I get terribly painful periods. I once turned green and nearly fainted whilst at work. In those days, pain killers didn’t make an ounce of difference so I didn’t even bother trying. Gradually I planned my life around my periods. I enjoyed knowing I was going to have 3 quiet days each month that were just for me. Not only were the first day of the period extremely painful but the days preceding were also quite difficult. My energy levels were sometimes so low I couldn’t leave the house, or work from home like normal, I would just nap all day for a day each month. I’d also be pretty damn snappy. Though that only seemed to happen when my nearest and dearest were around; why is it always them that get an ear full?
I got married last year and knowing that I could possibly get my period on the day of my wedding was terrifying. So I worked with a Herbalist. That’s right, even Herbalists need Herbalists. I worked with Brittany Nickerson for 6 months before the wedding and we managed to get my cycles regulated, un-painful and completely PMS-free. I haven’t taken that blend for a while now but rather a supplement from Wild Nutrition called Premenstrual Supplement. It’s been great and this month, although I had pain, it wasn't totally debilitating and I had almost no PMS. Except for the morning my period began.
I haven’t felt this way in a long time. I slipped into a deep depression at the state of the world. We were watching “How it’s Made” and I was reflecting on the industrial revolution and how reliant we are on mass-produced products that are designed to break. I excused myself and went to lie down in the bed room, alone. I didn’t want to be near anyone or hear anyone. All I could think of was how terrible the modern world is; the famine and gluttany, the indulgence and deprivation. My body wasn’t moving but my brain was. I’ve been there before and I know it needs to be stopped before I get stuck there, literally. Stuck in my body. Stuck in my mind. But I did listen to these thoughts for a while wondering about their location and cause.
I tell my patients all the time that the things which come up for them emotionally during their premenstrual phase isn’t totally random but actually something that bothers them throughout the month but that they can usually suppress or control. I feel that women are the first to feel the problems of the world; like budgies in a mine. We reflect back to everyone, once a month, all that is wrong. We amplify the pain, sorrow, and frustrations in the world. But sadly, most women, shirk it off. “Oh it’s just my hormones”. It’s not JUST your hormones, it’s also your surroundings, your lifestyle, your diet, your relationships. When you ignore what comes up you only make it worse for next month. Take the time to reflect.
I realised during this short depression that I’m still upset by a lot of ways in which the world works. But I also could see that my mind wasn’t showing me any of the good things. So I doubled-down and have reaffirmed my eco ethics. I’ve been buying organic foods again, I’ve been researching ethically produced clothing for my birthday, I’ve stopped cutting corners. Lord knows I can’t control others actions but I can control mine. If you get into depressive stupors once a month here are the techniques I use to keep them in perspective.
I do “The Work”. This is a process of self-enquiry that Byron Katie created and I love it. More about that here.
I get up and move my body around.
I find positive stimulus such as “Positive News” to read which opens my mind to the good in the world.
I practice gratitude for life. I like to write lists of 10 things I am grateful for.
I hug my husband/cat, either will do!
I cook myself a nourishing meal of whole foods, absolutely no sugar. This grounds me and changes my perspective to the positive.
I spend the first 2 weeks of my cycle taking detoxing herbs like dandelion root and leaf.
I spend the last 2 weeks of my cycle taking relaxants like chamomile and cramp bark.
I see a herbalist. If you'd like to see me as your herbalist, just click here.
Each of us is different and responds to the natural flow of our hormones differently. I'd like to invite you to learn about an amazing thing called the Fertility Awareness Method. It is a way you can discover all the microscopic signs your body gives about where your hormones are at. I've put together a free webinar to teach you the basics. Just fill out the form below.