Play it Again

Recycling started to become a buzzword in the 1980s when curbside recycling really began to make headway in the US and Canada. We (hopefully) do it pretty automatically these days, but why stop at simply putting things in the recycling bin? Did you know that you can re-purpose many of your recyclables into art as well some great useful household items? There are a ton of awesome ideas online, but here is a project to get you started!

Mosaic memory box using old DVD’s 
Do you have any old CDs, DVDs, DVD-Rs or CD-Roms hiding in your closet? If so, we have a great craft for you! Since almost *everything* has gone digital, you can repurpose these old disks into something super cool – a mosaic memory box!
Here’s something that I made with old DVDs.

How to: Using scissors cut into the DVD (or any related disk). When you cut you will notice that a DVD is actually made of two layers. You can discard the clear plastic layer or save for another project, you will only be using the silver layer for this project (CDs only have one layer but won’t have the fun and vibrant purplish color you get with old DVDs). Cut the silver layer into a variety of shard shapes. You can use these to decorate whatever you are making the mosaic on (I used an old wooden box, but you can use any kind of surface really).

Carefully, apply a strong glue to the surface and start placing the pieces however you like cutting the pieces to fit the right shape (it’s kind of like doing a puzzle). I found that I really liked the look of leaving a thin line of space between shards. Also be careful, these shards can be very sharp and this can be a messy project.

After you are done, you will want to use a crystal clear gloss as a finish, otherwise all the beautiful shiny stuff will simply wipe away!

Top 8 Repurposes for Disposables

Today’s the day. You finally made the switch to The DivaCup and are overly excited to start on your eco-friendly journey! The only problem? What do you do with your unused disposable fem care products? No worries! Our team has you covered with the top 8 repurposes for your unused disposables. 🙂

#1: Donate, donate, donate!
The first and most important step you should take when deciding on what to do with your unused disposable products is to donate them. Find a local charity, homeless shelter or women’s organization that is willing to take your disposable products. Not only are you saving the landfills, you’re helping menstruating people in need*.

#2: Nosebleed? No problem
Do you experience frequent nosebleeds that keep you stranded in the bathroom for 20 minutes, leaving the bathroom looking like a scene from a horror movie? Your old tampons can help! Take the tampon out of the applicator and put it in your nose to help absorb all of the blood. This will allow you to get your work done without having to worry about the mess.

#3: Makeup applicator/ beauty blender
Beauty blenders can be pricey and overrated. Now’s the time to take advantage of your unused tampons. Like a recent viral video illustrated, you can take the tampon out of the applicator and use it as a beauty blender. Apply your foundation to the tampon and distribute it in the specific areas. Watch and learn here.

#4: A Handy and Discrete Wallet
Going out for a night on the town or traveling to a foreign place? Hide your money and valuables in an unused pad wrapper. Remove the pad from the wrapper, without tearing the wrapper. Staple the sides of the wrapper, while leaving the top open. Store any light valuables in the wrapper and store in your purse or pocket.

#5: Absorbing Foot Pads
When it comes to washing the floors, the list of tools you need in order to complete the job is endless. With your unused pads, washing floors just got easier. Wash your floors with your preferred solution and mop. To absorb the residue, stick your unused pads to the bottom of a clean shoe or slipper and drag your feet across the affected area. Voilà, clean floors while having fun. Involve the family! Even the kids may enjoy skating through the house on pads, making cleanup a breeze and fun family activity.

#6: Backups
By now you should be DivaCup obsessed and all of your friends and family should be tired of hearing you brag about this life-changing product. But, you may have a few friends that refuse to give it a try (they are really missing out!). Store some unused pads and tampons in a spot where your friends can easily have access to the products if need be.

#7: Crafts
Your unused disposables can make for great holiday crafts. Grab some art supplies (googly eyes, food coloring, sparkles, etc.) and head to Pinterest for some fun and silly holiday craft ideas! Deck the halls with pads and tampons!

#8: Hair curlers
Who knew that your unused tampons could double as hair curlers? Well, now you do! If you’re looking to rock that ‘beached-wave look’ remove the tampon from the applicator and take smaller sections of hair and wrap the hair around the tampon. Just as you would with any other curling device. You can pin the tampons to the hair for more of a tight curl. Check out a tutorial here.

Do you have any tips for repurposing unused disposables? If so, share them with our team!

