Some women experience difficult menstrual periods. From horrible mood swings to painful cramps to puking and stooling. This a list of discomforts women, including female writers, deal with for 5-7 days every month. Imagine if these difficult days coincide with when you have a list of deadlines to beat or some client wants you to deliver unfailingly, what would you do?

It is a fact that our lives continue to evolve as we grow older. Our responsibilities change and our priorities are reordered naturally. For this obvious reason, writing for a single woman is a lot different from writing as a wife, or a nursing mother. Many single female writers like me may have spent a good fraction of their writing-time imagining how life would turn out. Maybe it is the residue of these thoughts which became one of my favorite poems “Solitude” which I wrote sometime in 2018.

The words of this poem hit me hard every single time. I imagine home-keeping and childbearing and rearing and its possibilities of infringing on my solitude and writing time. I imagine how I can no longer run into myself shut the doors and try to absorb a rejection notice. How I would meet deadlines when I must clean up after the kids. How my nocturnal-life will be intercepted by wailing babies. This scares me and I guess I am not alone. For there will be many young women like me, who are accustomed to crossing bridges before they ever get to them.

But for now, we just have period cramps to deal with, if/when the babies come, we will handle it!

Here’s How Female Writers can Deal with Period Cramps

Writing makes us more prone to leading sedentary lives. You often have to sit in front of your computer or tablet and punch away for hours. Your neck, back and arms hurt but the satisfaction which comes with completing a piece is one of our most potent analgesics. We may not be able to always write on the go. We need to sit in one spot and pour all our creative powers into one theme to create magic.

I sometimes wish, writing was like dancing where you get physically fit as you practice. Where your mind is not working that much and your every perspiration carries a drop of gloom away until some ecstatic power takes over your body! Since writing isn’t exactly that, here’s what female writers need to do:

Be active:

It is this sedentary lifestyle that makes us inactive that we first need to thrash. I remember when I worked on my school farm, sometime in 2017, I did not experience menstrual cramps. The cycles were painless. I guess it was because we did a lot of physical work. Hoes and cutlasses blistered my palms but it took me away from my inactive lifestyle for a good fraction of that year.

More recently, I have determined to be strict with my workout schedule. I look way too strong to be boxed around and beaten to pulp for 5 days straight in one month by menstrual cramps. If you are horrible at getting out of bed by 6 am and jogging down the street, you can set your workout time to sunset. Most evenings meet me getting off my pc for 10 to 15 minutes four times a week to do some squats and side hops. It hasn’t been very easy to follow strictly but I feel lighter and happier. Consider yoga and dances. Put the music on or use an earpiece and dance until you are sweating and panting. You will be amazed at how things would turn out.

Cut down on junks and soda:

I know so many writers who pass time eating junks while working. I am guilty. I sometimes buy a pack of snacks for this same purpose. In 2018 for instance, I took so much soda. I noticed that a lot of sugar made me drowsy and helps me to sleep. I had many more bad days than I could count in that year and those drinks kept coming through for me. I drank so much. Once, I went like 4 bottles in one day. And my periods were merciless to me. I would throw up and stool. I have replaced soda with custard, with no sugar, just lots of milk. And this is helping. I also think it would be great to stock fruits weekly. Instead of having chin-chin while writing, a fruit salad would be way better. Chill the fruits if you have the means, if not, go for the unripe fruits so they can serve you longer. It is advisable to eat fruits and veggies when they are in season, it is cheaper and mostly fresher.

Stay hydrated:

These days, I carry a small jar of water with me. I guess I now understand what it means to stay hydrated and the dangers of being otherwise. When I haven’t had enough water, I get such a horrible headache that it is difficult to concentrate on anything. Whether it is a book I am reading or some poem I am writing. I get restless and feel like my head would explode into tiny bits. Never think that a drink would well replace water. Don’t wait until you are thirsty before you drink water. The Institute of Medicine recommends over 2 liters of water per day. Just drink lots of water especially during your period.

In conclusion

Female writers (actually, all writers) are supposed to pay attention to details but we still leave out some details. Funny how we may remember the smell and the 180◦ arc of his pink lips when he smiled at us and winked flirtingly in an eatery. But we forget our red days. We need to get calendar markers and set reminders if need be. If you know that the blood would come tomorrow, take one dose of a pain reliever (paracetamol). Also, carry a sanitary pad or two in your bag too.

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