How To Manage Your Periods At Work
It’s the start of a new work week and you’re prepped and ready to go. You then realise that this is not going to be a regular day for you at work as you have just started your period. Sigh.
Ladies do you struggle with being on your period whilst you’re at work or is it just me? When it’s my time of the month trust me, I don’t want to interact with anyone, I just want to go home and curl up in my bed with some chocolate and Netflix lol! It can just be so uncomfortable whether you have immensely painful periods or you hardly notice that it’s your time of the month, periods affect us both physically and emotionally. Not to worry I have some tips for you all to manage being on your period during the working week. I know it’s currently a pandemic (Elsa Majimbo’s voice) if you don’t know her please Google now. I know a lot of us are working from home (although I'm still going into work), these tips can be applied in both environments.
It’s important that you are able to track your monthly cycle especially for work, so you are not caught off guard, no one want’s John telling you that you have a little spill on your trousers. There are various apps on your phone that you can download and not necessarily have to pay for in order to keep regular track and to know when your period is about to start.
Keep sanitary products at your workplace in your locker/drawer so that you are always prepared if a mishap does happen, as I know our periods can occasionally be irregular. If this is the case on a month-to-month basis, it’s important to speak to your GP. Along with this, having a stash of painkillers that work for you is important, so as to avoid anxiously rushing around your office when the time comes.
If you’re working from home, then you’re all good – I keep a little drawer in my room for all of my sanitary needs and analgesia, so they are easy to locate.
Take Time Off/ Adapt
If the pain and discomfort is that unmanageable, please don’t feel guilty for taking a day or a couple of days off. In order to end the taboo around the discussion of painful periods at work, we do have to highlight the ways it effects our ability to work effectively and safely. If it is affecting you that much (and you feel comfortable to do so) it is better to discuss this with a manager/supervisor. I know with sickness regulations in the UK we can’t afford to take days off every month, however in cases like my own, my employer was able to adapt the way I work to accommodate my time of the month. For example, I am standing less, delegating meetings that require a lot of focus to another colleague/re-scheduling meetings or doing more admin-based jobs for the day.
Be Kind To Yourself
Self-care has become something of a buzz word. We talk about it so much, make reels and cute TikTok videos about it, but how many of us are actually practical about our self-care habits? Period self-care should really start a few days before and after your periods.
You can implement self-care at work by:
- Limiting the number of tasks, you do in your working day;
-Delegating where you can;
- Bringing a hot water bottle to work or have it at your workspace at home;
- If working from home, letting whoever you live with know that it’s your time of the month;
- Drinking a lot of herbal teas during the day. Camomile and peppermint tea for example, contain anti-inflammatory capabilities that can help soothe and relieve cramps; and
- Purchasing a subscription with fleur to help with your self-care days.
Notwithstanding the above, do remember to give yourself grace.
We are individuals and our bodies react to changes in a myriad of ways. Don’t feel guilty for having to take extra steps and precautions to manage at work during your period.
Written by Lizzie Davies