Menstruation Management in the Pandemic
Periods do not stop for the pandemic. Even with the ease of restrictions and the change in circumstances, millions of menstruators are still struggling. Period poverty is a growing human rights issue where numbers of young girls and women across the world struggle to access menstrual products and proper education about menstruation. In Canada, nearly a quarter of women have reportedly struggled to afford menstrual products for themselves or their dependents. This was before the pandemic hit. Now, period poverty has reached thousands of more girls during this time.
Here are some ways to get help:
The Period Purse
The Period Purse organization is dedicated to providing access to period products for women in need. This organization has locations all around Canada and they are focused on creating equality for women. Like HAGO, they believe that menstrual health is a shared responsibility. It will take a collective effort and support to create real, sustainable change. You can find their website here.
HAGO's Period Product Support Program
For those in the GTA, this program is for individuals who struggle to afford period products. This program aims to provide support to those in need, HAGO will provide a 1-3 month supply of menstrual products in each box, dropped off at your door. To apply, fill out the form on our website!
Making Your Own Period Products
If you cannot access any of these options or are in desperate need of period products, there are ways to make your own. One option is to use a clean washcloth and fold it into the size of a pad, this option will provide absorbency and relieve you of free bleeding. You can find alternate ways here.
Here are some ways you can help:
Host a Packing Party
Donate Menstrual Products to Shelters
Donate money to Shoppers Drugmart
Sign petitions to make period products free
Buy your own products from brands that give back (Always, U by Kotex...)
Many women have also seen a rise in their anxiety and stress levels. Here are some ways to de-stress and handle any amplified PMS symptoms:
Take a Healing Bath
Self-care is important when it comes to de-stressing. Taking a relaxing bath with epsom salts and essential oils three times a week will ensure that your stress levels do not become unbearable. Taking time for yourself will make everything feel easier and less like an uphill struggle.
Doing regular exercise during the month may help women have less severe PMS symptoms. Pilates, HIIT workouts, biking, walks, and at-home exercises are a great way to get in some physical activity during this time. People are less likely to have mood and behavior changes, such as anxiety and depression if they frequently exercise.
Yoga and Meditation
Using relaxation techniques to reduce stress can help with controlling your anxiety and PMS symptoms. Taking 10-20 minutes to find a quiet space to do yoga or meditate is an amazing way for women to relax and have a clear mind in times of stress.
Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep is one of the most important factors in keeping your emotions controlled. A poor sleep schedule makes for a stressful situation. Sleeping badly (going to bed late and waking up late) will cause high levels of the stress hormone. When you have a consistent sleep schedule it will give you control over your stress and make you feel less anxious.
Some food to avoid that can have a negative impact on your menstrual cycle are alcohol, caffeine, fatty foods, salt, and sugar. It is recommended to have carbohydrates such as whole grains and starchy veggies. These can reduce moodiness and anxiety-inducing food cravings. Foods rich in calcium are also beneficial, such as yogurt and milk.
Try Maca Root Powder
Maca root powder can offer an energy boost so that you do not reach for the coffee or alcohol (which increases your stress levels). This adaptogen can help resist stressors of all kinds and has many benefits for women's hormonal balance. It is safe for all people but it is recommended to do your research before adding any supplements into your diet.
Here is a helpful UNICEF article of 9 things we should know about periods during the pandemic.
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