"Did you just say celebrate?" you might be wondering. Yes I did. Believe it or not, it's possible!
Even if you're on board with the benefits being in touch with your cyclical fertility, enjoying the actual period part of the menstrual cycle can still be a tough pill to swallow. For those who are lucky, bleeding for 3-7 days a month can be a massive inconvenience. And to those who suffer from serious period problems (such as heavy flow and dreadful cramping), it can be absolute misery.
So how can we change that? How can we change from seeing our periods as 'the curse' to viewing them as a blessing? Keep reading for some ideas on how to celebrate your period.
For most women, menstruation feels like a time of decreased energy. Or rather, a time when our energy feels more internally focused and less externally expendable. Rather than being a drag, this can be a powerful time of rest and rejuvenation. You may not feel like socializing much, and that's okay. Instead, rest when possible, both physically and emotionally. Though time off work or away from the kids may not be an option, you can slow down in little ways. Take extra long showers. Journal. Pray. Skip that party and enjoy a quiet night in instead.
Create a celebration ritual
In our modern culture, periods are mostly seen as an annoyance and embarrassment best ignored and 'dealt with' reluctantly. But we may feel more positive about this aspect of our femininity when we intentionally create special monthly menstruation rituals. This doesn't have to be all weird or new-agey: maybe it's simply choosing a special herbal tea you only drink during your period, or a candle you can light on your desk during your days of heaviest flow. Maybe there's a particular Bible verse you'll meditate on, a special piece of jewelry you'll wear, or a particular treat you'll enjoy.
Don't forget to take special care of your body during this time. Though it's tempting to reach for the potato chips and chocolate, eating poorly can make period problems worse (or even cause them!), so eat nourishing, whole food whenever possible.
And don't forget, choosing the right menstrual products for you can go a long way to making your period a healthier, happier experience. Don't necessarily just grab the same name brand pads or tampons that you always do - try researching alternative options like menstrual cups, cloth pads, or organic products. You may find something you actually like!
Note: If you experience painful or difficult periods, know that this is not normal, and seek the advice of a qualified health professional.
Resting isn't the only thing you can do to feel your best. Exercising during your period is actually a great way to increase circulation and lessen cramps. Strenuous activity might be off the table for most people, but gentle stretching, a leisurely walk, or a slow bike ride might be refreshing and grounding.
Of course we should be always considering how we can connect with God better and grow in our spiritual walk. But there is something about being on our periods that can remind us to really dig in, quiet our hearts, and focus on heavenly things. This can be especially helpful if you are one who experiences mood swings (grumpiness!) during menstruation - extra time spent praying, listening to worship music, or reading God's word can be a beautiful way find comfort, process our feelings, seek God's will, and remember what really matters.
How about you, what are some ways that you've celebrated your period?