I’m sitting on the front porch of the beach house my family and I are renting for the week. I am right in the middle of my cycle so I don’t have any noticeable fluctuations in my hormones. In other words, my emotional skies are pretty sunny. This is the time though, to plan ahead for when the skies are gray and stormy.
Today as I was walking along the beach I was thinking about the things I wanted to share here today. I was trying to think if there was one thing that you should take into your next menstrual cycle what that might be. I think it’s this: What you feel emotionally during your period is valid and you are not crazy. I guess that’s really two things but they are tied together, amirite?
This, I know, is going to end up being my most favorite post of this series because I have received so much healing in the area of my emotions when it comes to my menstrual cycle.
I have the privilege of being a part of a monthly Red Tent meeting right near my house. One of our leaders, Karen DeHaven, said something the other month that resonated so deeply in my bones, it validated something very sacred in my heart. I am absolutely paraphrasing but she said, “You are emotionally mature and know what you need.” Reread that. Let it sink into your being. Believe it.
We are absolutely going to use this truth as the basis for our discussion tonight. Basically, I am going to write a series of permission slips for you so you can emotionally thrive during your period. If you have to, get out journal papers, index cards, whatever you have, and write them down where you can see them the next time you have your period.
And a caveat to this whole thing: I am going to get a little tough-lovey on you tonight. And here’s why: We let people know how we want to be treated. If we don’t love ourselves and respect what’s going on with our bodies, no one else is going to do it either.
Permission Slip #1
I am allowed to slow down and say no during my period.
Our bodies are not meant to keep up the frenetic pace our lives usually entail during our menstrual cycle. Have you ever cried, felt overwhelmed or lost your ish and yelled at your kids or significant other during you menstrual cycle? Me too. Those are warning signals our body is using to let us know we are trying to do too much. Please, my dear one, know that hell is not going to freeze over if you say no to the craziness of life for a few days. Actually, I’ve been very shocked to find that no one seems to notice when I disengage.
Permission Slip #2
It is good for me to ask for help during my period.
Loves, we wear the superwoman cape all. the. time. This is a time when you need to take it off. If you are married or in a relationship, I have found that things go SO much better when I feel my PMS intensity coming on to have a five minute conversation with my husband to let him know what’s going on. When I let him know the laundry is not getting done and toys are not getting picked up and bills aren’t getting paid, it doesn’t mean it’s never going to happen again. It means I’ve set the expectation that I value my emotions and how I treat my family more than all the “stuff” of life. Relationships over stuff. Every. Single. Time.
The first couple times I did this, it was just a nice warning for him. Things were a lot calmer in our house. But as we’ve gone on, he’s starting to step in more. He’s even asked me now if I just want to do takeout in the evenings since I’m more tired than normal. Bless it all. Miracles do happen.
If you’re a single mom or don’t have kids or aren’t in a relationship, just take a few moments to let the people close to you know what’s coming. If they can help you, great. If they just need to know you’re not going to interact as much, that’s so ok. And single mamas without a support system, I’ve been where you are. In hindsight, the best thing I could have done for myself is just put the kids to sleep early, do some journaling or drink a glass of wine and go to bed. Which brings us to permission slip #3.
Permission Slip #3
I am going to create space for myself during my period.
Each and every one of us has something that helps us recharge our batteries. Whether it’s journaling, going shopping, going out with friends, watching a TV show, gardening, baking, cleaning, the list goes on. Intentionally (this is one of the tough love spots) create that space for yourself to do what you love and what keeps your batteries charged. Please hear me: No one else is going to do this for you. Remember what I shared earlier? You are emotionally mature and you know what you need. Trust your instincts. If you need a bubble bath, take one. If you need three glasses of wine, drink them. If you need to cry at every sappy commercial do it. If you need to read for three hours, read to your hearts content.
And that’s what I have for the emotional side of things. I’m going to save my other “tricks of the trade” for next week when we talk about taking care of your physical body.
I hope you have a beautiful, peace filled week.