Like a lot of people in lockdown I found myself with plenty of extra time on my hands, which led to grandiose ambitions of self-improvement that were slowly whittled away day by day. I discovered a joy for Joe Wicks that lasted all of three sweaty workouts; tried my hand at baking until I ran out of flour, and managed two early-morning yoga sessions before I remembered my love of the lie in. In my darkest hour I found myself doing a YouTube fitness video with two self-styled ‘lean machines’, using tins of apple pie filling instead of dumbbells – the irony was too much. While these attempts at ‘bettering myself’ failed miserably, one thing that has endured is a desire to use this extra time to discover new ways I can change my routine for the better, and make things a little easier day to day.
Take the Clue app for example. Not even knowing which day of the week it is right now, I’d have no idea when my period was due if it weren’t for Clue, which keeps track of my monthly cycle and gives me handy notifications, like the panic-inducing ‘your next cycle seems to be late’ and my personal favourite ‘PMS is coming up’. You can also set it to remind you when to take your contraception, check your boobs or let you know when you’re estimated to be ovulating. For me, any kind of change throws my cycle completely out of whack – when I started uni it went from a dependable 28 days down to a period every three weeks – so the current situation has me all over the place. Clue has been invaluable; it’s helped me to understand my body and the various symptoms I get, so at times like this I can stay level headed and not immediately panic that I’m pregnant because my period is slightly late. This got me thinking about other things I can implement to period better during lockdown and beyond.
If like me you’re spending lockdown indoors, now might be a great time to experiment with different period products while in the comfort of your home. The explosion of femtech has brought with it a host of new options beyond traditional tampons and sanitary towels, so whether you’re concerned about the environmental impact of disposable period products or you feel like the usual options just aren’t right for your body, there’s never been a better time to check out some alternatives. With extra time on my hands, I’ve decided to finally get to grips with period pants. They seem like a great idea – a simple way to completely cut out waste, discomfort and the nagging fear of TSS – but with so many brands out there, including Thinx, Modibodi, Flux and Wuka, among others, it’s worth taking time to do some research to find out the best option for you. I decided to try a couple of pairs from Thinx, in part thanks to a recommendation from comedian Aisling Bea, and they’re as great as I’d hoped. They’re comfy, leak-proof and look just like normal pants, so I can forget about making sure I have enough tampons to see me through lockdown and stress about non-period related stuff instead.
Although my initial aim of becoming some sort of fitness guru/Mary Berry hybrid hasn’t come to much, taking time to focus on another aspect of my life – namely my period – has been just as useful. People who menstruate have around 500 periods in their lifetime, so I want to make sure the 288 I have left are as premium as they can be.
By Tori Sharpe