Learn how to demonstrate self care and why taking time away for yourself during your menstrual cycle is so important. WUKA experts discuss self care.
Self Care During Periods
Everybody responds differently to their period. Some have short cycles, some have heavy flows. Some suffer with migraines, other suffer with extreme bloating and period acne breakouts. However your period and the accompanying symptoms of PMS treats you, it’s the one time of the month where practising self-care habits couldn’t be more important.
We all need some TLC every now and then - and these days, self-care is so much more than just a popular buzz word. It’s critical for emotional and physical wellbeing - and let’s face it, after the tumultuous year or two we’ve all endured recently, we could all learn a thing or two about releasing the guilt associated with so-called ‘self-indulgence’.
Self care is not selfish. It’s about learning how to fill your own cup before you pour into another’s. It’s about knowing your own worth, the importance of your own health, and showing others that you care about yourself too. And when you’re on your period, there are no prizes for struggling through just because you think you should. It’s also worth pointing out that self care can look different to different people.
For some, it can be taking an extra 5 minutes in the evening to complete a skincare step you usually skip. For others, it can be a full body massage. For others still, especially if PMS symptoms are severe, it can be as small and seemingly normal as brushing your hair in the morning. Like we said, we’re all different.
Here are some of the best ways that you can take are of yourself and[practise self care during your period.
Take a Warm Bath
There’s a reason why new mums swear by bath time for their babies - it’s a whole body sensory experience, designed to warm, soothe and relax. And if you’re plagued by period cramps, it can be a really effective pain reliever too.
Plus, when you take a bath you can lock the door, lie back with a good book and enjoy the peace and quiet- what’s not to love? It’s a simple act, but it works.
Drink Lots of Water
Staying hydrated is so impotent, and it’s a small act of self care that lots of us tend to ignore. We don’t even see it as self care- but it is!
Drinking plenty of water can not only help to ease headaches (they can be so much worse when you’re dehydrated!) but it can help keep muscles supple, easing cramps too.
In fact, this study, carried out in 2020, found that hypohydration (when the body loses fluids) can negatively affect “cognitive function, mood state and fatigue in women”- and the report goes on to conclude that dehydration can cause an increase pain too.
Drinking plenty of water also helps to flush toxins from the body, helping with skin issues and inflammation. No excuses- carry a water bottle around with you and show your body you care!
Write A Journal
Sometimes it’s easer to write it all down than to say it out loud. So if this is you, keeping a journal can be a fantastic way to organise your thoughts and feelings.
During our period, our emotions can be all over the place and it really can help to get it all down on paper. Give it a try and see.
Wear Comfy Underwear and Clothes
There is nothing worse than being on your period, feeling bloated and suffering with cramps- only for your clothes to feel uncomfortable, digging in and tight. So why do it to yourself? Wearing clothes that cling in all the wrong paces and that make you feel 100 times worse is a recipe for disaster. Choosing clothes that stretch is a simple act of self care that we should all be on board with.
And while we’re on the subject, WUKA period pants were designed with comfort in mind, because we know just how important it is to be able to breathe freely during our period.
In particular, our Stretch Seamless collection is great for those days where you’re feeling really bloated. They fit from UK size 6-22- stretching and shaping to your own body shape with the softest of Microfibre to keep you comfy and leak-free. Perfect!
Reduce Screen Time
Screen time during your period is sometimes the light relief that you need, especially at the end of a busy day. But research such as this study done in Japan shows that screen time can affect PMS symptoms, and this 2019 Canadian study, carried out to study the effects of screen time on depression, concluded:
“We found an association between social media and depression in adolescence. Based on the upward social comparison, it may be that repeated exposure to idealised images lowers adolescents’ self-esteem, triggers depression, and enhances depression over time. Furthermore, heavier users of social media with depression appear to be more negatively affected by their time spent on social media.”
Additional research also shows that the blue light emitted from our screens can seriously hamper sleep too, this study looked at medical students and their use of screens at bedtime, and found a clear link with poor sleep habits, poor sleep quality and increased fatigue during the day time too.