*Diva International Inc. donates to a number of organizations and shelters. Though, The DivaCup may seem like the best option for donations, it is not always feasible as The DivaCup needs proper education as well as care and cleaning amenities. Check out some of our initiatives here.

 

 

A Diva’s Eco Journey

March 1st: The Beginning
I have thought to myself more than once, I really should do more to help the environment. But then, life gets in the way and I end up forgetting about it until the next time the issue comes to the front of my mind. It’s a cycle that just keeps repeating. But this month, in celebration of Earth Day, I am hoping to make some real environmental changes to my life.
That’s why for the next month I will be experimenting with several new environmentally friendly tricks to help reduce my eco-footprint. I plan to start off with baby steps and see if I can eventually get myself running on this eco-journey.

March 4th: Getting Things Started
It has been a few days since I made my eco-resolution and so far, I have put a few of my plans into action. One of my biggest resolutions is that I want to enjoy nature more and get more active at the same time. I want to do this by committing to going hiking at least once a week. I also ordered a free Discovery Pass online, if you are a Canadian citizen, I recommend ordering one! It gives you free access to every national park in Canada for 2017 in honor of Canada’s 150th birthday. I made it through my first hike this week, as I visited my folks out in the country and went traipsing through the fields. It was a great hour hike and left my muscles feeling well worked and my mind relaxed. Enjoying nature is a great way to remind yourself why it is so important to preserve and protect the beautiful world we share. Getting out into nature is also great for your physical as well as mental health.
Another step I took on my eco-journey was buying a good reusable water bottle. I have always told myself to drink more water and so I bought one with measurements on it, to help me keep track. With this, I have decided not to buy any plastic water bottles and I am giving up buying soda bottles as well.

March 8th: Garbage Troubles
One of the biggest environmental improvements I wanted to make in my life was my waste management. I wanted to improve how much waste I composted and recycled vs how much I threw out. My goal was to get my household (me and my roommate) down to one garbage bag every two weeks. We already have the added advantage of using The DivaCup so we don’t have to worry about waste from disposables. My main solution for this was to make sure we had a spot under the sink to put our compost, recycling and garbage so that we didn’t have to take them outside every time. This worked wonders. So far, I have found we fill our trash can much less frequently.

March 10th: Wash Day
Just a quick check in today, my Discover Pass came in the mail! I am also right on track with my personal hiking goal of getting out in nature at least once a week. It feels great!
In other news, it is laundry day today and I decided to wash my cloths in cold water. I didn’t notice a real difference from washing them in warm water so I will be making that change permanent. Much like switching to The DivaCup, I’m wondering why I didn’t do this sooner!

March 14th: Eco Grocery Trip
Today was my big grocery shopping day and I had the goal of being as healthy and eco-friendly as possible. I started it off right and brought my own bags to hold my groceries. I also made sure to buy as much fresh, local, and unpackaged produce as possible. As for the packaged items, I kept in mind what packaging I could recycle and what I couldn’t. I also visited the bulk food store to stock up on some trail mix and other snacks. Lots of bulk stores have some great new initiative that allows customers to bring in their own containers instead of using the portion bags, so ask your local store if they do as well! If they don’t, maybe you can make a big difference by insisting that they do! At my local store, it worked like the: they simply weighed the containers first and then I filled them up. It also really helped with portion control!

March 15th: Meal Planning
So now that my fridge is full of fresh food, it’s time to prep my meals and snacks. This is a habit I have gotten into since I started living on my own. I find it convenient and quite fun to prep about two big meals and a bunch of fresh snacks like fruits and veggies for the whole week. Having prepped meals allows me to save time on weeknight meal prep, helps me save money by not purchasing my lunch, gives me readily available dinners, and reduces my environmental impact with the reusable constrainers that store my food. . Some fun easy meals I like to make include pastas, stuffed peppers and stir-fries.

March 19th: Thrifty Diva
Today I was out visiting my parents and my mom and I decided to do a little shopping. Now a shopping trip for us doesn’t involve malls or retail stores, it involves thrift shops. Now I know they aren’t for everyone, but for me they are a gold mine. I thought visiting one during my eco-journey was a great way to help re-purpose some great items. It turned out to be a successful trip and I walked out with a red suede coat that looked brand new!

