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How to manage your period at a festival

People dancing in colour powder during a festival

If you think festival toilets are ‘kind of gross’ then you might freak out at the thought of getting your period just before or even during a festival!

No, this is not because periods are gross (you won’t find any period shaming here). It’s because managing your period at a festival can be quite stressful. Trudging through mud to make an emergency flee to the bathroom is never fun and don’t get me started on the cramps…

As much as we all love a festival, they can be gruelling. There are endless posts out there with advice on how to ‘survive a festival’ but we’re here with tips to help you survive the festival when on your period. Don’t let the bleed hold you back!

You can do this!

Firstly, if your cycle dates coincide with the festival dates, do not panic. It’s not ideal but you can handle it. Take notes from actress Jennifer Lawrence. She was due to get her period during an awards ceremony. She breezed through it thanks to a bit of pre-event planning. This is what J-Law famously said in an interview.

“That was my plan-B dress. Plan A was a dress that I couldn’t wear because awards season is synced with my menstrual cycle, and it has been for years. [The red design] was loose at the front. And I didn’t have to worry about sucking anything in. The other dress was really tight, and I’m not going to suck in my uterus. I don’t have to do that.”

Jennifer turned up in her ‘plan B dress’ and delighted onlookers. She’s didn’t cancel or hide in the background, she just planned for it and embraced it.

Manage your period at a festival

Now that I’ve dispensed a healthy dose of inspiration to make you feel better, here are my top tips to help you manage your period at a festival:

Pack the essentials

Getting caught short at a festival is another story. That’s why knowing your dates and planning a ‘just in case’ bag is important. Pack a cosmetic purse and fill it with your tampons, pads and liners (depending on what you use). Also, include bags to hygienically dispose of your tampons. FabLittleBag are perfect for festivals because not only are they super convenient and hygienic, they are also biodegradable!

I would also recommend adding in a pouch of tissues. Festival toilets can on occasions run out of toilet roll. By having your own to hand you are covered no matter what! This is very much an essentials kit so remember to pack enough.

Banish the bloat

Premenstrual bloating can be uncomfortable. Bloating around your midsection can make standing for long hours watching gigs less enjoyable. Beat the bloat by avoiding salty foods and opting for comfortable or loose fitting clothing.

Whilst the festival food stalls can entice you in with greasy foods, look for the fresher options. Festivals are encouraged to cater for all dietary needs. Try out vegetarian or vegan options and top up your nutrients (especially fibre) with a fresh morning smoothie (side note: also, good for hangovers).

Some alcohol options can also make you feel bloated. Beer can be a key offender (which is a prime festival favourite). Try going for gluten free beer or beverages like gin and wine. Take note of this list.

Don’t be ruled by your cravings

Leading on from the bloat banishing tips above, sometimes it can be difficult to avoid certain foods due to the ever-powerful cravings. This is where a little bit of prep can go a long way. In advance, add a few snacks to your festival bag.

Obviously, avoid perishables and look for snacks that will suit the weather. In a UK festival, because we have cooler temperatures you could pack a few bars of dark chocolate. It’s great for satisfying sweet cravings and contains magnesium to soothe cramps. If you are heading to a festival in a warmer climate then aim to take nuts or dried fruit with you. Just check out flying regulations and festival guidelines. Most festivals allow snack foods to be taken onto the grounds but if it’s not the case get your fill before entering.

Have a pain-free festival

Don’t let period cramps spoil your festival experience. Make sure you pack ibuprofen and try to stay hydrated. Many festival goers forget to stay hydrated. Lack of hydration can make your cramps more severe. Try to drink plenty of water. To help you remember, make a rule to drink water when eating.

Also, give acupressure a try. Acupressure can help relieve period cramps. Try pushing these pressure points to target PMS pain in your body. You could do a few acupressure massages when watching a gig and nobody will know!

Avoiding discomfort and infections

Showering at a festival is often not the ‘done thing.’ Queues can be long, showers can be grubby and some festivals may not have the facilities. It’s important however to maintain hygiene on your period to avoid discomfort and infections.

A ‘festival shower’ usually comes in the form of swiping your skin with baby wipes. Try using organic, biodegradable wipes. They are gentler on your body and better for the environment. Remember, avoid overdoing it on your lady parts. You could disrupt the PH balance in your vagina and this could lead to more discomfort.

Alongside all natural baby wipes remember to maintain healthy hand hygiene. Festival toilets can be germy and you don’t want these germs anywhere near your sensitive areas. Pack a hand sanitiser and pack a hand lotion with essential oils. Essential oils are uplifting and the scent will give you a little boost.

Obviously, it’s important to change your tampons and pads regularly. At an all-day festival, I would recommend adding a mini flashlight to your festival bag. If the toilets do not have lights (which can often be the case) you can still see what you are doing!

Comfortable clothing

There can often be pressure to have the most stylish outfit when it comes to festivals. Side note: You don’t NEED to buy new. Shopping your wardrobe for clothes you already have but haven’t worn in ages or swapping with friends can still give you a stylish outfit!

Your period doesn’t need to cramp your festival style. Opt for slogan t-shirt dresses, dresses, shorts or culottes to feel most comfortable.

If you love a slogan try to work it into your outfit in other ways! Add one of our popular TOTM ‘Be Kinder to Your Vagina’ totes. They are also ideal to carry around your day to day festival essentials!

Make sure your friends have your back

You can’t plan for everything. You might forget to pack something important or find yourself in urgent need to run to the toilet. If your friend is in the know they can help you out. Whether it’s helping you weave through the crowd to the toilet or running back to the tent for you. A good friend will always have your back so make sure they know you might need their support.

That should have you covered! Don’t let your period stand in the way. You can manage your period at a festival! Just focus on having a memorable, amazing festival experience.

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