Menstrual cycles are literally *nothing* like the cutesy commercials that you see on TV.
Most of the time, Aunt Flo brings with her random bouts of tears, cramps that would make a grown man cry, and bloating to rival Violet Beauregarde. And, no…we’re really not exaggerating.
The smartest people we know always have a stash of stuff to use when they’re feeling down, and a fully-stocked period care package is no exception. You don't have to go all out to treat yourself, either–it can be as simple as stocking up on a few feel-good items next time you’re making a Target run, or thinking ahead next time you’re supporting a local #smallbusiness.
Too many people still dismiss self-care as “just another wellness trend.” We’re bucking that trend. At Selene, we consider ourselves to be somewhat experts in the self-care arena. Below, we’re sharing our favorite period care package tips and tricks to help make your periods suck a little bit less.
The Essentials of a Period Care Package
Whether it’s for yourself, a friend, a sister, or a roommate, a well-curated period care package will make anyone who’s menstruating feel like a goddess. Here are a few tips for putting together the best period care package:
Lean Into What You LoveIf you’re not sure where to begin, just start small. Ask yourself what makes you feel relaxed, happy and calm–especially when your period starts. Maybe it’s a special type of dark chocolate (good for menstruating bodies, more on that in a minute) a bag of gummies, or a bottle of your favorite perfume. Whatever it is that makes you feel particularly great, make sure to have plenty on hand to throw in your period care package.
Opt for OrganicYou're a natural goddess–you deserve to have natural tampons and pads for your flow.
No period care package is complete without the right set of period tools. Although the standard tampons are a little safer than those used by your grandmother (due to improved health standards), it doesn't guarantee that they're free of hazardous components. And, even though some doctors are still split on the health implications of organic period products, there are definite environmental implications to using 100% cotton products.
Make your life a little easier and check out a monthly subscription box for menstrual products, or add the essentials to your list next time you’re making a quick trip to the store.
Stock Up on SnacksOne recent study suggests that changes in hormones (estrogen + progesterone) causes cravings for high-carb and sweet foods before your period. When in doubt, blame it on the hormones. 💅 Adding the right foods to your period care package can help you go from feeling YUCKKK to YAYYY in a few bites. Here are some foods to add to your period stash:
💦 Water: We know we know–you can't "eat" water, but you should definitely make sure you stay thoroughly hydrated during your period, to help alleviate PMS symptoms. The Cleveland Clinic recommends that you drink at least 64 ounces of water daily to reduce bloating and improve digestion. Bored of plain water? Here are three ways to perk up plain water.
You could even add a pack of sparkling waters or naturally flavored H20 to your period care package if you feel like #treatingyourself (which you should always feel like, BTW).
🥦 Dark green veggies: During your menstrual cycle, it’s common for your iron levels to dip, especially if your flow is heavy. This can lead to fatigue, pain, added cramping, and dizziness. Leafy green vegetables (such as kale and spinach) can supercharge your iron levels and boost your body’s defense.
- 🍫 Dark chocolate: Delicious and nutritious, dark chocolate is rich in both iron and magnesium. One bar (100 grams) of 70%+ dark chocolate contains more than half of the recommended daily intake (RDI) for iron and 58% of the RDI for magnesium. One study found that magnesium helped reduce PMS symptoms and a study from 2015 found that people with magnesium deficiencies were more likely to have severe PMS symptoms.
- 🥜 Nuts + Seeds: Most nuts and seeds contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, and are a fantastic source of protein–both of which are vital for people who are menstruating. Nuts also contain magnesium and a variety of other helpful vitamins.
CBD, FTWCBD. It’s here, and it’s here to stay. When it first gained popularity (thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill) many people were suspicious. Honestly, we can’t blame them because this magical plant does seem too good to be true. But, science shows us that it’s NOT.
As it turns out, there are plenty of reasons why you should use CBD oil as period cramp relief. It’s antioxidative and anti-inflammatory and is finally starting to be accepted in the medical field as a viable alternative to traditional NSAIDS (which come with a whole weird list of possible side effects). This is great news for people with periods, especially the kind that leaves you curled up in a ball on the couch for a few days. The struggle is freaking real…
If you’re looking to make a period care package to really kick your period game up a notch, a bottle of CBD will do just the trick. Our favorite for That Time of the Month is the handy dandy Never Better. For those of us who just can’t get down with swallowing a pill to ease period cramps, CBD is the perfect solution. The best part? It doesn’t taste weird like some CBD oils on the market.
Check out some more great ways to use CBD for menstrual cramps here.
Make Yourself a Period Care Package. Period. 💋We get it: it’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of life. But, our goal is to help you feel your absolute best; putting together a dope period care package is a great way to make sure you have what you need when the Aunt Flo barges in.
But, period self-care is about more than just having the essentials nearby–you can take comfort in knowing that all of your favorite feel-good supplies are sitting in your arsenal, for the days when it feels like nothing could possibly go right. Fantastic period care packages are a must-have for anyone who gets periods, or loves someone who does.