March 22nd: The Journey Continues  
Its getting near the end of the month and I am proud of the changes I have made thus far. I am keeping up with my hiking each week, using cold water to wash my clothes, I am prepping my meals and sticking with my composting plan. I have also noticed that I feel better because I have been drinking more water and eating healthier from all my meal prep and fresh produce. I think overall everything is going very well and I hope to continue on this track well past the end of the month.

From my journey this month, I learned that by making small, personal changes to better my environmental impact, I really can make a difference. I found it much easier to stick to my small goals and objectives and still have a significant environmental impact. I am proud of the progress I have made and I am dedicated to continuing on my Eco-Journey.

Diary of a Diva: Princeton Menstruation Celebration!

Hi there!

My name is Jamie, and I’m one of the co-presidents of Princeton Students for Gender Equality (PSGE). We teamed up with The DivaCup to hold a Menstruation Celebration, an event to break the menstrual taboo, educate students about menstruation, collect product donations, and most of all, celebrate periods!

Why Hold a Menstruation Celebration?

It all started last summer when I was texting with a guy friend who is studying to be a doctor and the topic of menstruation came up. It soon became clear that he knew the science behind it and the technical terms, but had no idea what periods are actually like for those who have them. He thought we changed a tampon two or three times per period! I was shocked! I texted a dozen other non-menstruating friends and found that many also had no idea what people who menstruate experience on a monthly basis. Something had to be done! So, PSGE decided to partner with Princeton Students for Reproductive Justice (PSRJ) to plan the Menstruation Celebration event!

We Spread the Word!

To advertise the event, we hung up posters and put the word “menstruation” all over campus!
We also interviewed Princeton students who don’t menstruate about what they know about periods for a hilarious and surprising video.
I definitely recommend you watch it!

The Day of the Event!

We held the event on November 18th in our central campus center, and it was a huge hit! Hundreds of people stopped by to talk about and celebrate menstruation.
There was so much to do and see, including:

  • Homemade period-themed snacks: vulva cupcakes, pretzel tampons dipped in white and red chocolate, uterus cookies, and chocolate-chip ovary bread.
  • Fun games and activities: pin the ovaries on the uterus, a uterus piñata full of red candy, a photo station with a giant uterus and period trivia with The DivaCup notebooks as a prize!
  • Informational posters about what a period is, period myths, periods and politics and how to use trans-inclusive language when talking about periods.
  • Alternative products station featuring a demonstration of The DivaCup!
  • Access station featuring stories from people who struggle to access period products.
  • Collected donations for Distributing Dignity, an organization that provides pads, tampons, and bras to those who need them.
  • A raffle for The DivaCup and Diva Wash, as well as some other great products.

Amazing Results!

We collected some amazing menstrual product donations and we raised over $700 for Distributing Dignity! The event had a huge impact on campus, people were talking about menstruation in dining halls and dorms across campus. Thank you so, so much to The DivaCup team for the support and the incredibly generous donation. Tons of people came into the event confused or unsure about The DivaCup and left with far more information and excitement. (And a personal thank you to Diva Cup for getting me through hiking trips, my gap year in Senegal, and life at Princeton!)
Much menstruation love,

 

Jamie O’Leary. Jamie O’Leary is a sophomore at Princeton University from Rutland, VT. She is an Anthropology major with a Gender and Sexuality Studies minor, and she is especially interested in studying and breaking taboos around women’s bodies and sexuality. She is one of the founders and co-presidents of Princeton Students for Gender Equality (PSGE), an activist group and an inclusive, intersectional forum for discussions of feminism, gender, sex, and sexuality. (Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/princetonstudentsforgenderequality/).

 

Girls In Robotics: Something for Everyone

Team 4678, the CyberCavs, is a high school robotics club from Woodland Christian High School in Breslau, Ontario. It’s part of a worldwide organization called FIRST Robotics Competition, or FRC. FRC is known as ‘varsity sports for the mind’; each year the organization devises a new competition, and teams are given six weeks to design and build robots that perform the competition’s tasks. These tasks include things like throwing frisbees, stacking totes, lobbing balls into goals, and maneuvering robots around obstacles. Teams attend regional competitions, and the winners of these competitions attend the World Championships in St. Louis, USA.

