Areeba's Story: How to Hate Your Period Less
By: Areeba Islam
I remember the first day I got my period like it was yesterday. I was on a road trip with my family and was having terrible stomach cramps. My parents insisted I was fine and that I just needed to stretch my legs and go for a walk, but I didn’t even want to get out of the car. Several hours later when we finally arrived home, I saw a stain on my underwear and ran to my mother panicked. That’s when she explained that it was just my period, and nothing to be worried about.
However, from then on, it was something I was constantly worried about. The anxiety of feeling like you’ve leaked, opening a pad too loudly in the washroom, or forgetting to bring a pad to the washroom. I had hit puberty much sooner than all of my friends, so I always felt a bit awkward because I didn’t have anyone to talk to about it.
My period was something I had dreaded every month because it was a painful and awkward experience, and I figured that was just the way it was supposed to be. It wasn’t until I got older that I decided to change this.
I designated this time to catch up on self-care and do things that made me feel good. Examples of this would be painting my nails, taking long showers, doing face masks, or even just journaling about how I was feeling. These were things that I loved doing but often forgot about, but by setting aside time every month to indulge in these activities, self-care eventually became a habit for me.
Now don’t get me wrong, I still think my period is a dreadful experience, but seeing it in a different light and using it as a monthly reminder to take time to take care of myself and do things that I enjoy has taught me how to hate it just a bit less.