Hi guys! I thought for this blog post I’d talk about what I personally do to take care of myself when I have a migraine. What I do can vary, depending on the severity of the migraine, of course, but I do have some migraine rituals that help me cope with the pain a little better.
First of all, my migraines seem to mostly start when I wake up for some reason. My very first go to is either Tylenol, Advil, or Naproxen with a couple of big glasses of water to keep hydrated. I usually choose my medication depending on various factors. If I’ve had migraines for days and have been taking a lot of NSAIDs, I will switch to using Tylenol to give my stomach and body a break. I try to actually stagger taking an anti-inflammatory, then for the next dose, taking an analgesic like Tylenol, then back to an NSAID for the following dose. This also ensures that you don’t take too much of one drug in one day. I usually also try to eat something when I am taking an anti-inflammatory like Advil or Alieve, because I know they can upset the stomach, and I find having food in my system helps with the migraine a bit. Sometimes it’s hard to eat when I’m having a migraine, though, because a lot of us know what the nausea is like when we get a bad migraine, am I right?!
Next thing on my list after water, pills, and maybe a little food if I can tolerate it, is CAFFEINE! This is usually in the form of coffee for me, since my migraines happen so often in the morning. I drink 2 HUGE mugs full of coffee, which is probably the equivalent of 3 normal cups. Sometimes that is enough to bring down my migraine a few notches, or if I’m lucky, get rid of it even. But we all have been there, where we keep trying things, but nothing seems to work…so we keep on trying
This is about the time I whip out my eye mask out of the freezer. It is nice and soft, and covers my eyes completely. I leave it on my eyes for as long as it will stay cold for. Sometimes I also combine this with a heat pad, which I place on the back of my neck at the same time. Boy, does this ever feel good for someone who feels so terrible. After 10-20 minutes of this, I usually have an idea if it’s worked or not. If it hasn’t worked, it’s on to the next thing, which is what I like to call the “showbath”.
Next up, is what I call the “showbath”, a combination of a shower and bath. Basically, turn on the shower like you’re about to take a normal shower. Find the hottest temperature you can handle, and get in the shower. But because you probably feel pretty terrible, you might want to sit, so just sit in the tub and let the shower water run down on your head and face as you just sit there and relax. It feels like a head massage that the hot water is giving you. I do this for 20 mins or sometimes until the hot water runs out if it’s a really bad migraine. While I’m in there, I sometimes wash my hair and body with unscented products, if I’m up to it. It’s really great to have some unscented bath and body products on hand for those bad days, you’ll really thank yourself for getting them, if you haven’t already tried it. It’s really made a difference in my life.
After the shower/bath, I have exhausted a lot of my options and I usually choose to go to sleep at this point, because you can’t feel pain when you’re sleeping. The only problem with this is that it ends up messing up with my sleeping schedule and I end up waking up at 7pm and going to bed at 7am. So I guess it’s good to just keep it to a short nap.
There are other things I have tried that I have decided not to use in my treatment of migraines, for example, I have rubbed peppermint oil on my temples, but I found that the fumes from it burned my eyes. I have not tried yoga for it, because I have joint problems, and I find meditation does not do anything for my migraines (but works wonders for my anxiety!) If you have any migraine routines you’d like to share, please feel free to comment below, I’d love to hear from you!