Now in its fifth year, the CyberCavs club boasts approximately 50 members, where one third are girls. There are many aspects to a robotics club…from designing, building, and programming robots to public relations and finance. The beauty of a club with varied departments is that members are given the opportunity to sample a variety of work. “I learned how to use power tools and take better pictures,” says Lauryn, a third year member who divides her time between the Build and Public Relations departments. “I’ve gotten good practice at designing documents and writing information about an organization,” says first year member Freda. Shae is in her fourth year, and looks forward to the coming season. “I hope to learn more about building robots. I look forward to supervising the team’s CNC milling machine and using a program called Autodesk Inventor.” Joy-Hannah, a team alumnus in her first year of university, says, “During my first year in robotics I helped out with building by doing lots of riveting, but mostly I have been a part of Public Relations. I worked on a variety of tasks such as gaining sponsors, sewing mascot costumes and the team standard/banner, as well as various other promotional aspects. I enjoyed this because it was a chance to show how interesting robotics is. It was an opportunity to demonstrate that there is a place for everyone in robotics, no matter their interests or abilities. I also acted as the photographer for the team at competitions, which got me the best seat in the house.”

In preparation for the 2017 season, the club invested in several VEX robot kits. VEX robots can be assembled, disassembled and reconfigured in a multitude of ways, and is a great learning tool for students who are new to robotics. Jean, a first-year member, loves programming the VEX robots. “If it doesn’t move as we expect, we can fix it to make it match our requirements. And if it works, we can try to make it better.” She hopes to have a career in programming, so the CyberCavs robotics club is a great way to help her hone her programming skills.

What would the CyberCavs girls tell other girls about robotics? “You don’t need to know how to build a robot to join,” says Shae. “It’s a lot of fun, with all kinds of opportunities,” says Freda. “It’s interesting and I’m learning a lot of skills,” adds Jean. “I don’t see it as a big deal for girls to be involved in our robotics club,” notes Catalina, while Helen sums it up: “It’s a great chance to be a part of a team, and there is something for everyone.”

Diva International Inc. (Diva) is proud to sponsor the CyberCavs robotics club. Diva is passionate about providing opportunities to youth, and supporting girls in science, math and technology. For more information on Diva’s initiatives, please visit divacup.com.

 

2016, You’ve Been a Blast!

It feels like yesterday our Diva team was wishing all of our Diva communities seasons greetings for 2015. What happened!? The holiday music is on every other radio station, you’re receiving goodies in the mail and of course, the parties are endless! happy-holidays

That being said, 2016 was definitely one for the books. Our Diva team had a blast being able to spread The DivaCup love to menstruating people around the world. From tradeshows to consumer shows, to all of our online love, we couldn’t be happier with the outcomes. Thank you to our amazing Divas for making this year one to remember. Your support, love, and loyalty is unbelievable and certainly one that cannot be beaten.

We wanted to take this opportunity to share with you all some of our favorite accomplishments from 2016! Our amazing CEO, Carinne Chambers, won EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award – Sustainable Products category as well as the Industry Disrupter Award. Congrats Carinne, you’re amazing!

On social media, our Facebook page reached over 50,000 Likes and our Twitter page reached over 12,000 Likes!

In our dedication to women’s health, our team continued our partnerships with CeMCOR and the ROSE study as well as sponsored Endo What? A ground-breaking documentary on Endometriosis.

We also had the opportunity to partner with innovative and moving charitable organizations like Camions of Care, The Ali Forney Center, Native Youth Sexual Health Network, YWCA, and many others in North America and around the world who are working to ensure menstrual care access for those in-need.

We are excited to announce as well that we will be launching in Mexico in 2017, making The DivaCup available in 29 countries! Like our new Spanish Facebook and Twitter pages to stay in the loop on some exciting news and giveaways!

A Note from our CEO, Carinne Chambers:

Thank you so much to all our Divas for making 2016 an amazing year we will always remember! From our loyal Diva users to our new Diva users, thank you for taking the chance to join the Diva revolution. Your continued support is incredible and we couldn’t have done it without you!

My mom and I took a risk to lead the way pioneering the menstrual cup category and our success and growth since our inception in 2001 has been tremendous. Our team has grown close to 40 employees and we continue to grow and evolve every day. This year my mom Francine retired from the day to day business and is now Chairman of the Board.  Very exciting, and so well deserved!

My beloved Diva family and I are so looking forward to 2017. We have big plans. Plans to invest more time, money and resources into building up the menstrual cup category and to empower women around the world.

