Reviews coming!! Questions? Ask me here!

Hey all, 

Within in the next week or so I’m going to be putting up 2 reviews, probably via YouTube. One will be on my menstrual cup, and the other on a variety of cloth pantyliners that I’m trying out this time around on during my cycle. They’re coming from a few different Etsy sellers, as well as Party In My Pants and Lunapads. My cup is a DivaCup. Nobody is paying me to do this, I’m just interested in educating more people about these products and how easy it is to go green on your period and do good things for your own health at the same time! 

That being said…if you have ANY questions at all about the above topics, or about periods in general, please feel free to leave them in the comments and I’ll answer them in my reviews! I know there are a lot of concerns around cups and reusable pads from anyone who hasn’t used them yet so no question is too simple or complicated. Hit me with ’em! 

 

Have a Beautiful Day!

Live YOUR Truth – No One Else’s

I’m at a very interesting point in my life. Emotionally, spiritually, and well…actually. 

I live with my aunt and uncle and bratty 17 year old cousin (male), rent free, while I work and finish school. The story of how I got here is too long. But I’m here. And I’m fairly self-sufficient and things run pretty smoothly for us here. 

One thing I have had to work very hard at keeping intact is my own truth. I am very different from this family. Sure, we have similar values and my aunt and uncle only want what’s best for me. But we have different ideas of WHAT those things are, and how I should go about getting to them. 

Admittedly, I’m a very emotionally sensitive person. I’m very empathic. I’m also very positive and kind. I don’t like to make others feel bad or put them down. My 17 year old cousin, on the other hand, thinks it’s HILARIOUS to torture me and make me feel like shit and have to get defensive. And my aunt just tells me to throw it back at him, don’t let it get to me. But…that’s not who I am. I can’t come up with insults off the cuff because I DON’T ENJOY GIVING THEM. Why should I enjoy making other people feel bad, even if it’s just a joke? It’s not funny. 

So as hard as it is, and as much as it hurts, I have to learn to let it roll off my back. Some days I can’t and I really take it to heart. Other times I can just ignore it and remind myself that I am MADE OF LOVE and don’t have to worry about anything else. I forgive him and move on. 

In a similar vein, I have professional differences with my aunt. She is a third year law student and former government employee. She and my uncle are both academics. I’m taking an extra semester to finish school, and I don’t even want to think about grad school. My aunt is all about The Plan – having one and executing one. I’m SO not. I let life comes as it happens. I take care of myself, my money and my life and I look for things that make me happy. I go with the flow and know that there is a universal plan for me and that everything is going to be a-okay. 

Decisions? I don’t make ’em. I hate making ’em. I only make ’em if my life or well being depends on it. I don’t even know what I want to do after graduation. And honestly, I’m SICK of being told what I should be doing by someone who really doesn’t get me. She doesn’t get my close relationship with my mother. She doesn’t get that not EVERYTHING depends on The Plan.

So my lesson here to you is DON’T LOSE YOUR TRUTH. Don’t let people around you try to stifle what you know in your heart and gut to be real. Because if you feel it that deeply and passionately then, IT’S REAL and nobody can take it away from you. 

 

Self-care on the road to Self-Love

We’ve all heard it before: nobody will be able to truly love you until you love yourself. 

I never knew if this was true or not, because I’ve loved friends who don’t fully love themselves yet. So maybe it’s time we change this saying around a bit. Nobody will fully love you until you TRY to love yourself.

TRY is a huge word to me. 

You can say you’re going to do your homework or get good grades; you can say you’re going to start eating better; you can say you’re going to keep up with your blog ;)…but it doesn’t matter unless you TRY. 

Self-love doesn’t come overnight. As you know if you’ve read my past blogs, I’ve never been one who has completely loved myself until recently. I was destroying myself slowly through starvation, bingeing and purging, and self-mutilation. Even though I somehow thought it was going to make everything better, I was NOT in a loving place with myself. 

But I got up every morning. And I TRIED. I sought out the help I needed, and I took the advice of my friends, family, and doctors. I TRIED every day to feed myself nutritious foods and put down the razor blade. And it was fucking hard. And it took a long time. It took relapses, and medication increases and days that I didn’t want to live. But guess what? I’m here. I’m a live and I LOVE MYSELF IN THIS MOMENT. 

