MY CYCLE: San Cisco Drummer Scarlett Stevens
San Cisco drummer Scarlett Stevens doesn’t buy into wellness trends. Instead, she prefers to eat, go to the pub with friends, do yoga, dance – “I think life is all about balance and I don’t deny myself anything”. For Scarlett, she likes to keep her self-care routine minimal and when it comes to her period, she’s all for watching Sexy Beasts on Netflix, hot tea, chocolate and period undies.
Name: Scarlett Stevens
My period lasts about six days which can be very draining, physically and mentally. I get heavy periods accompanied by constipation at first, that turns into a sensation of ‘oh my god I’m gonna shit myself’ when the bleeding and cramping starts. Sometimes I get blood clots that I have to push through the drain in the shower. I always bleed on my bed sheets, my clothes, and towels. It’s a bloody mess!
I was 14 and had just touched down at Heathrow airport on a family holiday. I went to the bathroom and there was this thick, dark brown discharge in my knickers. I felt like I’d been ripped off! I didn’t really register it was a period at first because I expected it to be red. I think my mum gave me some panty liners. Great start to a holiday!
I get uncomfortable bloating in the days leading up to my period which sucks, however, my boobs swell up and look amazing. I definitely become more critical about my appearance and generally feel quite downhearted and cranky around this time and that pretty much tells me I’m getting my period. I bleed heavily on the first and second days and feel completely wiped out so it can be hard to summon the energy to be social. After 14 years of bleeding and inserting and changing a million tampons, I am so happy I’ve made the switch to period undies. They are my go-to period product these days and I wish they were around when I was a teenager. I’m still getting the hang of the period cup, I haven’t quite nailed it yet.
I try to be kind and gentle to myself and observe whatever thoughts come to mind and mood changes and try to just go with it and let it all come out. I have to be comfortable when I’m on my period so I’m usually snuggled up on the couch in trackies and a hoodie with a hot water bottle watching tv. I can’t stand being cold when I’m crampy and bleeding so hot showers and consuming lots of warm drinks is always a must for me.
I try to steer clear of workouts on day 1 and if I’m feeling up to it I’ll stretch or go for a walk. I think it’s so easy to feel burnt out and exhausted for no reason while you’re on your period so I try to conserve my energy as much as possible in the lead up to getting it and the first few days of bleeding. I love yoga and I’ve been going to the same class for 8 years. I’ve also started going to a dance class this year which has been amazing for my dance moves and my anxiety!
I find myself reaching for the pimple cream more around my period thanks to hormones! Sometimes I’ll do a masque but I try and keep my routine as simple as possible. The week after my period is usually when my skin is at its best.
My skin is very prone to scarring and hyperpigmentation from acne and picking (I am a compulsive picker) so I always try and protect it from sun. I’d say sunscreen is probably my most essential beauty product. At the moment I’m using a Rationale one which I love, it feels very luxurious and has a very subtle tint to it but most chemist-brand sunscreens do the trick! I don’t subscribe to any wellness trends, I love to eat, go to the pub with friends, do yoga, dance - I think life’s all about balance and I don’t deny myself any small pleasures.
It’s important to be with someone who is sensitive to you emotionally and holds you in those tricky times. Period'ing doesn’t get in the way of my love life too much and I’m all for period sex, just not on the first couple of days.
It doesn’t stop me from doing what I love but that said, there is nothing worst than playing a gig when you are on the first day of your period and all you want is to be in bed watching ‘sexy beasts’ on Netflix and sipping tea. I’ve noticed I find it hard to be super creative or productive whilst on my period, especially if we are recording or writing, everything just feels like a bit of a drag and I find I’m way harder on my self and self critical.