Live your period well, in class and at work
For some of us, having your period at work or in class is not easy. Heavy periods, painful periods, mastodynia … At this time of our cycle, we would sometimes like to disappear for three days. And leave us alone. But menstrual leave does not yet exist in Europe. So how do you best live your period at work or in class?
Know your cycle well = be well prepared
For starters, don't get caught off guard. Knowing your cycle well and being attentive to each phase makes a big difference.
First to prepare psychologically. Indeed, we better put our slump, stress or bad mood into perspective when we know where it comes from. PMS is not uncommon, don't feel alone.
Then, to prepare physically for these tiring days. To make your period less painful, rest before it arrives. By sleeping a little longer or doing yoga, for example.
Pamper yourself during your period, even in class or at work
When your period is here, take care of yourself. Bring a thermos of painkiller herbal tea to drink throughout the day. Take dried fruits to restore your energy. Wear clothes in which you feel comfortable and pretty, and above all keep your kidneys warm (with a bodysuit or a camisole that you can slip into your skirt or your jeans, without letting fresh air in. Brrr. ). If you work in an office or are a student, bring a small hot water bottle to slip under your clothes. The heat relieves! Of course, depending on your work this will not be possible, but maybe during a break.
Choosing the right periodic protection
Whether you have a static or dynamic job, worrying about staining your clothes and having to run to the bathroom to change is stressful. And often embarrassing. Firstly because there is still a taboo on the rules (what to pretend in the middle of a meeting without blushing a little depending on the context?). Then because according to our job, we don't always have toilets nearby. Luckily, there are sanitary pads available today that last up to 12 hours without leaking . Zero waste, without toxic components, and without risk of toxic shock (these are external protections): I named menstrual panties . With these panties as pretty as they are comfortable, the stress is over.
Of course, depending on your job and the possible flexibility in the organization of your work within your company, not everything is feasible. But if you can, organize yourself to have fewer difficult tasks at this time or distribute them differently according to your energy. Give yourself more break time or more regular breaks if that's what allows you to decompress. And above all, before leaving, take deep breaths.
Going on menstrual leave?
Very few countries have introduced menstrual leave. Although it has existed in Japan and Indonesia since 1947, it is rarely used there. Unfortunately, women who ask for this legal leave are frowned upon! In Zambia, there is an extra day of rest for menstruating employees, called “Mother's Day”. On the European side, it is a project that has been seriously considered in Italy since 2017, in the event of painful menstruation .
The solution would lie in temporary telecommuting, when possible. But that would exclude many women in professions that do not allow it. And according to some feminist movements, menstrual leave is considered sexist, in the sense that it could increase discrimination against women in hiring :(. To be continued…