Going shopping for food when you’re pre-menstrual or bleeding is never a good idea.

You know what I’m on about.

You felt so flipping amazing around ovulation that you said “hell yeah” to too many things. All the things you possibly now regret saying “yes” to are taking place when you’re in the “about-to-bleed-any-day-now” zone. That means you’re running around getting them all done, which means you have bugger all food left at home.

Sound familiar?

Now you’re negotiating the aisles of Tesco, annoyed with all the other people who are there (do they really need food right now, can’t they give you some space or at least be quiet?). You feel lost because you don’t know what you want (seriously, last month I spent five mins staring at different pasta shapes). You’re cranky because this is the one week of the month where they’ve decided Gü puddings won’t be on sale … it’s as if they know you’re gonna be jonesing for them. Sneaky bastards. Somehow, you make it out of there, but your bus is on diversion and it takes ages for you to get home. Some bastard (sensing a theme?) is eating chicken and chips which makes you want to vomit at the best of times, but now when your sense of smell is hyped up, you angrily wonder if you should just walk home. You sit it out but you’re filled with rage … which quickly turns to despair and tears when you get home, empty your shopping bags and realise nothing you bought constitutes a meal.

Ugh.

Back when I used to be paralysed by severe period pain, walking would really aggravate matters, so popping down to the shop was actually a nightmare, not ideal when you’re chucking painkillers down your gob which should really be taken with food.

One of the women at my recent workshop asked me what I meant when I said, “do what you need to do in order to bleed well”. For me, that means avoiding the above scenario.

My non-negotiables:

  • I don’t treat people the day before I bleed or on my first two days (unless the timing is crucial because of IVF etc).
  • I prioritise the 3 R’s: Resting, reading and writing.
  • I spend a lovely amount of time lying down and doing castor oil packs (to help the blood to move smoothly and painlessly).
  • I ‘bleed on it’. Anything I’m stuck with – ideas, relationships, projects – I hold in the energy of menstruation, and use the depths of this time to find guidance.
  • I set my intention for the new cycle; what do I want to focus my energy on?
  • Once in a while, I go technology free for the first two days (no laptop, no tv, no social media).

You’re probably thinking …

It’s alright for Maisie, she’s self-employed, she can do these things. I have a *very* busy life and there’s no way I can do anything like that.

You can.

Do something different. By 5%.

Can’t take a day off work? Plan ahead and don’t cram your day with presentations if you’re not going to be feeling up to them during this time. Take half an hour that is solely for you.

Need to be at your computer for work? How about you give yourself a break from Facebook?

Got kids to take care of? Once they’re in bed, sod the housework and have a bath (wine optional) and really get into that bath. Make it count.

Figure out what will help you.

Ask yourself: “What can I do to create some softness around this time? Where can I find some space? What can I do that will nourish me?”

And if you find yourself looking in your kitchen cupboards and on the verge of tears, you can always make this.

Now go forth and bleed well.

Shameless plug:

If you have menstrual symptoms which prevent you from bleeding well (been there, got the t-shirt), please please please get in touch. I’d love to help.

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