Menstrual Cups

Have you ever read the “ingredients” in your tampons? Do you feel comfortable putting chemical soaps and polypropylene and propylene glycol into your vagina and leaving it there for hours at a time? And how much are you spending on cotton you’re just going to use to soak up your blood and throw away? And what do you do with the used product? Do you throw it in your garbage to sit and fester? Or do you flush it down your toilet and end it to trash island – wherever that may be?  

A menstrual cup, such as the Lunette Cup or Diva Cup, is a great alternative to the tampon for all of these reason. It’s a small silicon funnel-shaped cup (but without the hole at the bottom, of course) that sits in your vagina for up to eight hours collecting blood that you can then empty in the toilet, rinse out, and place back in.  

You can use the same one for years at a time. It’s environmentally and economically friendly. And it’ll help you get better acquainted with your vagina as the putting in and taking out process takes some practice. 

Muscle Pain

A lot of my “homeopathic tips” for living a healthier more comfortable life revolve around getting more exercise. This may result, unfortunately, in its own unique pains and discomforts. The muscle pain and soreness that can accompany a new exercise regimen can be a nice reminder of your hard work, but it can also make daily life a little achier.  

A lot of my “homeopathic tips” for living a healthier more comfortable life revolve around getting more exercise. This may result, unfortunately, in its own unique pains and discomforts. The muscle pain and soreness that can accompany a new exercise regimen can be a nice reminder of your hard work, but it can also make daily life a little achier.  

Epson Salt baths to soak sore muscles can help while also offering a relaxing meditative moment. I usually put a cup or two of Epsom salts in a bathtub, followed by 10-12 drops of lavender oil. Then I turn on a podcast or album and lounge in there until the water goes cold.  

Cold or Hot packs can also help, if you’re going to sleep but your biceps are aching too much to fall asleep, wrap heat packs around them and try again. The heat plus the muscle maintenance may lull you right to sleep. You’ll likely wake up sore but a hot shower with a few drops of peppermint oil may perk you right back up!  

And finally, if you can pinpoint the exact muscle that’s sore, I suggest rolling it with a small tennis ball. It will hurt at first, and if it hurts too much or too sharply, stop. But think of this as very targeted muscle massage! If you’re not sure how to start, ask a trainer at the gym or google “tennis ball muscle rolling” for some tutorials. 

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Nail Care

I used to budget $50/month for manicures. I would pride myself on tending to my own pedicures, but I liked getting a No Chip manicure, choosing a color, mindlessly watching the TVs in the nail salon while occasionally making the smallest smallest small talk. This was largely because I felt that having clean and tidy nails was an easy way to look professional at work. It remains true. But I no longer work in an office capacity, I no longer paint my nails, but I still want clean tidy looking nails. And so I do the following: 

I eat a healthy diet to ensure that my nails are a reflection of my nutrients. I also take vitamins to boost my nail and hair strength. I keep my nails trimmed, never longer than my finger, to avoid them breaking or looking jagged. I usually just file my nails once a week to keep them my desired length, but if they get too long, I trim them all down.  

I wash my hands frequently so I have to keep my cuticles and nailbeds moisturized with coconut oil before bed and hand lotion in the morning. If I do get my hands dirty gardening or something, I use a scrub brush to get under my nails.  

Because I no longer use nail polish, I buff my nails but only once a week and not for very long. I don’t want to damage or weaken my natural nails, I just want them to look clean.  

And finally, I had to break a big habit of clicking my nails against surfaces, biting my cuticles and nail edges, and using my nails to open things. 

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There are lots of different causes for diarrhea and if you can identify the cause and stop, that’s your easiest solution. For example, if you get diarrhea every time you drink milk or eat yogurt, maybe it’s time to eliminate dairy from your diet for a while. But if you get diarrhea as part of your menstrual cycle, you probably can’t just stop menstruating. Life is cruel like that. So we’re going to focus on situations like the latter – when loose stools is a result of something biological rather than a life choice that you could just, like, stop doing.  

The first advice I have while your shitting your brains out is to drink water. It sounds counter-intuitive to drink water while you’re on the toilet, but your body is shedding most of its fluids through your butt and you want to be actively replenishing so that you don’t suffer from dehydration as soon as the diarrhea passes.  

Now eat something white to avoid having completely empty guts. Part of the pain of diarrhea is your muscles cramping to push while there’s nothing left in your stomach to evacuate. So stick to white foods: white bread, bananas, tofu, etc. And if you want to be very fancy, try some white food with probiotic benefits to replace the bacteria that may have exited during your illness: yogurt, soft white cheese, and pickles are good options.  

And finally, ginger might help manage stomach pain and discomfort while you’re unwell. A ginger tea with lemon and honey is a great way to replenish your fluids while calming your tummy. 

Menstrual/Pre-Menstrual Pain

You’re going to hate me for this advice but I do not care. I hated it too, but I tried it (begrudgingly) and it worked so well that I’m swallowing my pride and typing it out here. Lifestyle and dietary changes are the first steps to handling or managing menstrual and/or pre-menstrual pain and discomfort. Phew. There. I said. Do we all feel better?  

The first and most significant, immediate, undeniable way to affect this change is to exercise more. Exercising while experiencing menstrual and pre-menstrual pain is a great way to distract the body from the junk and move the blood around. Exercising more consistently during the rest of the cycle is a great way to keep the body in good shape so that it can better handle the added stress of menstruating or preparing to menstruate. So start exercising early in your cycle so that by the time you menstruate, you’re in an exercise habit/schedule.  

Stop drinking alcohol. I KNOW. But it truly truly helps.  

Try to eat more fresh foods and less animal product. These are easier for your body to digest and a healthier body has a more comfortable menstrual cycle.  

And finally, if you need to explore massage, aromatherapy, supplements, and/or acupuncture, you’ll have a healthier body as a baseline if you follow the easier and cheaper suggestions first! 

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I used to get headaches nearly every evening. My body and mind are not very well-suited to city-dwelling so I think there were many contributing factors. Too much screen time, too much breathing in dirty air and exhaust, so much noise, so much pollution, etc. I wasn’t sleeping well and often the reason being my headaches. I would quite frequently go to sleep with a headache and wake up with the same one.  

Leaving the city helped quite a bit but I do still get the occasional headache/migraine. I’m not suggesting everyone leave the city. For many year, I considered the headaches to be worth it because I loved living there.  

I loved working as an attorney and I felt really good about my work with Hadley Law Firm, so much so that I still do some remote work with them. But my life is just better and calmer out here!  

Now that I live out here, I’m able to more easily tend to my aching head. But I use essential oils to help out. I suggest getting a small roller bottle and filling it with equal parts Lavender Oil, Rosemary Oil, Peppermint Oil, Chamomile Oil, and Eucalyptus Oil. The blend will help alleviate sinus pressure, relax your mind, and decrease stress, anxiety, and inflammation that may be causing your headache. Bonus: it smells great!  

I keep one of these in my purse and one beside my bed. Anytime I feel a headache coming on, I rub this on my temples and the back of my neck, take some deep breaths, spend one minute meditating, and I usually feel better almost immediately. 

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