A friend recently said that brain meds don’t change your personality, and I had a knee-jerk response of “Yes they do!” but I was surprised at my own conviction and had to think on it awhile. It’s a completely philosophical, religious, or spiritual question. Who am I? What makes me me? When am I most me? When am I not me? Can I be something other than myself?
Browsing CategoryRadical Self
I almost died yesterday.
Okay, I didn’t almost die, but I thought I was going to.
Well, I didn’t actually think that.
What I thought was, “Is everyone having a good time? Did that silence go on too long? Did I laugh too loud? Am I doing a good job?”
See, I was hosting a party, and I have anxiety.
I’m gonna tell you everything you need to know about the Diva Cup. Because it’s an unfortunate fact that many women are bothered and inconvenienced by their monthly menstruation. It’s no surprise, though. Periods are expensive, require a lot of contraptions, are wasteful, smell bad, and are just generally annoying.
Or are they?
I used to get annoyed at all the aspects of menstruation. There’s a high cost associated with buying the needed products, and then you have to make sure to have those products on hand when you need them and in great quantity. I despaired at creating so much trash to throw out every month. The smell of menstruation on a tampon or pad was yucky to me. The sticky material of pads and the scraping material of tampons was more annoyance piled on.
Then I found the Diva Cup. Well, technically, I found the Keeper first, but it smelled even worse, and then my dog ate it. When I went to replace it, I found the Diva Cup, and I’m in menstruation heaven with it.
I’ve been using the Diva Cup for over 15 years. I’ve never looked back!
What Is The Diva Cup?
The Diva Cup is a small container made of non-absorbent health grade silicone that you insert into you vagina to sits near the bottom and collect menstrual blood. When it’s full you dump it out, rinse it off, and stick it back in. It’s so simple.
The benefits of the Diva Cup are almost too many to list, but here are a few of my favorites. I feel like an infomercial, but the truth is that I honestly love this product to death.
Comfort: Since the Diva Cup is made of a soft, smooth material, it’s not uncomfortable to insert or wear. Tampons used to scrape up my insides, and the plastic material on the top of pads made my outer labia raw. The Diva Cup is completely unnoticeable when I’m wearing it, and goes in and out easily.
TSS Risk: The Diva Cup doesn’t absorb or block your flow. Rather, it simply collects it in the cup. This means you can wear it for extended periods of time with no risk of TSS.
Environmental Impact: The Diva Cup is reusable and lasts nearly forever. This means that there’s nothing else to buy and no landfill waste is generated month after month.
Financial Cost: You can get a Diva Cup for less than $30. And then that’s it. No more trips to the store at the last minute to stock up. I’ve purchased three cups for around $65 total over 15 years. That means I’ve spent about 42 cents a period, and that cost is always going down.
Smell: Blood begins to smell bad when it hits the air. The blood on pads? Ick. Even the blood on tampons can begin to smell. With the cup, though, the blood is not exposed to the air until you take the cup out, meaning it smells like menstrual blood, of course, but not menstrual blood that’s “going bad”.
The Hippie Aspects of the Diva Cup
Some women worry about the mess with using a cup. The Diva Cup website claims you can insert it and remove it with no mess, and I mostly agree. However, it may happen now and then that you get blood on your fingers This happens for me most when I’m having a heavy flow, usually in the first 2 days of my cycle. I’m a big hippie, and touching my own menstrual flow is hardly a concern, but other women might be more bothered.
The other awesome hippie thing about the Diva Cup is how much you learn about your menstrual flow when using it. You can see how much fluid you’re producing. You can see the changes in the color of the flow over the course of your period. I’ve noticed that sometimes my flow is very thick and dark red and other times it’s almost watery. I find this knowledge fascinating.
For overall menstruation convenience, the Diva Cup can’t be beat. It’s soooo much cheaper and soooo much easier on your body. I’ve found it easy to always keep my cup in my purse, so it’s always there when I need it. If you know when you’re about to start, you can even go ahead and put it in, so there’s never a risk of leaking.
The Diva Cup has changed my experience of menstruating in an almost paradoxical way. On one hand, my period is almost an afterthought now. It doesn’t concern me or bother me much. On the other hand, I’m almost more focused on it when it’s happening, because I’m paying more attention to the details of my flow, rather than trying to wish them away. It’s a good paradox, in stark contrast to the experience of so many other women: hating and loathing their periods while spending so much money and effort on them.
Buy a Diva Cup!
Go get your own Diva Cup! You won’t regret it. Here are a couple of links (disclosure: these are affiliate links) for you:
- Diva Cup, #1 Pre-Childbirth Cup – for women under 30 or women who have NOT given birth vaginally
- Diva Cup, #2 Post Childbirth Cup – for women over 30 or women who have given birth vaginally.