Divas, thank you for all your kindness and support! Season greetings to you and your loved ones. Get ready for an exciting 2017. We have lots in store and will continue on our mission to change the world one DivaCup at a time!!

From our family to yours…

diva team signature

 

10 Ways to Navigate your Period over the Holidays

The holidays can be many wonderful things. They can remind us of what’s important, reignite friendships/relationships, encourage us to give back, fill us with yummy treats, and give us a chance to tell people how we feel about them. Still even with all these great pieces… as we all know the holidays can also be super stressful. You may be travelling to multiple locations, trying to get the kids the *it* (and of course sold out) toy of the season, praying you don’t catch the flu that everyone in the office seems to have, and perhaps even playing the buffer in some of the more volatile relationships around you. Between all these things it can sometimes be a little bit hard to carve out some time for yourself! Throw your period into the mix, and what’s a Diva to do?! Well, maybe some of these 10 tips can help….

1) Sleep Sleep

It sounds so simple, right? So why do we have such a hard time carving out enough sleep on the holidays?  Between holiday parties and late nights of shopping, wrapping, and decorating, it can be hard to get your eight hours. While this tip may sound like something easier said than done, if you can put that effort into tucking yourself in at a decent time, you will find the holidays and your period much easier to deal with.

2) Focus on the positives and laugh off the little things

The holidays can be stressful, but maybe some of those stresses can be laughed off and let go? Remember those picture-perfect holiday photos that are displayed on every single social channel? Each of these was probably proceeded and followed by complete and utter chaos.

So, try and focus on those positive parts of the holidays and laugh off the little stressful things the holidays can bring. This may be a challenge especially if you find yourself a bit snippy over the holidays or over your period, but trust us, it will lead to happier holiday memories for you and your loved ones.

Champagne3) Alcohol: Limit or Avoid

So school is still out on the debate of whether or not little to moderate alcohol intake has any specific effects on your period or vice versa. However, period or not, anything over moderate alcohol intake when faced with sometimes stressful family or social situations, just doesn’t seem like the best idea. Also remember alcohol is a depressant! If you are emotional due to stress or due to your period, alcohol will likely heighten these feelings rather than remove them.

4) Cravings: Indulge but Don’t Cave

The holidays can have a lot of yummy treats easily accessible and when you are on your period sometimes every cell in your body seems to be asking for sugar. It is ok to indulge in a few of these cravings, but remember to not go overboard! Junky and sugary foods actually tend to make us feel a little worse when it comes to our period symptoms. So, approach this with balance! If your achy uterus is demanding a gingerbread cookie, have one but maybe stop at just the one and try not to growl at you family as soon as they reach for the others.

5) A Holiday Walk

Need to cool down from the heat of all the ovens working overtime to bring you a holiday feast, or to step away from the heat of Cousin Janet and Uncle Bill talking politics?  Taking a holiday walk is not only great for the soul, it is wicked helpful for your cramps! Grab your favorite relative and take a stroll to enjoy the holiday decorations or even to marvel at how your town has turned into a holiday ghost land while everyone is inside celebrating. Some fresh air can ease your mood and even take away some of the stress induced holiday headache and the exercise will help ease your period cramps.

6) Hot Chocolate hot chocolate

It’s the drinkable equivalent of a warm hug and absolutely nothing beats a steaming mug of hot chocolate during the winter holidays! This perfect comfort drink not only warms the cockles of your stressed-out holiday heart but can even help with some of your period symptoms! For some great hot chocolate recipes with period relief in mind, check out our hot chocolate blog.

7) Load up on Veggies

The holidays can be full of rich and delicious foods, but sometimes these don’t line up with the kind of foods to support a menstruating body. Though we aren’t saying to completely avoid the creamy mashed potatoes or the little bit of deeply fried goodness, make sure you are reaching for some of the safer (yet just as yummy options). Leafy greens are great for your period, so push past the candied yams and grab some spinach or kale. The iron in these vegetables will help you be your holiday best while on your period. Veggies like broccoli also have a high fiber content and can actually help with bloating!

8) Some water please and make it hot!

Taking a hot bath may not be realistic during this time of the year, but boy if you can make it work, it is the absolute best. Otherwise, try and remember to pack a hot water bottle on your holiday travels. This portable little bit of period relief can really take the edge off your period blahs during the holidays.

Model 29) Complain Exchange!

