Spend a Day With Dayna (when she's on her period)
For years, we’ve been told that when we’re on our period, we should ‘just get on with it’, constantly being shown adverts of people ice skating, hiking and running marathons while bleeding. Which is why, for our period pant collaboration with ohne, we wanted to offer a new perspective on what menstruating could look like, where we don’t reject rest, but instead embrace it as a part of our routine.
Someone who really believes in this is Dayna, one of our Oaf support team here at Lazy Oaf. As well as being our go-to person in the office for advice on our hormones, Dayna is a trained menstrual cycle awareness coach and an advocate of cyclical living and period tracking. She also champions the importance of rest during all stages of your cycle.
We know that life doesn’t always make room for rest and relaxation, and for this collaboration Dayna spoke with Nikki from ohne about how to find even small moments of rest in a hectic schedule when you’re bleeding. But if you’re lucky enough for your period to fall on a day where you’re off work and have a free schedule, then Dayna is here to show you how it’s ok to take that time to switch off completely, and get some valuable rest. To show you what that looks like for her, here is a day in the life of Dayna when she’s bleeding, and free to rest.
“Hey, it’s Dayna here (she/her). I’m one part of the Oaf support team at Lazy Oaf, and I have a love for all things periods and menstrual cycles. In 2020, I picked up a period book that completely changed my relationship to my period, and the following year I enrolled on a course to become a menstrual cycle awareness (MCA) coach.
Before I found menstrual cycle awareness, I never gave my periods much thought, except for acknowledging that they were a painful inconvenience that always showed up unexpectedly. I was disconnected from my body, and would ride an emotional rollercoaster each cycle without ever slowing down. But through the course, we explored the 4 phases of the menstrual cycle, and learnt that each phase comes with different needs due to our hormonal fluctuations.
I’ve been embodying this work ever since, and now I know exactly when to expect my period. I can read my body’s signs and understand its many different needs throughout my cycle. Now I work alongside my menstrual hormones, rather than against them, to find time to rest and recuperate, which allows me to feel confident and connected with my body.
I’ve spent a lot of time unlearning the harmful ways in which we’ve been conditioned to believe our periods are a problem, when in fact they are an important signifier of our overall health and wellbeing as well as a portal for our pleasure and rest!
So, here’s how I spend the day whilst bleeding…..
Wake up with no alarm, if possible - if I’m working then I’ll lie in as late as possible. Luckily today is my day off, so I’m able to stay in bed a bit later than usual. When I do get up, I first check my temperature for ovulation tracking, and note this in my app. Then it’s time for a shower: shower, long, hot, and steamy please - this brings me so much joy.
My period products of choice are usually period pants mainly for comfort and ease. I’ll keep my menstrual cup close if I’m leaving the house for an extended amount of time, otherwise I bleed into my period pants.
Time for breakfast - I always eat within an hour of waking throughout my cycle, and when I’m bleeding I make the effort to eat a big breakfast. When my hormonal levels are low, my energy can feel depleted, so nourishment from eating helps avoid any potential wobbles throughout the day by regulating blood sugar. I focus on eating often and well throughout my cycle – good quality protein, healthy fats, and lots of veggies.
I’ll often put on ‘Do not Disturb’ on my phone; lots of alone time on my period is a boundary for me, I like to turn my attention inward during menstruation and really focus on myself. So I often communicate to friends and family that I’m bleeding and will be less responsive than usual.
I love a slow day when bleeding and noticing my breath reminds me to slow down – I usually find a free guided meditation online or guide myself and will finish with some stretching of my lower back and slow hip circles if they’re feeling heavy.
As someone who drinks a lot of tea, during menstruation I’ll go for a herbal blend of hibiscus, ginger, rosehip, chamomile, raspberry leaves and dandelion leaves – it’s extremely calming to my nervous system.
I keep my diary as free as possible on days where I’m bleeding, and if I’m off work, after breakfast I’ll lie down and either read, journal, and track my cycle. Sometimes ideas, visions, or thoughts come to me during this time of stillness, so I always have my journal close. And if I’m feeling sleepy, I’ll allow myself to nap.
Around this time is where I check my period pants. If my period is feeling heavy or I can feel the pants filling up I’ll swap them for a fresh pair – I hand wash the used pair with cold water, and then pop them on the drying rack until I’m ready to put them in the wash with the other used pants.
Then it’s time for a walk. I know getting outside and walking will be beneficial – there are many studies on the effects of nature on our mental and physical health, so I'll head to my nearest park and get some sun on my face.
When the evening comes, I lie down again, put on chilled music, burn incense or an oil, and put on low mood lightning. This is when I’ll use my womb oil to massage my belly while watching something or reading a book.
Afterwards, I heat up a pre-prepared dinner. My meals are usually nutrient dense as the body is going through an elimination process whilst bleeding, so during this time I tend to eat warming foods like soups and stews.
Once I’ve eaten, I’ll have a hot bath, with a face mask and candles (if I can be bothered) and it’s important to have an early night and sleep more so my body can focus on bleeding, and I can get lots of rest!”