You can feel migraines and chronic headaches coming on at the most inopportune times. Maybe you’re scheduled to hang out with friends or take your kids to a birthday party. Going to bed is exactly what you need to do for migraine relief, but you hate to disappoint your friends or family. Before you crawl under the covers and avoid any relationships, discover ways to handle your migraine and headache symptoms and keep your relationships intact.
You Need Friends
According to the Mayo Clinic, your health depends on your friendships. They boost your happiness, improve your feelings of self-worth and reduce stress. Your friends also stand by you and offer support when you need motivation to apply for a new job, face a life trauma or struggle to cope with your migraine and chronic headache symptoms. There’s nothing like a good chat with a friend or a game of pickup basketball to lift your spirits after one of your chronic headaches.
How to Talk to Your Loved Ones and Boss
Despite the importance of friendships, chronic headaches and migraines can inhibit your ability to spend time with your support system. They may even struggle to understand why you hesitantly schedule activities, cancel plans at the last minute or don’t always answer their phone calls because you’re seeking migraine relief. You need a strategy for discussing your painful symptoms with your friends.
Missing work is another unfortunate side effect you may experience. Before you jeopardize your job, however, talk to your boss about your migraines or chronic headaches. You don’t have to share all the details, but he or she does need to know that you regularly face debilitating pain and need flexibility on the job.
First, decide when you will disclose the truth. A private meeting is obviously the best approach, but will you schedule a meeting or go out for coffee? You also want to plan this disclosure before it affects your play or work schedule.
Next, write a short script that covers the main points you want to share. You don’t have to share everything, but highlights are important and the script ensures you hit all the important points you need to make as you discuss the symptoms you experience.
Be prepared with a plan that addresses your work performance. How will you complete work tasks around the days you need to take off work because of migraines or frequent headaches? What scheduling or workload accommodations do you need? Caring for your health and work responsibilities while you seek migraine relief may require compromise, but you can create a mutually beneficial plan.
Finally, provide resources from the doctor that explain your condition. It offers additional information your network of supporters can use as they help you. Include an emergency plan if you experience a migraine or chronic headache while shopping or at work.
Ways to Find Relief Together
Now that you’ve shared the struggles you face, find ways to work together to find relief. Several activities help you bond with your friends, loved ones or trusted coworkers when you’re feeling good and other activities help you relax as you seek migraine relief.
To build relationships when you’re not struggling:
Plan spontaneous shopping trips, play sports together and share hobbies that strengthen your relationships between chronic headaches and migraines.
Cook and freeze meals your family can prepare when you’re in bed.
Request your friend’s presence at your next doctor’s appointment where he or she can ask questions and learn more about your personal symptoms.
Do yoga and meditation together since these activities relieve tension, reduce stress and help you relax.
Find support migraine relief with your friends when you:
Ask for assistance drawing the blinds, fluffing the pillows and getting settled in bed.
Accept a massage, ice packs or heating pads if they relieve symptoms and make you feel more comfortable.
Request medicine, hot bathes, beverages and food as needed for chronic headache or migraine relief.
Instruct your helpful friend to turn off the phone, walk the dog and check on your regularly.
Chronic headaches and migraines are part of your reality, and they severely affect your relationships in addition to your health. You don’t need to give up all your friends or job due to the painful symptoms. After cultivating solid friendships, participate in fun activities together, ask for help to get through your symptoms and stay connected to the support system that provides migraine relief and assists recovery.
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