Sydney-based artist Hannah Carrick doesn’t let her cycle get in the way of her work. Having recently discovered the intrinsic connection between her monthly flow and creative flow - she’s learnt how to work with her cycle, not against it. We spoke to Hannah about PMS, productivity and all things creativity. Here she shares her experience dealing with adult acne, switching to reusables and the magic that is CBD oil.
Name: Hannah Carrick
Day job: Artist
Yeah! I was in grade 6 and I remember being the only girl in my group to get it first. Luckily my mum was really open with chatting about it and packed me a little pack of pads that year, so I was prepared.
I don’t really track my period, but I know it’s coming because I’ll start to get emotional — sad or angry — and cry. Then it comes, and I’m like “oh yep, makes sense why I was so skitz this week.”
When I’m on my period I take it as a “pause” and do nothing. On the first day, I don’t work out, I take time off work, and I kind of just lay around without feeling guilty about it. I’ll take an oat bath (I’m an eczema child) and read or watch Netflix in bed with my hot water bottle. I’ll definitely indulge - Ben & Jerry’s vegan ice cream is my go-to and I've recently discovered Verde Remedy CBD Oil which I’ve found really helps me relax and relieve cramps.
I’m big on sustainability and reducing waste where I can, so have recently switched to reusables. I wear my period cup on day 1 and period underwear for the rest.
I always dress for comfort (on and off my period) so at home I’m almost always in my robe or if I’m at the studio it’s relaxed pants and oversized t-shirt. Nothing tight or too restricting.
ON day 1 of my period, I won’t workout. It just doesn’t feel good. But on day 2 or 3 I find working out definitely helps me. I’ll do a spin or Pilates class and that just puts me in a better mood, sets me up for a better day of painting and generally just makes me a nicer human 🤪
The week leading up to my period, I get PMS really pretty bad. I’m irritable, moody and start fights with my boyfriend for no reason. I’m pretty skitz. Thankfully, he’s aware of it and knows I’m not really Satan.
I need to be in the right frame of mind to be painting, it can be really draining if I am not in the right headspace and usually results in work I’m not 100% happy with.
When I try to paint the week before my period, when I’m PMS’ing - it’s a hot mess. I’m more self-critical, I don’t like anything I create and end up ruining paintings I’ve been working on for weeks. It’s almost like I start painting the way I’m feeling - but not in a good way.
Now that I’m more in tune with my cycle, I’ve started to plan my work around it. I tend to do more admin and sketching during those cloudy PMS times, and for the rest of the month I’m free to paint and create as normal.
Take care of yourself and eat healthy – I find PMS is that much worse when you've not been eating right, drinking too much or not getting enough sleep - well at least it is for me. I also couldn’t live without Verde Remedy CBD oil, my hot water bottle and ben & jerry's vegan ice cream - best combination there is!
I also always make a warm turmeric tea. When I lived with my roommates, I’d make it for the girls when we were all syncing up. They called it ‘the golden dream’ haha. It’s just almond milk, honey with turmeric, nutmeg and cinnamon powder – but feels really warm and comforting to drink when you’re on your period. Whatever helps.
It took me years to get a handle on my hormones. I have really sensitive skin and have suffered with eczema my whole life. I went through adult acne in my mid-20s which was actually the worst. I feel for anyone who is going through it now. It would get really bad in the lead up to my period. I saw so many dermatologists and went through so many treatments to get it all under control.