The Period Plan: How to stay happy, productive, and still take care of yourself on your period

I’ve had my period since I was ten and I’ve still never managed to live my life fully during that time in my life.

As women, we all have different periods. The flow, when it happens, how we feel, etc. But I want to share with you what I experience and what I am planning on doing to do so that I can still live a full, active, and happy life.

Usually, I start experiencing symptoms a week or a few days before it comes. I start get cramps, backaches, headaches, increased appetite, irritability, and a lower level of energy. Although these are not great, they are usually at a low level enough that it does not change the way I am and what I do.

But then my period hits and everything changes. My symptoms increase tenfold and I find it difficult to get the things done that I wanted or needed to.

At this time all the plans I made goes out the window. But even if I follow through with those plans, which I usually try to do, I am moody, extremely tired, and in pain.

Not ideal.

After a week or a tiny bit long, my periods ends, I feel like myself again and I have to work to getting back into my routine.

This all takes place in a two week or two and a half week period. Which means that I only completely feel like myself for maybe two weeks or so of the month. That sucks.

I was talking to my husband and he pointed out that I’ve been neglecting my period. I try hard to make plans and routines for my life and yet I’ve never made one for when I am on my period.

I am changing that. Here is my plan on how I am going to stay productive and happy (or as happy as I can be) on my period. The point of this plan is to put habits and systems in place for a few reasons.

The point is not only to make sure I’m taking good care of myself, but it’s also to make sure that I can keep my routines and still be productive but on a different level than would be typical otherwise.

I am going to divide my period into three stages. And these stages will determine what I do. I am going to create three blog posts about each stage. When I try to compile them into one, there was just too much information for one post.

Let’s start with the preparation stage or the prep stage.

The prep stage is the stage where I can feel my body preparing for my period to come. I also keep a period calendar on my phone which I’ve used for years. And so, between how I feel and the calendar, I can get a pretty good idea of when my period will show up.

What currently happens is that when I know my period is coming, I get a bit down and I get annoyed because I know my energy will plummet and I will get irritable. And all the plans that I had made will be delayed.

 What I plan to do during this stage, is attempt to do the things that require that my energy and attention be turned outward.

1. Wrap up energy heavy work

I will try to finish any client work I have to do and finish any energy consuming projects I have. If I can’t wrap those projects up, then I do as much work on it as I can during this prep work so I can have a lighter load during my period.

I also plan more low-key activities with my children. One of the things I do with my children every weekday is exercise. It can range from dancing to yoga. And so I will usually plan on doing yoga and stretching with them.

In addition, I talk to my children about the kind of activities they want to do during the week and then pick the ones that will help me preserve the most energy.

For example, if they say they want to play baseball, go to the library, experiment with colors, garden, board games, I will tell them that we’ll have to do baseball the next week but that we can do the others that week.

2. Meal Prep

Another thing I plan on doing is meal prepping during this time.

This meal prep is two-fold. One, I will prepare meals for my whole family so that even when I don’t have the energy or am in too much pain, my family will still have a healthy, delicious meal.

And two, preparing lunches that are protein and calorie dense.

Something I’ve noticed is that when I’m menstruating, I tend to want a lot of red meat and high caloric food with lots of fat. This is when I usually stop following any health plans or diet that I had set for myself.

Since I am trying to go vegan for a year and I don’t like eating fried and very fatty foods, I know meal prepping will be essential. Especially since my body does not like fried, process, or very fat dense meals. I tend to feel nauseous and get indigestion from those kinds of food. Of course, when I’m on my period I ignore this fact but always regret it a few hours later.

3. Pre-period Playlist

To help elevate my mood, as soon as I start experiencing symptoms, I will start to listen to a playlist I am in the process of creating.

Both a video playlist and a music one.

My video playlist includes YouTube videos that uplifts and inspire me. Some of my favorite Youtube channels are MuchelleB, Lavendaire, Pick Up Limes, Erin Henry, and Sweet Potato Soul.

I love these channels because I always walk away feeling happy, capable, and inspired to make myself and my life better.

I also will watch and listen to videos on Youtube and Instagram that helps me be a more loving, patient, and kind mom.

Simply on Purpose is an Instagram account that I absolutely love. Listening to Ralphie, the person behind Simply on Purpose, helps me be less irritable and impatient with my children.

I have a soothing music channel on Pandora that I play a few times a week. I just have it playing in the background as I spend time with my kids during the day. It’s not loud enough to be obnoxious but loud enough that we all feel much calmer.

I want to start listening to that as soon as I notice menstrual symptoms.

I love my children and it always makes me feel terrible when I am not as patient with them as I would like to be, which mostly happens when I’m not feeling well.

I think by creating and/or listening to these playlists more often, I can continue to be the kind of person I want to be. Even on my period.

What do you do to prepare for your period?

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