period problems in lockdown? how to cope - with Melissa Adams
7th July 2021
Pandemic period problems
Self isolating is tough and not being able to socialise with or physically comfort loved ones can make it even harder. It can even lead to - or exacerbate - a number of mental health issues including anxiety and depression, so you’re really not alone if you’re struggling at this time. Throw in having a period during lockdown? You’re bound to feel even more disorientated due to the hormone changes your body is going through on top of stress.
During your menstrual cycle, the reproductive hormones in your body fluctuate hugely. Those of who experience PMS symptoms will feel the effects of oestrogen dropping after ovulation. At this time, serotonin levels can also fall - serotonin is often called the “happy chemical” as research has shown that serotonin contributes towards wellbeing and happiness. (Note that this doesn't necessarily happen in all people who experience periods, but it is common for serotonin levels to fall in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle).
Not to mention that adding the current pandemic into the mix means your cortisol levels (the stress hormone) are probably all over the place. You cannot underestimate the effects of the current climate on your hormones at this time. So what can you do to make your period less painful, in every sense?
On your period, food is your friend
You’re going to want to stock up on food groups that contain tryptophan, which is an amino acid that is vital for the production of serotonin in the body. That includes:
Pineapples Nuts and Seeds Spinach
If you are not vegan you can also get tryptophan from these foods: Salmon Eggs Poultry such as turkey or chicken
You’ll be pleased to know that carbs can be your best friend. Most of the serotonin in your body is made in the gut and a small amount is made in the brain, but tryptophan needs carbs to be able to reach the brain in order to create serotonin. My top tip here would be to treat yourself to a jacket potato, white or sweet! And of course hydrate - drink lots of water.
Being mindful during menstruation
During your period, be mindful of how your thoughts affect your mood and how anxiety is affecting you. Take control by starting your day with positive affirmations to set the tone for your day. They can be personal such as “I am strong and will make it through the day” or general such as “today is going to be a great day”. With everything that is going on right now, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the news, so take action and fill your mind with positivity. Write some of the affirmations on post-it-notes around your house and say them out loud.
You have more time at home now so why not put together playlists of songs that make you feel good? Make a morning playlist when you’re starting your day, a playlist to get you through the day, and one to ease you into sleep.
If you're struggling to keep your energy levels up or your moods balanced, remember that CBD has always got your back in this area. yours, hormonally is a 10ml bottle of happiness that you can use cycle-round if you suffer from moods and other symptoms of imbalanced hormones (such as acne, bloating, and fatigue).
It's important to stay active while on your period
Light exercise might not sound like something you want to do during your time of the month - but it is something you’ll thank yourself for after doing it! And it doesn’t have to be strenuous. As UK lockdown rules allow for one daily exercise, a walk or light jog with your new playlist will ensure you’re getting a change of scenery and a breath of fresh air. Exercise is linked with boosting your mood so it’s a win win. If you’d like to try some easy to follow home workouts follow me on Instagram @HerRoyalThighness and check out my “Fitness” highlight.
Perfect stretches for period pain
The first period I experienced during lockdown was terrible and noticeably different to be quite honest. I wasn’t aware that lacking a change of scenery would both physically and mentally affect me as much as it did. I felt groggy constantly and didn’t prepare myself properly. It’s easy to let things slip if you are focused on other areas of your life that have been affected by our current lockdown. Ahead of my next period during lockdown I made sure to get what I needed during my essential shop. The best combination for me has been a brisk walk or light jog with music followed by a stretch indoors with my “chill music” playlist. There are 3 stretches that are my go-to stretches during my period. I hold them each for the length of an average song (taking a quick 10 second break if needed), and onto the next stretch.
Bound Angle Pose: This stretch can help relax your digestive system and ease cramps. Sit on the floor with your legs stretched in front and take deep breaths in and out. Slowly bend your knees and bring your heels towards your pelvis (pictured) and slowly drop your knees to either side of your body whilst keeping the soles of your feet together.
Child’s Pose: I did a poll on my IG story not long ago to find out if other women got shooting pains up their bum during their period and I wasn’t alone in this! Child’s Pose personally helps me ease cramps - especially those uninvited bum pains! Take deep breaths in this position.
