Pain due to migraine can be as real as pain due to injuries-with just one difference: simplified non medical natural remedies and healthy habits sometimes stop migraines even before they start.
Though medication can help prevent-and even treat-some kind of migraines. But medication is just one part of the story. It’s also important to take proper care of yourself and you must understand ways to cope with your migraine as soon as it strikes.
Keep in mind that same lifestyle choices that help in promoting good health can also reduce severity and frequency of your migraine attacks.
In fact, understanding ways to manage your migraine pain with mild behavioral and lifestyle measures, as well as some medication can often be a powerful way to handle your migraines.
Search for a completely calm environment
As soon as you see a migraine attack coming, retreat from your daily activities.
Turn off all the lights. Most migraines may increase sensitivity to light and sound. So relax in quiet, dark room. Try to sleep if you can.
Drink small amounts of caffeinated beverage. In small amounts, caffeine can do the trick and relieve pain in the early stages or may boost pain-reducing effects of medications like aspirin and acetaminophen or Tylenol.
However, avoid drinking too much of caffeine as it can lead to withdrawal headaches later on.
Also try temperature therapy. You can apply cold or hot compresses to your neck or head. Ice packs do have some numbing effect, which may reduce sensation of pain. Heating pads and hot packs can also relax your tense muscles. Warm baths or showers may also have a similar effect.
Migraine attacks can keep you away from falling asleep or you may wake up right in the middle of the night. Likewise, many migraines are triggered by poor night’s sleep.
Some useful tips that can encourage sound sleep:
Unwind at the end of the day. Anything that can help you relax can promote sleep. Soak in a warm bath, listen to soothing music, or read your favorite book.
But keep a close watch on what you drink and eat before going to bed. Heavy meals, intense workouts, nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol can seriously interfere with your sleep.
Establish regular sleep hours
Try to wake up and go to sleep at the same time each day-and even on weekends. Any nap longer than 15-20 minutes can interfere with your nighttime sleep.
Minimize distractions. Don’t watch television or take your work to bed. Gently close your bedroom door. You can use a fan to muffle all distracting noises.
Don’t try to sleep. The harder to try to sleep, the more awake you may feel. If you cannot fall asleep, or do any quiet activity until you become drowsy.
Check your medications. Some medications (including the ones to treat migraines) may contain stimulants or some caffeine. They can interfere with your sleep.
Even your eating habits can affect your migraines. Just consider the basics:
Don’t skip meals. Fasting can increase risk of migraines.
Be consistent. Try to eat at the same time each day.
Avoid all foods that trigger migraines. If you feel some foods-such as chocolate, aged cheese, alcohol or caffeine- is triggering your migraines, try to eliminate them from your diet to see what happens.
Keep a food journal. It is important to keep track of the foods you eat and when you experience a migraine attack, it can help identify potential food triggers.
During any physical activity, your body may release some chemicals that can block pain signals to your brain. These very chemicals can also help alleviate depression and anxiety, which can make your migraines worse.
Obesity can also increase risk of chronic headaches, so it is important to maintain healthy weight with regular workouts and diet.
Consult your doctor and choose only those exercises you enjoy. Swimming, walking and cycling are often good choices. But it’s very important to start slowly. Vigorous exercises can also trigger migraines.
Manage your stress
Mostly stress and migraines go hand in hand. It’s impossible to avoid daily stress, but it’s possible to keep it under control.
Try to simplify your life. Instead of looking for ways to somehow squeeze more activities into your day, find a way to leave some hectic things out.
Try to manage your time wisely. It’s best to update your to-do list each day-both at home and at work. Delegate what you can, and then divide all large projects into small manageable chunks.
Take a short break. If you feel bit overwhelmed, a quick walk or few slow stretches can renew your energy for the task at hand.
Enjoy yourself. Find some time to enjoy for at least 30 minutes a day. It could be having a coffee with your friend, or pursuing some hobby. Doing something you really enjoy is a good way to combat stress.
It’s important to adjust your attitude. Always stay positive. If you find yourself thinking, “This is impossible,” switch gears. Think instead, “This will be bit tough. But I will try to make it work.”
Relax and do some yoga. Deep breathing from your diaphragm can surely help you relax. Closely focus on inhaling and exhaling slowly for at least 20 minutes a day. It can also help you relax your muscles, just one group at a time. Once you’re done, sit calmly for a minute or two.
Maintain a migraine diary
Migraine diary is an easy to determine the triggers of your migraine. Not the time when your migraine starts, how long it lasts and what you’re doing, and what, if anything, provides some relief.
Until recently, avoiding your migraine triggers was the best way to manage migraines. But recent research suggests that can also increase sensitivity to potential triggers.
A more beneficial approach is to learn ways to cope with migraine triggers by using various behavioral management techniques, such as identifying and then challenging your negative thoughts, stress reduction and relaxation training.
Strive for balance
Living with migraine can be a daily challenge for you. But with right lifestyle choices, you can reduce your pain. Ask your loved ones and friends for support.
If you’re feeling depressed or anxious, consider seeking counseling or joining some support group. Always believe in your ability to take control of your pain.