Sometimes the holidays and your period just make you want to vent! This is totally understandable. Talk to a close friend or relative before the holidays and become each other’s venting outlets. Seriously, a complaint exchange can help you get things out instead of bottling them up and then you can let things go, giving you a better holiday and period experience.

10) The DivaCup

This one should be obvious! Can you imagine navigating the holidays anyway else? Who has room to pack disposables when you are carrying all those presents? Plus traveling on the holidays is grueling whether it is by plane, train or automobile, at least with The DivaCup you can worry about reaching your destination and not your period.

 

Holiday Traditions from The Diva Team

For many of us, the holidays consist of parties, food and socializing, but there are many traditions that are near and dear to every family. The Diva Team came together to share a few of their favorite holiday traditions.

Paige

Oh, the holidays. My favorite time of the year! Who doesn’t love the endless amounts of sweets, dinners and family gatherings? For my family and I, we’ve had the same tradition since I was born. Every year on Christmas Eve we head to my grandparent’s house for presents, food and of course a ton of laughs.

The same things happen every year when we arrive at my grandparent’s house. We greet our family who drove hours to celebrate the evening with us. We catch up with cousins, aunts and uncles and we open presents! My favorite part of our tradition is seeing everyone gather together and celebrate such a joyous holiday. But, as the years go on, and my grandparents’ age, the tradition will soon have to change. This holiday season will be the last year celebrating Christmas Eve at my grandparents’ house. It’ll be bittersweet seeing my family and I gather around such a sentimental place for the last time. Just because one door is closing, doesn’t mean another can’t open. Our family will have to start a new tradition and gather at another family member’s house and continue our tradition for years to come!

Kristen

For my husband and I, the holidays are all about spending time with our loved ones. Our tradition is pretty simple, but to us, it’s something we look forward to every single year. On Christmas Eve, we spend time with my husband’s family. Being from a small town, it makes it easy to go from one house to the next. The party is usually the same every year, food, presents and more food!

When we get back home, we always take a photo of our house. We love to look back and remember if it had snowed or not (can you tell we’re Canadian, eh?).

Christmas morning is extra special to me. My husband and I wake up and exchange our gifts. It’s nice to be together without the chaos of all our family members. Once gifts are opened and we’ve spent time together, we gather at my parent’s house for Christmas dinner and our classic Christmas crackers and paper crowns!

Shelley

I know that the idea of movies and Chinese food for Jewish families on December 25th is not a new one, but I have got to say that my family kills it! We don’t watch *a* movie, we go to the theater and watch 4-5 movies. Planning our movie adventure starts days in advance includes a lot of help from friendly cinema employees, and necessitates a lot of flexibility. For my family’s holiday movie fest, it’s always quantity over quality and so when you are trying to see as many movies as possible, scheduling is absolutely everything!  ticketsThough websites and newspapers can give you the start time what you need to get from the theater itself is the actual film start times (you know after all the car commercials and previews) as well as the end times, and screening room proximities. It’s good to try and get about 10 minutes between the end of a film and the start of the next for washroom breaks, popcorn refills and navigating massive multiplexes, but this does not often work out. Most of the time we are jogging from one screen to the next as soon as the credits begin to roll.

It’s the perfect kind of holiday chaos. We may not have a tree, presents, or a turkey… but we spend the day together and boy do we ever have fun. This is how my family has been doing December 25th since I was a kid and I couldn’t picture spending the day any other way!

Kobi

Part of being a millennial means I was raised almost entirely by television. Some of my fondest childhood memories are avoiding holiday hysteria by sinking into the couch with the company of Rudolph, Frosty, and the lovably depressing Charlie Brown. For me, the holidays can’t begin until I’ve blown off my Christmas shopping for a few hours of hot cocoa and holiday classics.

Penny

Skating We live in a small town, so one of our holiday traditions is to drive into the city. We may go to a musical or a play, or we may just visit something fun like the aquarium. I like taking my son somewhere to have an experience, like learning something new or simply seeing something new. The city is neat to visit at this time of year. Sometimes it’s busy with people ice skating at City Hall or walking around, and sometimes it’s like a ghost town (maybe because the city dwellers are driving out to small towns like mine to visit family).

We would love to hear about your holiday traditions! Share them with us below or on our social media channels.