Lying Spinal Twist: Lay on your back on a comfortable surface, preferably a yoga mat or carpeted floor. Bring one knee to your chest and gently rotate it towards the other side of your body (pictured), with your arms stretched either side in a T formation. It helps to really breathe deep in this position. I find that when you have cramps and feel like your entire torso is knotted up, this helps to alleviate the tension.
related articles | we think you’ll love
how does your menstrual cycle affect your sleep?
make yourself a cuppa warm chamomile lavender tea and get cozy - we're diving into the reasons why your sleep patterns might fluctuate throughout your cycle.
Seven Mindful and Holistic Practices to Support You Throughout Your Menstrual Cycle
from reiki to acupuncture to EFT (emotional freedom technique) - we've rounded up seven of our favourite alternative practices to help keep us steady and grounded throughout our cycle.
slaying your period with chloe caldwell
author of The Red Zone: A Love Story discusses life with PMDD, the most rewarding part about writing a book about her period, and why it’s so critical to speak openly about often overlooked women’s health issues.
let's ask a mum: jade discusses guiding her daughter through her period, living with endometriosis, and more
we caught up with the fabulous jade - a married mother of two girls in her mid-30s - who spoke to us about guiding her daughter through her period, living with endometriosis, and the advice she wish she had gotten as a young girl.
let's ask a sex therapist: the answers to our most burning questions about sex and intimacy
we caught up with charlene douglas, one of the UK’s leading Sex Therapists, Counsellors & Intimacy Relationship Coaches to discuss some of our most burning questions regarding sex and intimacy.
slaying your period with chiyo
It's time you met "The Prinx of Provocation." Chiyo is one of the UK’s leading Drag Kings, the first Trans person to ever compete for Mr Gay UK, and an established model represented by WIMP.
tap into the power of the full moon with these easy rituals
the full moon is the perfect time to reset and release anything that no longer serves you - from limiting beliefs to toxic habits. we rounded up a few of our fave full-moon rituals to harness the sky’s potent energy tonight.
my period is so irregular - what could be going on?
hormonal imbalances, birth control, rapid changes in weight... read a few of the potential reasons why your period may be acting a little rogue.
why period education is for everyone - including cisgender men
the exclusion of men from proper period education perpetuates society's insidious taboo against menstruation. it's time to embrace a more nuanced, thorough sex education curriculum for all.
7 steps you can take to prevent thrush and bacterial vaginosis (bv)
thwart vaginal itchiness, discomfort, and painful burning with these seven handy tips.
moontime magic: six healing crystals to support your cycle
witchy babes, this one's for you. add these crystals to your period self-care routine and learn how to tap into their potent energetic properties.
tips for preventing burnout with Parinaz Shams
in honour of mental health awareness month, we caught up with parinaz shams to discuss three easy steps you can take to prevent burnout.
The 5 Best Exercises to Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor
Pelvic floor exercises are immensely underrated. Strengthening these crucial muscles can enhance your mind-body connection, prevent incontinence, and even improve your sex life. Here's 5 easy exercises you can do to strengthen your pelvic floor regularly.
Talking Periods, Nudity, and Art with Erotic Artist Neen Sever
"Before my period, my body feels like it doesn’t belong to me." Nude model, photographer, director, musician, and writer Nina Sever chats to us about periods, nudity, and expressing their sexuality and identity through erotic art.
slaying your period with imogen ivy
meet the iconic dancing queen, curve model, and endlessly talented ohne babe: imogen ivy. we talk dance, period hacks, and advice for boosting your self-confidence.
slaying your period with lucy evers
we chatted with the 'wholesome period vocal loud mouth and menstruating musician' (her iconic words) about being a woman in the music industry, tearing down period stigmas and her favourite cycle care.
Closing the Gender Healthcare Gap in the UK
Research has found that there's a major disparity in healthcare services for women - so what's being done to bridge the gap?
Top Tips To Relieve Stress with Calypso Barnum-Bobb
in honour of stress awareness month, our happiness consultant calypso shares four of her favorite tips for dealing with stress.
what to pack to your laparoscopy
to ease pre-surgery anxiety, avalon afriyie has written up a comprehensive list of everything you need to feel as comfortable and prepared as possible.
