Think about how you speak about period
The language we use to describe a topic determines how we feel about it. We’re often taught to refer to period products as’feminine hygiene products’ or ‘sanitary products’ – this type of language paints periods in a negative light, and isn’t very inclusive. Similarly, referring to periods exclusively as a ‘woman’s issue’ can often lead to negative emotions towards periods, as well as being non-inclusive. Instead, try using period products to describe pads and tampons, and use the term ‘people with periods’ to be more inclusive.
Don't assume everyone is ashamed
There’s no doubt that the shame and stigma around periods is a very real thing. However, we’re often taught this level of shame, rather than it coming naturally to us.
We’re told to stop talking if we mention our period, expected to just get on with it, and hide the fact that it even happens, so as not to make other people uncomfortable.
Whilst you might not feel comfortable talking about periods (you really shouldn’t), it doesn’t mean that others feel the same, and if someone wants to talkabout their period you shouldn’t shush them, or throw them a look.
Talk about your period
Carrying on from the previous point, the only way to normalise something is to speak about it. So talk openly about your period with friends and family. We don’t mean that you have to give them a play-by-play (you can if you want, we’re not ones to judge), but rather than faking stomach aches or headaches to get out of an event just say you’re on your period and don’t feel up to it.
Periods can also be overwhelming no matter what age you are. Tracking your cycle, knowing what’s ‘normal’ for you, and dealing with emotions can be difficult. Sharing that experience with the people around you can really help.
Carry around period products
Even if you’re someone who doesn’t get a period, carrying around a few pads and tampons in your bag or keeping them in your locker in school or your desk at work can be a great way of showing period positivity, and can really help someone help out if they get their period and they don’t have any products on them.