When chronic migraines strike, the world of sufferers seem to stand still.
You retreat to your dark bedroom, unable to be productive. Suddenly you find yourself isolated, away from family and friends as your social activities come to a screeching halt. How do you keep going when migraines begin?
Here are ten tips that can help keep you afloat as you find yourself facing the pangs of chronic migraine. Consider these tips as you struggle to create a sense of normalcy during difficult attacks.
1. Recognize Triggers
The importance of this particular advice cannot be stressed more. Being mindful of all the different things that can trigger your migraine can save you a whole lot of trouble. If you’ve suffered for years, you probably already know your triggers, but if your chronic migraines are new, start a journal. Use it to track your activities, diet, stress, and other factors leading up to migraines, record relief options that do and do not work, and give your doctor valuable information as you determine the best treatment plan for you.
2. Schedule Flex Time at Work
It is important for you to plan out how you will cope at work when you are experiencing migraine attacks. Stressing out over your work situation when you are under duress is not helpful and may even make your migraines worse. Talking to your boss about your triggers will help your workplace become a better environment to accommodate your needs. Take time off when you feel that it is necessary.
3. Clear Your Schedule
Because you never know when a migraine will strike, consider keeping your schedule relatively clear. You don’t have to cancel life completely. Scheduling plenty of relaxation, rest and down time can help prevent stress triggers.
Likewise, as soon as you start to feel migraine triggers, give yourself permission to say no. Cancel commitments, schedule a babysitter and rest. Visit your physician regularly, and monitor your migraine patterns.
4. Take Migraine Relief Medicine
Take preventive medicine or supplements with the supervision of your doctor. What works for other migraine sufferers may not necessarily have the same effect on you. Be sure to record what works for you and talk to your doctor about your options. Find out what works for you, and take it at the onset of migraines.
5. Pamper Yourself
Be good to your body. Engage in calming activities soothing to your body and mind. You may find meditation or yoga helpful, or even a simple soothing bath. Water tends to reduce inflammation caused by constricted blood vessels, it can help you rest and relax. A little bit of pampering goes a long way to relieve some pain.
6. Install Blinds and Shutters
Bright lights can aggravate migraines, which makes the chronic pain you feel in the middle of a sunny day nearly impossible to bear. Blinds and shutters assist you get the rest you need. Purchase and install them before attacks happen. Create a comfortable, dark space in your house where you can stay to rest during migraine attacks. With blackout blinds, your ability to rest improves, and you recuperate faster whenever chronic migraines hit.
7. Apply Compresses
Compresses do not necessarily take your pain away, but some migraine sufferers find this soothing during attacks. You can apply a warm or cold compress on your forehead and the base of your skull. Alternate compresses every 15 minutes for maximum relief. For safety, always gently cool the compresses in the refrigerator and use a heating pad set on low.
8. Prepare Meals
During attacks, you most likely will not be able to prepare meals for you or your family. It would be best to make easy to prepare meals handy, in case attacks happen. Make sure these are meals that do not trigger your migraines or allergies. Having a stock of canned meals, soups, meats, fruit and veggies will be convenient in case of migraine attacks. With these meals, you and your family will have access to nourishing food without worrying.
9. Prep Babysitters
For parents who are migraine sufferers, it is a good idea to have a network of on-call friends or neighbors that can babysit your kids for you during difficult chronic migraine days. Pick individuals you trust enough to take your kids for a couple of hours to the park, theater, library, or outside your home to allow yourself to rest and recuperate at peace.
10. Stock Kid Activities
In the event that your children are at home during your migraine attacks, it is a good idea to have a stock of entertaining activities or games they can engage in while you recuperate. This way you avoid the stress of worrying about your kids, especially when they are too little to understand your situation and are impatient. Stock an activity basket to help your children stay occupied. The basket could include:
Creative craft kits
Children’s clay and mold
Building toys such as legos
Picture or puzzle books
Keep the basket on a shelf and reserve it for migraine days. The contents remain fresh since your kids don’t usually play with these toys and crafts. This will keep them busy while you try to recover from your chronic migraine pains.
Migraines stop the world for a few days and force you to spend time in bed. You can stay afloat by following these 10 tips and avoiding stress during difficult migraine days. Which techniques do you use to make things as comfortable as possible for you and your family during difficult attacks?
Image Credit: amphalon