How Daily Probiotics Can Boost Your Vaginal Health
Probiotics have been taking the wellness industry by storm to boost gut health - but what's in it for your vagina? We take a look at these powerful microogranisms and their effect on the vaginal microbiome.
how to combat anxiety on your period
a rapid decrease in estradiol and progesterone can often induce anxiety - here's how to ease those anxious symptoms when they hit.
slaying your period: with abbie curls
from women’s health education to social media tips to natural hair care inspo, abbie of @abbiecurls is always dishing up the most relatable and motivating content on her platform.
living with endometriosis and uterine fibroids whilst black with Justice Aina
Justice Aina walks us through her personal journey of confronting racism within the healthcare system as a Black woman with endometriosis and uterine fibroids.
Feel Your Feelings: The Ohne Guide To Pisces Szn
the emotional floodgates have opened and it’s time to dive deep into our intuitive inner world. as the final sign of the zodiac, pisces szn is characterized by extra sensitivity, empathy, dreaminess and tapping into your innate wisdom.
slaying your period: with the chronic iconic
meet jess: a disability advocate, artist, fashion icon and all-around badass. jess’s goal is to destigmatise and debunk antiquated beliefs around disability and draw attention to the inequalities we continue to face in society.
how to manage endometriosis for a healthy, pain-free sex life
from specific positions to mindfulness techniques — dr. laura vowels from blueheart shares her sex tips to help boost pleasure
How Your Period Affects Your Libido
in collaboration with blueheart, a digital sex therapy platform designed by experts to tear down sexual taboos and create a private refuge for anyone to overcome any sexual challenges
slaying your period: with demi colleen
we caught up with multi-award winning content creator to discuss her period rituals and why she's loving our newest period pants.
Why is my period so heavy?
What constitutes a "heavy" period in the first place? Let's examine what it means to have menorrhagia — a heavier than average flow — and the possible causes behind it.
the best tips and tricks to alleviate period bloating
why do we get so terribly bloated at certain points in our cycle? and what can we do when we feel like a balloon that's about to burst? let's break down the bloat.
slaying your period: with elinor charlotte
we caught up with the slow fashion queen to chat all-things period related and discuss why she’s swooning over our latest collection of period pants.
slaying your period: with Megan Barton-Hanson
we caught up with the iconic Megan Barton-Hanson to discuss all-things period related — from her favorite menstrual products to a handy period trick she uses to curb cramps.
eat this, not that: what are the best foods to have on your period?
supporting your body with the right foods at the right times is one of the easiest ways to boost your well-being all cycle long. we've put together a mini grocery list to help you feel your best throughout every phase of your cycle.
do period pants smell? we're myth-busting all the misconceptions about period underwear
are period pants hygienic? how long can I wear them for? can I use them for bladder leaks? all your most important period pant questions, answered.
why free period pants? our founders explain the method behind the madness
No doubt you’re here because you’re wondering why any brand would give away a huge quantity of their new product stock on launch day, or because you’re wondering what the catch is and searching for some small print that’s seemingly invisible. (To address the last point: stop looking for the small print, it doesn’t exist.)
do period pants actually work? let's take a look at the sophisticated science
A combination of textile engineering and design mastery make period pants the most ingeniously designed pair of underwear in your drawer.
fitness for every phase: the best workouts for your entire cycle
we’re making a pledge to start listening to our bodies and working with Mother Nature, not against her, so we can understand what our bodies really need and make the most of every day. who’s with us?
a beginner’s guide to period sex, part 3: how to talk about (and ask for) period sex
sex is a huge part of most of our lives. and so, for better or worse, are our periods. while we think period sex is truly amazing, one of life’s most underrated gifts, in fact, it can be really bloody hard to talk about.
what the colour of your period blood really means
Have you ever looked down at your underwear and thought - wtf is that normal?! Not only is another pair of cute underwear ruined, but the unexpected colour of the bloodstain can cause some major anxiety.
get to know your vagina better with these 5 taboo-busting books
Whether you consider yourself a bit of a sex-pert, or you’re just keen to get to know your body better, here’s our round-up of the five sexual wellness power-reads you should have on your radar this summer.
how to talk to your partner about periods - we're here to help
how do you talk to your partner about periods? if you want to talk to your boyfriend or girlfriend about periods but don't know where to start, we're here to help.
