Yup this week we’re talking about that period.
Many of us await our Lady Business’ arrival with an overwhelming sense of dread. The days leading up to Her you tell any and every woman willing to listen that your PMS is worse than ever. Sugar+carbs fall down your throat, you assume, involuntarily. You can barely drag yourself outta bed. Simple tasks like school lunches make you want to cry. You feel like She came and She conquered…again this month.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve never done much in preparation for my Lady Business. I’ve hated Her and used Her as an excuse to dump crap into my body and to be short with my Saint-Like Husband.
Inspired to find a different way, I recently reread Anita Diamond’s historical fiction novel, The Red Tent. Diamond’s beautiful account of how differently women of long ago viewed their Lady Business is captivating.
Back in the Biblical Day women gathered in community to celebrate the monthly “renewal” of their bodies under the hallowed shelter of the red tent. Here time passed like a “gentle stream” while they ate honey cakes, relaxed, shared stories and doted on one another with exquisite care. Three days later the women emerged from their repose, “restful and smiling.”
Yes. We each have varying degrees of legit physical symptoms. But. How much of our hatred towards our Lady Business is actually in our minds and thanks to our socialization vs. what actually goes on in our beautiful bodies. I wonder if the true symptoms would have less impact if we viewed our monthly situation differently?
Because you know what? I’d like to emerge from my Lady Business restful and smiling vs. three pounds heavier + full of apology for my crappy mood and crappy behaviour.
I’m not suggesting you pitch a tent in your backyard, find some straw to lay on, and warn your family to stay away whilst you eat honey cakes with your sisters. What I am suggesting is to brainstorm some modern-day ways to red tent yourself.
First, as with all things, we want to consider our thoughts about our Lady Business. Perhaps welcoming Her as a changing of the guard-out with the old, in with the new-would help. What if our Lady Business is a beautiful monthly reminder to take exquisite care of ourselves, to listen to what we really need?
I’ve started speaking with each of my clients about how they will red tent themselves before Her arrival. Believing that you have no choice in the matter of what you eat during PMS causes many of us to justify eating like a crazy person before, during and even after She arrives. The result is weight gain + spending the rest of the month trying get those couple of pounds off, only to have Her come again. Argh. Rollercoaster.
So, here are some very simple, modern day ideas to red tent yourself:
- consider what your body is really craving vs what we’ve been told she’s craving
- start thinking about your period differently: as a monthly reminder to look after yourself vs. a time where you have no control
- get Her on your calendar so you can actually prepare for Her general arrival
- allow yourself some extra of carbs (no not those ones-the ones that make you feel good)
- don’t workout hard, spend more time stretching and walking and doing yoga 3 days before
- allow time for extra sleep and more rest 3 days before
- save a great work of fiction to enjoy (hint: pick up The Red Tent)
- block of 3 days before Her arrival; graciously decline evening invites
- plan for a monthly massage
- buy your lady supplies ahead of time (OK-this is a practical one, but it’s the worst not to have these goods on hand)
- don’t use Her as an excuse to act like an idiot
- don’t use Her as a time to eat sugar topped with sugar with a side of sugar
Grab a couple of these ideas, better yet, brainstorm some of your own. Let’s build a virtual red tent and see how differently we can start to welcome our Lady Business.
Share your ideas below or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you.
To red tenting it,