7 Tips For Chronic Migraine Sufferers Starting A New Job


A new job is reason to celebrate! But for those suffering from chronic migraine syndrome, the transition from a familiar environment full of people who understand your condition to one full of uncertainty can be daunting. To ensure that you are able to successfully adjust to your new routine, we’ve compiled some tips to help you get settled.

1. Talk to Management

Be forthcoming about your condition with management. Having an open and honest discussion with your superiors about what it’s like to live with chronic migraine syndrome and what you are doing to prevent and treat attacks will help them to better understand your situation. Together, you can develop a game plan that allows you to take care of yourself without sacrificing performance.

2. Mind Your Triggers

If you haven’t started a migraine diary, it’s time! Keeping track of your daily activities and diet as they correlate to migraine attacks will help you identify patterns and triggers. If you discover a trigger to your attacks, avoid it at all costs, especially while starting a new job. This could help to reduce migraine frequency or severity and might be useful information to bring to the table when discussing a game plan with management.

3. Pack a Migraine Kit

If you are at work when a migraine strikes, don’t be left empty handed. You should keep a migraine survival kit at your office with supplies like:

  • Medication
  • A small snack to eat with medication
  • Water bottle
  • Sunglasses
  • Migraine diary
  • Physician and pharmacy contact information
  • Any additional comfort items

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Let Your Co-Workers Know

Surely, you don’t want to be known as the new person with a migraine condition. But you also can’t be afraid to let people know what’s going on. If you feel an attack at work, let your coworkers know about it. Simple communication can go a long way in the professional world and the support of your colleagues is priceless. Try to find someone in your office that won’t mind acting as your back up in the event you ever need to leave because of an attack that cannot be managed.

Learn how to: Talk To Your Boss About Your Migraines

5. Create a Healthy Work Environment

There are a lot of environmental factors that can trigger a migraine, especially for computer jockeys that spend the vast majority of their time starring at a glowing monitor. Make sure you arrange your desk and adjust your computer settings to avoid inducing an attack.

  • Place your monitor between 20 to 40 inches directly in front of your face.
  • Adjust the brightness of your monitor screen to match the lighting in your workspace.
  • Make sure your monitor refresh rate is adjusted to the highest Hertz setting and your screen is dust free to avoid straining your eyes.
  • If the lighting in your workspace is too dim, try a desk lamp.
  • Invest in an ergonomic chair that influences proper posture. Slouching can cause back and shoulder tension that could lead to a migraine.

6. Take Breaks

Making time to step away from a new position can be tough. You have a lot on your plate and you want to prove yourself but if it’s at the expense of your health, it’s not going to do you or your career any good. Take frequent breaks throughout the day to stand up, stretch, remove your eyes from the computer screen and walk around. This gives your brain a moment to refresh and increases your blood circulation, which is great for concentration and migraine prevention.

7. Ask for Extra Help at Home

Starting a new job is stressful! To prevent the stress from building up and inducing migraine attacks, ask your family to pitch in more at home. This will help to alleviate some of the pressure so you can focus on your job and health while you adjust to the new position. If you live alone, try upping the organization at home. When all things are in their proper place, it takes less energy to prepare for each day and therefore – less stress!

Living with chronic migraine syndrome makes many life events more challenging, but proper planning and transparency about your condition can help. Don’t try to hide your pain or handle more than you’re physically capable. Talk about chronic migraine syndrome with management and coworkers so they understand your needs and ability to work around the condition. Do your part to avoid triggering another attack. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. You don’t have to suffer alone.

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Image Source: Simon & His Camera

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