Our advice? Do yourself a favour and turn the screens off for a while. A wonderful act of self care in the modern age.
Get Plenty Of Sleep
A good transition from our previous point on screen time… prioritising your sleep is the ultimate in self care.
A lack of sufficient sleep, of a good quality, can seriously impede our mental health and physical wellbeing. We feel sluggish, we’re more prone to headaches, and we experience a lowering of mood too. And having your period on top of all of that? Ugh.
Luckily, there are simple steps that you can take to improve your sleep hygiene. Having a good daily and bedtime routine really helps too, so make that your first step towards a restful night. As already mentioned, keep the screens to a minimum, especially once you start to wind down for the evening, and try turning off the television too- now is the time for a good book!
Listen To Your Favourite Music
Listening to your favourite music is an amazing way to wind down and relax- so don’t be shy. Turn it up, have a boogie and enjoy!
Watch Your Favourite Movies
Sometimes there’s nothing else for it. Curling up on the sofa to watch your favourite movie is can be a fantastic act of self care- especially on a Saturday night when you’re feeling a little low or suffering with period cramps. Get the popcorn ready and relax.
Eat Your Favourite Comfort Foods
Whether it’s mum’s apple crumble or your favourite takeaway from down the road- comfort food has it’s time and place and if it makes you feel better, then go for it. Its called comfort food for a reason.
Hot Water Bottle
Period cramps got you down? A hot water bottle is the answer. Applying heat to your tummy can be a really effective way of easing cramps and soothing sore muscles, so don’t feel guilty for taking some time out to rest like this for a while.
And our WUKA wearable hot water bottle has the added bonus of attaching directly to you, so you don’t even need to hold it in place. Plus, we added a handy pocket to store you phone in too. Clever huh!
Get Fresh Air
There’s nothing quite like a good walk in the fresh outdoors, no matter what the weather. Get your body moving, breath in the fresh air and get those endorphins pumping.
Find a Period Underwear Product To Suit You
Don’t let your period interfere with all your hard work when it comes to establishing a really good self care routine. Make sure your period pants fit you well and are up to the task!
If you’re looking period underwear to keep you feeling secure and comfy, go for our High Waisted period pants or Midi Brief- perfect for overnight and for those days where you just want to wear big knickers!
And if you refuse to let your period make you feel anything other than amazing, go for our subtly sexy Lace collection or our smoothing and shaping Stretch Seamless for the perfect silhouette under that little black dress.
We’ve got a style and a fit for everyone!
Shop Period Pants
What does it mean to do self-care?
Self care literally means taking care of yourself. To respect your body and your emotions and to recognise when you need to slow it down, take a step back and do something for you. Whether its a whole duvet day or just five minutes, we all need a little TLC now and then.
What are examples of self-care?
Self care can vary from person to person. It can be really small things, such as reading a good book, taking a bubble bath or spending the afternoon watching your favourite movie. It can be going for a walk or even a run. It can be waking up early once a week to enjoy a coffee in peace.
Or it can be bigger, more permanent life changes that benefit the mind, body and soul- cutting down on sugar, implementing an exercise routine or establishing a good sleep routine.
What are the 5 self-care practises?
There are five self care practises to keep in mind: social, mental, spiritual, emotional and physical. These encompass every area of your life and if you reflect on your own worthiness within each category, you’re on the right track.
What are the 7 Pillars of self-care?
The seven pillars of self care are:
- Health: knowing what you need to do to maintain good physical health- eg, diet, staying hydrated etc
- Mental well-being: recognising and accepting when your mood is low and taking steps to slow down and care for yourself
- Physical: maintaining regular exercise routine
- Diet: keeping tabs on what you eat and how it makes you feel, plus how it fuels your body
- Understanding risks: for example, the risks associated with smoking or drinking, practising safe sex etc
- Hygiene- establishing and maintaining good hygiene habits for physical and emotional wellbeing
- Social responsibility: understanding and using products and services correctly, respecting the planet and your own ethics, plus being aware of dangers too