How to Improve Your Period While Quarantining

How to Improve Your Period While Quarantining

A lot of us are stuck at home, practicing social distancing while trying to figure out what to do with ourselves and what to expect from the world. Some people are adopting “do all I can do” mindsets – embarking on challenges to stay creative, be productive, get organized, get in shape, etc. For others, those pressures to perform can feel ridiculous and even tone deaf right now.

There’s no one right way to move through this and if you ask us, it’s just as valid to be in the rest-grieve-process camp as the get-shit-done camp, or anywhere in between. We do think this disruption of everyday life provides a unique opening when it comes to developing new habits and listening to your body though.

So, we’re sharing some quarantine-friendly tips for anyone looking to improve their cycles. Try all of them, or pick just one or two – whatever feels do-able for you.

9 Ways to Improve Your Period While Quarantining:

  1. Masturbate
  2. Start (or nurture) a daily meditation practice.
    Start (or nurture) a daily meditation practice
    • Chances are your morning routine isn’t, or doesn’t need to be, what it was a month ago. You can use this change to carve out time to meditate, even if it’s just for two minutes. Set a daily alarm to meditate at a certain time or build it into your day by doing it before another non-negotiable activity like right before you shower or while you wait for your coffee to brew. If you’re just getting started, meditation apps like Insight Timer have all sorts of (free) guided meditations, ranging from 1 minute to over an hour.
    • Meditation will improve your cycle because it manages stress, which causes constriction in the body, which leads to issues like cramping and clotting.
  3. Incorporate more cycle-supporting foods into your diet.
    Incorporate more cycle-supporting foods into your diet
    • While supermarkets and Amazon aren’t well-stocked on everything, we have noticed there seems to be no shortage of these:
      • Chia Seeds

      • (Rich in omega 3s, calcium, magnesium, iron, soluble fiber, complete protein, and more, chia seeds are amazing for you and your cycle. They help your body regulate hormones and reduce PMS, they give you primo material for making quality blood, and they can reduce inflammation and cramping. We’ve seen them in the supermarket, but if your local store is out, there’s plenty available via Amazon. Read more about the benefits of chia and get three tasty recipes here.
      • Leafy Greens

      • (Spinach, bok choy, kale, chard… whatever greens are in the produce section of your supermarket will make a great addition to your diet. Leafy greens are rich in iron, which your body needs to make blood, and magnesium, which helps regulate cramping. They’re also alkalizing and anti-inflammatory!)
      • Ginger & Turmeric

      • (Both of these are great when it comes to fighting inflammation, which means less cramps and bloating. They also support a healthy immune system. Buy them fresh and throw them into your smoothies, cook them in soups, sautée them with garlic and veggies, boil with water for teas, or use them to make golden lattes, etc.)
      • Congee

      • (All you really need to make this is brown rice and water –– if you want to mix things up you can use a mix of grains, like brown rice and oats. Regardless, this rice porridge is great for anyone with digestion issues and/or absorption issues. It’ll help your body get the nutrients it needs to make healthy blood for your period, and can reduce digestion-related symptoms.)
  4. Start tracking your period (or take a few minutes to review your data).
    Start tracking your period (or take a few minutes to review your data).
    • If you’re not already tracking your period, now would be a great time to start. You can do it in a journal, on your calendar, or on one of the period tracking apps. Try to go beyond tracking which days you bleed and which days you don’t – you want to look at the color of your period blood, how heavy your flow is on different days, what symptoms you feel during your period and the weeks leading up to it, and really how you feel in general each day.
    • Keeping tabs on all this will allow you to not only predict your next period but also observe patterns in how you feel throughout your cycle and glean insights into your reproductive health and overall health. (We break down how to understand the different messages your period markers and symptoms are sending here.)
  5. Wash your hands before changing your tampon, cup, etc.
    Wash your hands before changing your tampon, cup, etc
    • This recommendation has been around for a long time. It’s printed on the instructions your cup or tampons came with. But we’ve found many people with periods don’t (or didn’t) take it so seriously. Now that you’re washing your hands ALL THE TIME, make sure you do it before tending to your period too. (And keep this up after covid-19 is a thing of the past! You don’t want dirty hands touching your vagina’s mucous membrane, now or ever.)
  6. Make daily walks a thing.
    Make daily walks a thing
    • You need to move your body every day to keep your blood flowing healthily. As long as you’re able to keep 6-feet of distance, this is a great time to add walks to your day. Regular moderate exercise, like brisk half hour walks, will help both your menstrual cycle and your overall health. Plus, the sunlight you’ll get from going outside will provide you with Vitamin D, which helps your immune system. (The sun is the best source of Vitamin D!)
  7. Do Yoga.
    Do Yoga
    • Yoga overlaps with walking on the “move your body” front and, like meditation and masturbation, it’s great for relieving stress. So, it helps get your blood flowing while also in turn reducing constriction and cramping. To relieve bloating, heavy bleeding and PMS, Yoga Journal specifically recommends lotus pose, head-to-knee forward bend, camel pose, bridge, and twists like Half Lord of the Fishes pose, Marichi’s pose and Noose pose. (Learn how to do each of those poses and see other poses that support your cycle here.)
    • If you like structure and classes, google “free yoga class.” You’ll find lots of options on youtube and a lot of studios are offering free or discounted virtual classes right now. Or, on the very opposite end of the spectrum, you can do what our founder does and do yoga while you watch series and movies. She says, “On the one hand, it makes my guilty pleasure shows feel less guilty because I’m doing something good for my body while I watch them, and on the other hand I end up doing longer sessions.” Basically, do whatever you’re actually going to be able to enjoy and commit to doing.
  8. Read and get informed.
    Read and get informed
    • If the lack of social plans (and maybe the lack of work) leaves you with more time on your hands, why not use some to read up and get informed as per what’s happening in your body? If you’re looking for something short and condensed, our (free) Healthy Period Handbook will help you understand your cycle, teach you to read the specific messages your symptoms and markers are sending you, and provide tailored tips to improve your cycle based on what you’ve got going on.
    • If you have more time, you can read (or listen to) our founder’s book, Seeing Red, which covers everything that’s in the Healthy Period Handbook but with more context. It’s a “data-driven handbook for menstrual periods that provides an easy-to-navigate roadmap for improving your reproductive health—and your everyday quality of life.”  It also looks at the history of menstruation, how it plays into societal norms and power dynamics, the women’s movement, and more. 
  9. Connect More.
    Connect More
    • Use this time of physical social isolation to get some virtual connection. Make a list of friends and family members you love (the ones you keep up with and the ones you haven’t spoken to in years). Go through and call one a day till you finish the list, then repeat. Chances are they could use some human interaction too.
    • Connecting with other people, even when it’s virtual, increases your oxytocin levels (the love hormone), which in turn reduces your levels of cortisol (the stress hormone). Less stress means less constriction and less cramps.
    • By the way, if you’re looking to connect with new people, we’re hanging out in this Facebook Group and would love to hear from you 🙂