I wish I could give you a step-by-step manual on how to get there. But I really can’t. But I do know that it starts and continues with self-care. I took the care to get help, but I also took the care to forgive myself when I relapsed or had a bad thought. Today, I take care to watch the content of what I put into my body – not in numbers of calories or fat grams but in wholesomeness – what chemicals am I ingesting? Is this a food that’s going to nourish me and benefit me?

I no longer strain myself at the gym – seeing as I HATE the gym. I practice yoga daily, I run around outside with the dog, and I walk frequently.  I get in my 30-45 minutes of moderate activity a day and I remember to treat myself well. If I’m tired, I rest. If I’m hungry, I EAT. Even if I just ate two hours ago. I eat something delicious and wholesome that will keep me full and do something great for my body.

I’m not saying that it’s easy, because it’s not. I’m saying that it’s possible, and it’s so worth it to say that you love yourself in this moment. 

Have a Beautiful day, xx.

PERIOD POSITIVITY – the basics!

Okay, so there is this HUGE thing in my life right now and it’s being PERIOD POSITIVE. This is going to cover the basics of why it’s great to be period positive and why it’s amazing to really get in touch with ourselves as women. It’s kind of the bare bones so you may know a lot of this information if you consider yourself period positive in any way! 

And since I’m supposed to start my period in the next 4 days (I’m a bit irregular), I figured, what better time than now to put this to the public?

It’s no secret that the female menstruation cycle is filled with jokes and pain and frustration and, unfortunately, embarrassment. But you know what I’ve discovered – along with many other women? It doesn’t have to be that way. Your period can become another part of your life that you’re completely accustomed to, and fairly comfortable with. There are ways to lessen the strain on your wallet and your conscience. Now all of this isn’t foolproof and I am by no means licensed to give our health information. Take suggestions from what I say and talk to your doctor to figure out what might work for you. 

As you can imagine, I’m very anti-medicine, synthetic, etc. I don’t like chemicals on, in, or around my body when it can be helped. And that especially goes for sensitive, self-caring areas such as my genitals. 

Here’s the scenario: you’re on your period and you just got your period before you left for work/class/what have you. Well guess what? You underestimated your flow this month and you’re probably going to leak through your tampon or pad if you don’t get to the restroom RIGHT NOW. You dig around in your bag discreetly to make sure you have supplies, and you take your (probably) giant purse or backpack, etc toward the restroom. Well, make sure you have that tampon or pad hidden because, ew, nobody wants to know or think about you on your period, right? That’s gross. 

I’m not sure if you know this, but your vagina actually works really hard. You don’t need to do much to keep it happy outside of healthy eating, activity, and cleanliness (and in ‘cleanliness’ I’m including using condoms and getting tested when sexually active). Your body naturally cleans itself from the inside in the form of discharge, and that pubic hair you like to shave off to make things more “aesthetically pleasing” for your partner? It keeps out bacteria and other nasties that will try to worm their way inside of you and cause trouble for your lady parts. 

So where am I getting to with all this boring stuff? That your vagina isn’t really as…gross as people make it out to be. It’s actually very clean. And that blood that comes out every month? Well, it’s been sitting inside of you for weeks and you still haven’t died yet, right? 

Here’s where we begin to talk about POSITIVITY! It’s about being a-okay with your period. It’s about knowing what you have to do to take care of yourself and to STOP being ashamed every time you have to take care of something totally natural. YOU HAVE THE CAPACITY TO CREATE LIFE INSIDE YOUR BELLY. You should be being worshipped for that. Did you know that there are still some cultures that send women away, not to hide them or shame them, but to let them REST and be comfortable during their cycle?

So step one of my period positive checklist? Self-Care. Practice self care during your period (and other days as well). Take an extra long shower or bath if it comforts you. Eat really, really well and keep hydrated. Sleep if you’re exhausted and need an extra nap. Tap into yourself and listen to your body. It knows what’s up and if you pay attention, it will tell you what you need. That greasy fast food you’re craving? Probably not going to make you feel like a superstar – try to figure out what about it you’re craving and substitute it for something similar. Is it the salty potato of fries? Do sweet potato fries at home with coarse sea salt for extra vitamins and way less fat that won’t make you feel MORE bloated than you already are. 