talking self-care and staying fit in lockdown - with Victoria Park Vixens
Victoria Park Vixens is an all-female football club based in Hackney, London. We grabbed a couple of team members, Liv and Nat, for a (socially-distanced, ofc) chat about periods and sport, self-care snacks, and lockdown workouts.
hot girl summer: how your period changes with the shifting seasons
We all know our periods can be fickle friends, seemingly changing with the slightest gust of wind, bite (or 30) of milk chocolate, or whether or not you've been working out much lately. What you might not be prepared for, however, is how your period can change with the seasons - even if you've not made any overt changes to your routines.
"your menstrual cycle is not a mistake" - with women with sparkle
"overcoming a hormone imbalance involves focusing on your body as a whole, not a series of disparate parts. Your hormones, diet, stress, sleep schedule, and exercise regime (to name a few) are all closely linked to your overall wellness..."
when is PMS not just PMS? a deep dive into PMDD
what is PMDD? and, for that matter, what actually is PMS? contrary to what you may have been led to believe, they’re not the same thing. PMDD is a mood disorder closely linked to the menstrual cycle which affects sufferers' quality of life, relationships, and emotional wellbeing.
the male hormone cycle explained (and what it means for AFAB folk)
society has been built to work for men. specifically, for their hormone cycle. think of men like the sun and women like the moon. a male body goes through a 24 hour hormone cycle which resets every morning, while the menstrual cycle is an average of 29 days - just like the moon.
how to calm the anxiety monster inside your chest...
everyone is anxious at the moment - there's no shame in it, and there's no quick-fix, either. but your mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing should still be a priority. here are a few coping mechanisms that have worked for us.
which hormonal contraception is right for me?
hormonal contraception can be a minefield. there are many different types available and picking the right one for you can be a daunting decision, so it's important to have all the facts before you jump in.
discharge throughout the menstrual cycle - what colour is yours?
discharge changes throughout the menstrual cycle and getting to know your discharge can help you understand what’s happening to your body at any given time. a sign of healthy discharge in general is that it’s white, creamy, and/or clear in colour and will be slightly sticky for most of the menstrual cycle.
is my discharge normal? what does 'normal' even mean?
vaginal discharge is perfectly normal. discharge is only something to worry about when there's excessive amounts, strange coloration, or a strong odor.
"it took me ten years to get a diagnosis" living with PCOS
PCOS affects roughly 1 in 5 women in the UK. but what's it actually like to be one of these people? what are the signs you should be looking out for if you suspect something's up with your period?
what is retrograde menstruation and why does it sound so scary?
here's a tip: it has nothing to do with astrology. associated with dysmenorrhea and endometriosis, retrograde menstruation sounds scary - but it isn't.
how to shave your vagina - at-home vulva care for beginners
how do I shave my vagina at home safely? how can I avoid ingrown pubic hairs after shaving my vulva? you've got questions, babe, we've got answers for you.
meet your hormones - with maisie hill and period power
your hormones have a massive influence on your energy, mood, and behaviour. allow me to introduce you to them so that you can learn how to harness - and optimise - your hormones throughout your menstrual cycle.
being a human with a vagina 101 - the do's and don'ts
Our motto is 'if you wouldn’t put it in your mouth, don’t put it in your vagina'. We’re usually referring to the toxins in mainstream tampons, but it goes for other things too. Non-organic condoms, jade eggs, other people's sex toys...
what is TSS - toxic shock syndrome - and how can we avoid it?
Until less than a year ago, I thought that Toxic Shock Syndrome, or TSS, was caused by periods. Like, not by tampons, not by external toxins entering the body (despite the name), but by period blood. By our own gross period blood, congealing around a tampon, staying in our weird bodies too long, and doing something nasty and toxic.
how to smash your smear test (we know you know it's important)
Nobody gets excited about a smear test, but it's so important to attend as detecting and treating cells that may turn cancerous in the future may save your life. It's worth lying on your back in the lotus position for two minutes knowing that you're doing everything you can to take care of your health.
meet the five periods we've all experienced (notorious periods, are they a thing?)
