By Briana Ryan
As a college student you have an incredible amount on your plate. You are supposed to be studying hard and succeeding academically, while also staying connected to your family, maintaining a social life, participating in extracurriculars and racking up leadership, research, and work experiences to help you in the next phase of your life. College students are under an incredible amount of pressure and just generally trying to do the most, and because of that it can be easy for student menstruators to forget to take care of themselves both on and off their periods. So here are three of the top ways student menstruators can start putting themselves first and caring for their mental and physical health.
1. Allow yourself to have regular mini breaks: When things get particularly busy and you have a lot on your plate, it can be challenging to allow yourself to stop working and take time for yourself. It can feel like you can’t afford to do something fun. I’ve found that giving myself short breaks, whether it is setting absolutely everything to the side while I drink a cup of tea or eat a plate of food or taking 15 minutes to shower and be away from any notifications or work, is an absolutely essential part of taking care of myself during my cycle and feels more manageable than taking longer breaks.
2. Stash your favorites all over the damn place: When you’re busy AF, you can’t afford to worry about your period while on the go. So, if you are able to, create little stashes of the products and resources you value most while on your period and put them all over the damn place so that you never have to be without the things you need. Put a stash in your backpack, in your car, in your best friend's dorm room--any place you like to be.
3. Embrace technology: There are an unfathomable number of apps and digital resources available these days. Take time to experiment and figure out what apps and resources help you the most when it comes to managing your cycle and taking time for yourself. Consider trying out a meditation or work out app to help you take those mini-breaks or use an app to track your cycle and increase your own awareness of your body and how your physical health connects to your thoughts, feelings, and actions.
How each person takes care of themselves looks different since every person, menstruator or otherwise, has their own unique set of needs. So your self-care may not look exactly like this list. But these three tips are a great starting place and an essential reminder during this season of gift giving, that you have to remember to prioritize giving back to yourself too. This month and every month.