Over half of the population on this planet menstruates, however the topic is still taboo (avoided or overlooked) in many cultures (including here in the UK). Environmenstrual Week starts on October 17th and focuses on how we can remove the stigma, as well as looking at the sustainable ways we manage our periods. At Sunny Jar, we've come up with our own list of easy, low waste solutions to a more comfortable period so you can care for the planet and your health and wellbeing.
Heat has been used to relieve pain for years and is effective when it comes to period pain. Make you own easy soothing heat pack. It's as simple as filling a cotton or bamboo sock with uncooked rice and your chosen essential oil and/or dried herbs. Sealing up any holes or openings in the socks with cotton twine or any old string or ribbon (avoid plastic) and pop it in the microwave for a minute or two depending on preference and heat pad size.
Diet has a larger impact on period comfort than you may realise. Eating lighter and wholegrain (easy to digest) can minimise bloating and stabilise energy levels. Try water-rich fruit and veg, this is important as the menstruation process needs energy and water, so it is also important to stay hydrated. Nuts are a light source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids and so are a good snacking option. Try to avoid red meats if you can as this can make period cramps worse. Here is a helpful list of foods you can eat and a list of foods that you may not want to eat on your period!
Rest is something that can be neglected when you have your period. Societal messages often make us feel we have to power through and ignore the pain. Needing rest does not make you weak or lazy, period pain is real and painful, and uses a lot of energy, therefore it is important to listen to your body and rest. Read more here
Ginger helps with inflammation and pain. Honey is rich in antioxidants and can promote healing. Here is a recipe for an easy ginger tea to help relax and soothe you. There are added benefits if you add turmeric. Studies have found that curcumin, a natural chemical in turmeric, may help with symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Try adding1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric to your ginger tea!
Reusable Period Products
Reusable period products can provide peace of mind, save money in the long term and are often healthier for our bodies as they don't contain the amount of chemicals in many main stream disposables.
A lot of products on supermarket shelves are full of harmful chemicals and current regulations do not protect us from these. However, there are now many alternatives, including menstrual cups, one of the cheapest ways to manage your period . You won't have to change your cup as often as a pad or tampon (they can be worn for up to 12 hours)* and this means less hassle and less worry. If you prefer not to use cups, other chemical-free options include organic tampons and cotton pads, reusable fabric pads and period pants.
It is important that everyone has access to a clean and green period. Keep up to date with the Environmenstrual Campaign, a movement for healthy, eco-friendly period products for all, led by our friends at the Women's Environmental Network (Wen). You can also find discount codes to these period products on their website. Environmenstrual Week is set to run on the 17th- 21st October 2022, with lots of events and campaigns for you to get involved with.
The Sunny Jar Team x
*this depends on your cup size and flow check on the website of your chosen cup. We recommend organicup, sign up for a discount code from Wen to get 15% off!
ps. If you suffer from severe pain and heavy flows we recommend you to see your GP about it. Click on this link to learn more about normal abnormal symptoms of your menstrual cycles