I have graduated college, secured a job, put aside a decent amount in savings, and, in most views, “become an adult.” I have responsibilities now. I pay taxes, and I am a career-minded working woman, and I’m now supposed to “deal with things.” But as I engage on this road to the real world, I look at my mother, older sister, and friends and have one thought: How the hell do they manage to appear effortlessly responsible and independent when it feels like a thousand hot knives are being shoved into your uterus for a week?
In college, getting my period was like a delightful day off. It was a free pass to stay in bed for a day, order Chinese, and procrastinate on all duties. Eat a whole cake? Why the hell not! Have a Hugh Grant marathon? Absolutely necessary. But I’ve realized that I can’t flaunt my newly found independence and mad adulting skills on one hand, while retreating from life on the other hand.
Don’t get me wrong: I highly advocate for the Hugh Grant and cake route, but every now and then we’ve got to suck it up, take it like a girl, and face the world head on. So here is a handy guide on how to survive your period like a big kid (without giving up on life).
Being the fierce, independent, on-the-go woman that you are is awesome and exciting… but it also sometimes means that you are living out of your car. Don’t get stuck pilfering generic brand Ibuprofin from your cubicle mate and using the cardboard vending machine tampons. Say no to punishing your vagina!
First things first: pack some water. Yeah, I know you’re bloated and have water weight. But hydrating with water all day will make you feel way less gross than inevitably giving in and breaking your soda fast. Keep it handy for washing down the Midol that you should definitely absolutely always keep on you.
But most importantly: get some reliable feminine hygiene products that you can take with you whenever. My personal recommendation is U By Kotex. They make both pads and tampons, and offer substantial coverage without being bulky. They’re ideal for travel and keeping with you on the go, and you can find them at any Walmart. And the best part is that they come in a variety of fun colors and patterns. Hysterically enough, my pad wrappers now match my yoga pants.
You are a smart, beautiful, independent woman, and you don’t need no period panties. Down with the hideous pair of granny panties! Away with elastic waistbands! (At least from 9-5… if you’re in an office. If you work from home, go for it.) You know those commercials with women running around on the beach in white and smiling because they’re so happy about their periods? That’s utter bullshit. But fake it till you make it, friend. Put on some pants, some underwear that fits, brush your damn hair and get out there. You might just be able to trick yourself into feeling better.
Find Your Indulgences
Just because I said no cake in bed doesn’t mean you can’t have cake. Life is an adventure, and getting your menses doesn’t change that. And what’s more adventurous than cake for breakfast? You just went through an entire day of adulting, all while wearing real pants. You definitely deserve to treat yo self. Decide at the start what your treat will be. Chipotle for lunch? Cake for dinner? Shunning all social activities and dining with Hugh Grant? Set that goal! When you achieve an entire day without an elastic waistband you will definitely feel like you deserved it.
Focus On Improving Yourself
I’ve started trying this thing where I set myself one goal each day to achieve—not just the usual “do dishes” or “go to the bank,” but one solid action that will improve my body or mind, and make me feel good about myself. And while completing this task is an awesome mood boost any day of the week, when I’m on my period, it’s such a confidence builder. Take time for yourself and read several chapters of that book you Instagrammed but never cracked open. Dare to work out (and if you’re using U By Kotex, you don’t need to worry about leakage). Take a walk, get out there, because exercise and moving will help alleviate cramps. These tiny victories are good for the soul, and good for you. And everyone needs something to celebrate.
You’ve got to find the little joys in life. You’re not pregnant! This will be over in 3-7 days! You will be footloose and tampon free for another month! Your baby box is in working condition. And you have a built in excuse to drink wine and eat cake, and not a single one of your female friends will judge you. You’re living the dream, friend.