Have you tried the Diva Cup yourself or some other reusable menstrual product?
Notice: Product links in this article are affiliate links. If you buy through them I get a small commission at no extra charge to you. All opinions are my own.
Miracle Morning is a book by Hal Elrod that promises to “Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)”. Well, that’s a tall order indeed. Elrod has put personal development best practices into one efficient morning routine.
What are these best practices? You’ve probably heard of all of them and thought to yourself, I should do that now and then!
- Meditation, prayer, or another style of spending moments of silence
- Journaling (Bonus Reading: 15 Benefits of Journaling)
When I first read about this, my first thought was hahahahahaha. There was no way this could be a miracle morning for moms and dads. The morning is abrupt, chaotic, and there’s just not enough time for all that stuff!
I’ve always heard that you have to get up early before the kids if you want to have extra time. I hate getting up earlier than I have to, but the truth is that I’m just not as productive at night. I’m willing to give it a try.
Here’s what my Miracle Morning looks like:
- Wake up at 6am. Dylan and I cosleep, so my alarm is a gentle song that won’t wake him up.
- Meditate for a few minutes, say a few affirmations, and visualize what I want from my day. You can try using a Pinterest board to collect your personal affirmations and visualizations.
- Do my Morning Pages at 750 Words. The Morning Pages idea comes from The Artist’s Way, and there’s also The Artist’s Way for Parents. Morning Pages take me about 15 minutes.
- Exercise for about 10 minutes while my dog looks at me funny and stretches himself awake.
- Make a smoothie (I use one of these!)
- Sit down to read (I’m reading Raising Human Beings right now!) for about 15 minutes.
After all that I have time left over to mess around on the Internet a bit before Dylan and my partner, Joshua, wake up.
Is this routine performing miracles for me?
Well, my streak is only 4 days so far. I’m not super consistent, and the pull to sleep in on the weekends is just too great!
But my weekdays mornings DO have a bit of a miracle quality when I go through this routine.
When I get up early and am productive, I feel like my day is already successful by the time Dylan wakes up. That gives my day a great start. I’m in a good mood and I’m ready to be present with Dylan and my other priorities. Even if the rest of the day has a lazy, slow pace it’s okay!
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Part of what makes this the Miracle Morning for moms and dads is that it makes the evenings better, too. I don’t know about you, but I am often stressed out and a bit twitchy in the evenings. When we have plans the next day I am focused on making picnic lunches, making sure there’s clean laundry, and packing our bags. This preparation is sometimes overwhelming. Now there’s always enough time for in the morning to finish things up from the night before.
Not everyone can get up an hour or two before the rest of the family! There’s one more trick you might need that makes the Miracle Morning work for everyone.
Elrod has a blog post called The (6-minute) Miracle Morning. He talks about how you could devote a single minute to each of these items. They don’t have to be any certain length! You can do each item just as long as you need.
A 6 minute morning routine? Now THAT could be a miracle morning for moms and dads!
Have you ever tried a morning routine like this? Do you think it would work for you?
Have you tried journaling as a coping strategy for stress? What are your main strategies? We’ve all got little strategies to work with for times when we’re emotionally distressed. Some of these are good for us or neutral, and some are not as healthy.
A few of my go-to coping mechanisms are eating, napping, and really hot showers. As a person with bipolar, depression, anxiety, yadayadayada, I need a lot of strategies!
I’m turning more and more to journaling as a coping strategy for stress. Journaling is almost always available, it doesn’t hurt anyone, and it’s not unhealthy for me. No one is ever mad at me if I turn to journaling, and it can’t make the problem worse.
It’s also practical: in addition to being soothing, over time it leads to real solutions to ongoing problems. Morning Pages, in particular, are a great way to reveal solutions to ongoing life problems. Morning Pages are 3 pages of longhand journaling every morning or 750 Words typed out.
Additional Reading: 5 Tips to Build Your Daily Journaling Habit
Whenever I feel my emotions get out of control, I turn to the page to write down what’s going on with me. I write my ugly words, my angry words, my confused words, my sad words. I’ve cried on journal pages before, and I’ve stabbed through some pages with angry jabs of my pen.
Sometimes I find that I literally only need to write one sentence. Today I wrote in my journal, “This morning I freaked out and cried over all my failed projects.” And just like that, I felt a little better. To name a problem and to express it out loud has value. Getting something out is the first step – sometimes the only step – to letting it go.
What kinds of coping mechanisms do you use? Is journaling one of them?
Get The Gear
Here’s some of the stuff I use in my journaling practices. (These are all affiliate links. Thanks for your support!)