Having your period is a totally natural thing, but it can really affect your life. Painful, uncomfortable, inconvenient, frustrating and stressful, does that sound like you? Well, if it does, we’ve got some tips and tricks to help make your month a little bit better.

Preparing yourself mentally and taking care of your body can really help manage your symptoms and give you new  ways to cope throughout your cycle.

Train you brain. Dread is a common reaction when you think of your period, but what if you could flip the script on this monthly annoyance? Instead of focusing on suffering associated with it, experiment with looking at your menstrual cycle as a source of empowerment.

When you think about your period as a natural part of you, your body and your life, it can become a symbol of your womanhood. Afterall your first period as a young girl is often celebrated as a rite of passion and an entrance into maturity. We know this mindset may take time, but when you associate this monthly moment with a sense of belonging and not bothersome you might just feel a little better about it.

Track your cycle. We are all individuals, not one woman is the same, so we can’t expect our bodies to be the same either. Some menstrual cycles are only 21 days while others can last 35 days or more with periods that can last two days or up to seven days. Try tracking your days in a planner or using an app which can send you reminders throughout the month to help you prepare.

Also keep a record of your symptoms, especially if you have heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) due to uterine fibroids. This can also be helpful to bring with you to your next doctor visit. You will have all the info you need at your fingertips to talk about what’s best for your body—and ways you can feel better each month.

Always be ready. Even if you track your cycle, there can be unexpected moments. Be prepared for this stressful situation by stashing feminine hygiene products in your bag or car at all times. Having these items with you will alleviate the extra anxiety of not having what you need when you need it, especially if your periods are irregular. It’s also a good karma to help another woman by offering her a feminine hygiene product when she is in need.

If uterine fibroids are causing excessive bleeding and you find you can’t keep enough tampons or pads with you, it’s best to talk with your doctor about treatment—they can really help you navigate your cycle and provide with great options for managing your month.