 

Guest Post: Essential Oils for Period Care

Aromatherapy, the practice of using essential oils for improving or maintaining health and beauty, is a wonderful and yet often misunderstood form of alternative health care. It is both a practice that people can dabble in at home and at the same time is a form of treatment practiced by professional Aromatherapists.

Whether you use essential oils at home or seek the care of your local Aromatherapist, integrating Aromatherapy into your life is a fantastic act of self-care. Of course, we could all use a little more self-care in our lives, but as women dealing with so many external expectations and pressures, the practice of taking time for oneself is particularly important – especially during our periods! 43157468_l-smaller

Essential oils are effective in treating some of the discomforts associated with the menstrual cycle in two ways: first, essential oils can be inhaled (eg. diffusing) and are absorbed directly into the olfactory system, ultimately assisting the hypothalamus to control hormone production. Second, essential oils can be diluted in a carrier oil and applied directly to the skin to be absorbed into the body’s tissues (muscle, blood, etc.) which can help with physical discomfort.

In North America, essential oils can be found on store shelves due to a lack of regulation over the product. This means that many different oils can be purchased and used at home; however, it’s important to remember that essential oils are a natural health product that affects every body differently and should be used with care. Overuse or improper use can tax the liver and cause severe adverse reactions. The reality is that not every oil is safe for every body, and so the absolute best way to understand the spectrum of oils that are safe and effective for you as an individual is to seek the care of an Aromatherapist.

If you’re keen to find a DIY solution to eliminate the discomforts associated with your period, the good news is that there are a few essential oils that are safe to use at home.

Here are four ways to use essential oils at home for period care:

  1. Lavender in the bath for relaxation and sleep: if you like to take baths, you can mix 10 drops of Lavender essential oil in with 1 cup of Epsom salts and allow this to dissolve in the bath. Alternatively, you can just add the 10 drops to your bathwater. Soak for at least 20 minutes and enjoy the calming, soothing effect on both mind and body. If you suffer from period-related sleep issues, this is particularly helpful to do just before bed as lavender is an effective oil used to treat insomnia.41101925_l-smaller

  2. Diffuse a blend to improve your mood: using a hydro diffuser (one that you fill with water and does not heat the oils), take a little time to sit and relax, perhaps with a good cup of tea. Drop in 5 drops of your essential oil blend and turn on the diffuser nearby, sit for at least 20 minutes for maximum benefit. Lavender + Sweet Orange is an effective blend for helping you relax while also uplifting a low mood. Sweet Orange + Grapefruit is a great blend to help energize you if you’ve been feeling a bit lethargic, and Peppermint is excellently stimulating if you’ve been feeling a bit of a brain fog.

  3. Tea tree to treat the skin: for hormonal breakouts, there’s no better essential oil for skin than Tea Tree. In a small container, mix 2 tbsp of alcohol-free witch hazel with 5 drops tea tree oil. You can dip a cotton swab or cotton ball (dip only once to prevent contamination) into the mixture and wipe on areas of concern (face and/or body) to help soothe and dry the breakout. If you are worried about or dealing with acne scars, Lavender is one of the best topical healing oils and could be used in witch hazel or in your regular toner or moisturizer to speed healing.

  4. Peppermint for hormonal headaches: if you experience hormonal headaches during your period, Peppermint could be a life-saver. In a small container or dropper bottle, mix 2 tbsp of carrier oil (liquid coconut, grapeseed, avocado, or sunflower oil work well) with 5 drops of peppermint essential oil. Using your fingers, rub a bit of the oil into temples and onto the back of the neck right at the hairline at the first sign of a headache to stop it in its tracks.

These at-home treatments are easy to whip up with just a small collection of essential oils. There are many more oils that can be used for period care and treating symptoms such as muscle soreness, cramping, and other mood fluctuations. For best results, an Aromatherapist can create specific blends and products tailored to your individual experience.

 

kateKate Murray-Fuerth, B.A., CAP

Kate is a Kitchener, Ontario-based Aromatherapist who is passionate about helping people to better understand how to use essential oils safely and effectively. She works with clients both in-person and via Skype on a variety of health and skincare concerns and specializes in women’s health – particularly Aromatherapy for pregnancy and motherhood. She is also the creator of NB Naturals, a line of professional aromatherapy products and certified organic essential oils. For more information or to book an appointment, contact her at kate@nbnaturals.org or visit www.nbnaturals.org.