While everyone’s got their own quirks, there are some periods we’ve all been through. At ohne we love a good period story, so grab a cuppa, it’s time to talk about five notorious periods that stay with us forever, even if it’s not always for the best reasons...
incorporating fad free wellness into your everyday life
Just because some trends become overused buzzwords faster than you can book a hip-hop-yoga-ballet class through a new alternative-workout app, it doesn’t mean we should dismiss them all as fads. Wellness is about making you feel great, whether that’s through beauty treatments, sleep, food, exercise, self-care, or even socialising in new, rejuvenating, or creative ways.
how to power through your (menstrual) cycle
It can be hard to exercise when you're on your period, but we can learn to overcome those draining hormones and get the most out of being active, every day of your cycle
period sex is fantastic, but as with all kinds of sex, it’s about your headspace
I’ve been slightly surprised it’s even considered taboo, with the casual way my boyfriend and I chuck a towel down and get to it.
how to insert a tampon
We’re going to explain to you, in as much detail as you could possibly ask for, just how to insert a tampon and our top tips for using tampons safely and hygienically.
I love cycle tracking and I want you to love it too
we want to introduce you to our new love: cycle tracking. because wellness is about more than green smoothies.
I think something is wrong with my period
Everyone who experiences periods has probably worried about them at some point. And I’m not talking the have-I-just-bled-onto-this-cushion worry, but the ‘is it supposed to hurt like this?’ ‘Is there supposed to be so much blood?’ ‘Is this normal?’ kind of worry.
what is a menstrual cycle (and how is it different from a period?)
periods and the stages of the menstrual cycle shouldn’t be a mystery to anyone, let alone the people who experience them. unfortuately, society has, for far too long, seen the female body as something shameful, to be hidden, never discussed.
nail down a period routine that works for you
rather than ‘winging it’ each month, get in sync with your cycle and show your period who’s boss with a bespoke, tailor-made period routine.
what I discovered about menstrual acne from instagram - by gina martin
During your cycle, your skin becomes collateral damage in a battle between your hormones and your body; fluctuations of estrogen and progesterone can mean your sebaceous glands become over-eager, then the next minute you know, you’re avidly moisturising dry patches. That body of yours is working bloody hard, so of course you need to give a little more TLC.
treating menstruation like the normal process that it is, *globally*
Challenging the stigma and taboo that surrounds some of the more ‘intimate’ workings of the body should be at the core of what we do when it comes to periods – both in lower income areas and everywhere else.
stop flushing your tampons away - the fish are eating them
Every year, the waste of non-biodegradable disposable products fills up our landfills and ends up floating in our beloved oceans; 200,000 tonnes of it to be exact. That’s the equivalent of 600,000 sea turtles. Hideous facts pre-warning: 1 in every 100 pieces of rubbish in the ocean is a menstrual product, 70% of deep sea animals and 90% of seabirds have gobbled down plastic and there are over 50 non-biodegradable plastic period products on every mile of British beach.
let's bust the discharge myth, we're all about learning our bodies
Here at ohne, we talk about topics that we think don’t get enough public attention. So today that’s discharge. Our main message? Your vagina is sensitive, that’s why we want you to stop stuffing it with toxin-saturated feminine products. Your vaginas sensitivity means that it will cue you in if something is amiss (which, lets face it, happens to the best of us every now and again).
is chocolate really the holy grail of PMS medication?
For as long as we can remember we’ve turned to chocolate as the holy grail of medication and the answer to all (fine, most) ailments, especially period-related ones. Horrid cramps? Here’s an entire bar of Green and Blacks. PMS? Booja Booja Chocolate Salted Caramel ice-cream. We welcome these treats of sugary goodness with open arms and mouths because, hell, it makes us feel fucking better than we did before it. Or do we?
unexpected uterus bleeding, what's my vagina doing?
Menstruating humans, does spotting ring a bell? There are most definitely certain things that every menstruator should know about spotting. So we’re here for you, and we’re also here to bust the myths that are damn right scary...
try this | take the quiz
take this quiz to build your dream period kit.
Ready for your new period?
We make it easy. Build your unique period kit with products as naked as the plant they came from (toxin-free and organic, just the way your vagina likes ‘em). Available in both naked and bio- degradable applicators we’re here to help put you first.