Improving Our Emotional Response to Periods
Despite some of the inconveniences that come with periods, there are many ways we can reinforce positivity and manage emotions around periods.
Periods are a vital part of life and mark an important stage of development in puberty. Each month, when we get our period, we know our body is doing its thing, cleaning out our uterus and getting ready to build its resources back up again. In theory, we should be celebrating this amazing process! However, society often emphasizes the inconveniences that come with periods, and, sure, there are some. But if all we ever talk about is why periods are a pain, we lose track of the fact that they’re also pretty awesome, and that girls and women deserve to manage their periods with good health and good information. They deserve to champion each other’s progress and take charge of their own wellbeing.
While individual experiences vary, there’s a certain level of emotional management around all periods. Each month, women might have fluctuating emotions or energy, which can make them feel mentally or physically exhausted. Additionally, many women face financial and other barriers that amplify their sense of shame and embarrassment or even prevent them from accessing essential period products. But nothing should stand in the way of a woman’s progress – not even her period. We can overcome these obstacles by forming positive perceptions around periods and empowering each other to manage them with confidence.
During your period, you might experience and range of feelings and a rollercoaster of energy levels. This is totally normal! However, it’s important to acknowledge these feelings and give yourself time to recharge if you know your period is on the way. Talk to your friends or even your doctor about some ways you can relax – this will help you focus on your mental and physical health so you can live your life without barriers to success. While you ride out the wave of your cycle, try cooking your favorite meal, reading a book or calling a friend to keep you grounded and motivated. And thank your period for reminding you to take “me” time.
If you’re feeling especially irritated or sluggish – which can be a natural side effect of your changing hormones – try to get moving and up your cardio with a workout. Whether you plan a yoga class with some friends or run a few miles, exercise can help you reduce bloating and keep your mind fresh. Physical exercise releases endorphins that reduce pain and boost our mood. Take a moment to recognize that your period reminds you to get your body moving!
Of course, we’re all familiar with the less exciting experiences that come with periods, but remember that menstruation is worthy of celebrating as an essential part of life! Rather than complaining about or avoiding periods, consider these small ways of changing your perspective on your period, and share that positivity with others. This can help us better understand our bodies, find the right products for ourselves, and maybe even enjoy our monthly cycle. When we take care of ourselves and others who menstruate, that’s a way of celebrating.
Author Summary: Tomi-Ann Roberts, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at Colorado College whose research, teaching, advocacy and expert testimony centers on her theory Objectification Theory, which examines the sexual objectification of girls and women. In addition to her scholarly publications, she has served on the American Psychological Association's Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls and as the President of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.
Kimberly-Clark makes no warranties or representations regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information. This information should be used only as a guide and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional medical or other health professional advice.