Tips for Dealing with Migraines

Ahhh sweet darkness. You will know what I mean if you get migraines frequently. Although I suffer from pretty consistent daily pain, nothing has made me feel worse than a migraine. My unfortunate journey into life with migraines started a few years back when I returned from a trip to Peru. My doctors do not really understand why I get them, but some guesses might be stress, weather change, or nerve damage. Over the years I have consulted many different people about how they deal with migraines and I have come up with a few myself. I thought I would share some of these tips in case it might help anyone else out. Of course it goes without saying, make sure you consult your family doctor before trying any of these tips. I am not a doctor and therefore know very little about the human body. It is important to ask a doctor so that you can be assessed with all your health history and personal context in mind.

1. Talk to your doctor

I know some people don’t like to see the doctor and I have already mentioned this above, but it is really important. There are certain medications people should not take when they experience frequent migraines and it is important to rule out other more serious conditions.

2. Take Advil (if you can)

I’m not a drug pusher, but sometimes a girl just needs an Advil. If you feel a migraine coming on it can help to take an Advil before the pain really starts. I find that the best time to take the Advil is right when I notice any aura in my vision. Keep in mind that there may be a point in the onset of a migraine in which Advil will no longer help you. I have personally found that once I reach the point that light hurts my eyes, Advil does nothing.

3. Relax

Relaxing is so important if you want to prevent and help a migraine subside. I have found that releasing neck tension really helps the severity and frequency of migraines. You may want to read a book, take a bath, or just sleep!

4. Embrace the Darkness

No don’t become the next Darth Vader, but yes do find a place where you can sit in darkness. Light can be one of the most pain inducing things when you have a migraine. Find a place where you can shut the blinds and turn off the lights. If this is not possible, consider buying a light blocking sleep mask. Resting in the dark for even a short time can help give your body that extra time to curb a bad migraine.

5. Hot or Cold

Hot or Cold can become your best friend when you have a migraine. Typically I find that placing a cold wash cloth on your forehead or over your eyes can do wonders for a bad migraine. Sometimes a hot wash cloth works better. You might even find benefit in drinking a hot or cold beverage. However, migraines tend to have a mind of their own so you might need to do some trial and error to see whether hot or cold works best for you.

6. Water

It is super important to stay hydrated when you a have migraine. Just like any headache or sickness, water helps flush bad stuff out of your body and replenish it. Dehydration causes many problems in our bodies so it is best to drink lots of water to help your migraine.

7. Hit the Hay

If all else fails and you cannot get rid of your migraine, just go to sleep. A short nap could be enough to rid yourself of the migraine. Likewise, sleep is one way the body can repair itself.

8. Keep a migraine journal

Sometimes it is helpful to figure out why you might be getting migraines. Do you get them every time it rains or snows? Does eating chocolate start a migraine? Do you get one if you don’t get enough sleep? Are you feeling very stressed? There are many different types of triggers for migraines and it can be helpful to know what triggers your migraines. If you are able to narrow it down, you may be able to remove some of the triggers from your life so that you can be migraine free.

 

I hope some of these tips might help you. Remember to ask a professional for help if you suffer frequently from migraines!

What do you do to help curb your migraines?

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The Mind and Body: Part 4

Here is my fourth tip to having a healthy mind and body that will help you in your spiritual walk as well. 

Exercise
Most people hate to do it, but there are just so many benefits to exercise. Exercise helps our bodies grow strong, to keep our hearts and lungs pumping oxygen and blood, helps us to feel more happy… The List goes on! The cool thing about exercise is that it can help heal your body too. Last year, I pinched a nerve and used physiotherapy to help the injury heal. It is still healing, but the results have been dramatic. I really do think exercise is important and helps us to lead healthier lives. If you are one of those people who don’t like to exercise, maybe these steps will help you find some exercise you like.

1. Decide you want to exercise. 

You will have to make that choice. You don’t want to feel forced by others.

2. Set a realistic goal.

Choose a goal. Maybe that is to do 30 mins of exercise once a week for one month. Then the following month you want to do 30 mins of exercise twice a week. Start small, but stick to your goal!

3. Find some activities you like to do.

I would try to find one cardio activity you like (ex. jumping rope, swimming,) and one toning activity you like (ex. yoga, pilates, weight lifting.) That way you can mix up what you are doing and do something you enjoy. Also make sure it is something your doctor approves of you doing. Maybe running isn’t a good idea if you just had knee surgery.

4. Dedicate your plan to God.

This really should be the first step, but sometimes you might feel like you can’t dedicate something to Him if you don’t know what it is. You could just say, “whatever exercise plan I make, I dedicate it to you. I want to keep my body and mind healthy so that I can better serve you.” God is the best accountability partner there is!

5. Ask a friend to join you and keep each other accountable.

There is strength in numbers my friends! Also it is way more fun.

I hope these help to get you on your exercise journey. Don’t feel discouraged if you struggle to keep a routine. I have trouble with that too. Just keep trying and eventually you will get the hang of it, or change your goals to suit your current needs for a set time period. If it is encouraging, when I exercise I find that this verse really makes me motivated.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. “ 
 – 2 Timothy 4:7

This verse isn’t exactly about exercise, but it feels encouraging to exercise while focusing on the “spiritual race” I am training in. Hope that makes sense!

– Katie