demand period supplies that are known to be safe.
Track your cycle.
You know the menstrual revolution is upon us because there are so many period-related apps! I have personally been tracking my period using Clue for nearly three years now, and the wealth of data that I have gathered has been hugely helpful to me. When you track your period, you begin to see patterns in not only your cycle length but also your symptoms. It is a game-changer to be able to anticipate your mood swings, cramps, or bleeding and plan your self-care accordingly!
Learn about your body.
One thing that makes periods confusing and difficult to research is the fact that they vary so much from person to person. Every period experience is unique. So it helps to gather clues on what you can expect and what might be normal for you. Tracking your cycle is certainly helpful with this, as is talking to your family members about their experiences. Is there a family history of dysmenorrhea (painful periods)? PMDD? Endometriosis? Iron deficiency? Uncovering these factors not only empowers you to know how to better care for yourself on your period, but it also ignites a body-positive conversation with people you love.
Say no to things, and don’t feel guilty.
Use your period as a wonderful excuse to take it slow. Stay in if you feel like it. Be intentional about what you expose yourself to during your period, as you may be more sensitive to sights, sounds, and stressful situations. Focus on loving your body by giving yourself the monthly rest & re-set that you need.
Happy periods, everyone.
Mimi Millard, CEO De Lune
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Mimi Millard is founder & CEO of De Lune, the company on a mission to provide much-needed relief to the millions of people who experience period pain. Mimi believes that embracing natural cycles and natural medicine is the key to menstrual empowerment.
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