Step 2: care for the world. One of the greatest things I like to do with my period is being environmentally conscious. This isn’t for everyone, but there IS an option for everyone if you’d like to look into it. I recently switched completely off disposable menstrual products and am I loyal user of the Diva Cup. I no longer spend $15-$20 each month for tampons and pads. I paid $40 for a product that will last me 5 years AND lessen my footprint on the earth. No more wrappers, no more waste. And NO MORE DRY PULLING (tampons not only absorb menstrual fluid, but they also absorb ALL the other fluid in your vagina that keep it clean and moist. Pulling those suckers out dry is no fun). If you’re used to pads, research reusable pads. They’re soft, comfortable and easy to use as disposables. For me, knowing that I’m helping the planet (and my wallet) makes my period easier. 

Step 3: Get in touch with your cycle. Both literally and figuratively. Figuratively, chart your cycle. There are amazing phone apps and calendars for you to keep track these days. You can include your moods, flow level, food cravings, and other symptoms. It is also great for family planning. If you’re of the age where you’re thinking about children, charting your cycle can help you to recognize when your most fertile days are so you can get pregnant on YOUR terms. As far as the literal part goes – STOP BEING AFRAID OF MENSTRUAL BLOOD. I know it’s hard because I used to be grossed out by it too. But it’s really not going to kill you. It doesn’t kill crops or make men blind. It’s just the leftovers since you decided you didn’t want a baby. As someone who uses a menstrual cup, I have quite a bit of contact with myself in that way. It ain’t no thang. I wash my hands well before and after removing and inserting the cup (ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS) and then I get on my merry way. Nobody knows any different. And it’s none of their business but they shouldn’t care. I washed my hands. I’m clean, okay?

Step 4: manage pain. This is a big one. The pain. The headaches, backaches, cramps, bloating, OH MY! For several years I’ve been very irregular, sometimes going 6 months without getting my period. Even now my cycle ranges from 32-45 days – though healthy eating and regular walking/yoga have helped level me out. But no matter what I’ve always had really brutal physical symptoms. Not to mention the depression, fatigue, ugh. And I used to just pop Midol all the time. And there is probably a time and a place for that. But I don’t like painkillers. Instead of fixing the cause, they dull the receptors in your brain so you don’t think you’re in pain. As much as it’s tempting, try heating pads or hot water bottles – this method actually relaxes your pelvic and uterine muscles which are in the middle of SPASMS to release the blood and helps to relieve pain that way. One of my favorite mood lifters? Dark chocolate. At least 75% (preferably 85). The chocolate will help your endorphin levels rise and keep you from falling too deep into the doom-and-gloom of your cycle. And don’t forget about tea! Even in the summer I drink a TON of hot tea for my period. Chamomile is really soothing before bed. I drink green tea regularly to keep myself from getting lethargic. And I love trying out different teas created specifically for a woman’s cycle. Usually these have a base of raspberry leaf so if you’re able to find or make your own – start there. 

 

This is how I started to become period positive. I’m not 100% there yet, but with each cycle I get a little closer. I know what’s coming and how I’m going to take care of myself. Just remember, ignore the negativity! It’s NOT a curse and it DOESN’T have to be hidden. It’s empowering and it’s natural and it keeps humans on earth. 

 

Have a BEAUTIFUL day. xx

When Life Gets in the way of Life

Hi all, how have you been?

 

I’ve been CRAZY the last six or seven months. I wrapped up another semester of school, as well as a summer class. I’ve had pitfalls and heartbreaks and epiphanies galore. But most importantly, I’ve missed blogging. I’ve missed having a public forum to reach out to. Another part of this communication that I like is the integration of the internet. Now, when I’m not in class or at work I’m usually online doing something. I love learning and exploring and one of the best ways to do that these days is the internet.

Now I hear you asking, “But Ellen, you seem so disconnected from technology and all about being in tune with the world and your inner-self, how can you do both?”

Oh, dear readers, it is difficult, but I’m going to keep on exploring it until I get it right. And this is just the beginning.

 

xx,

E