Practicing Self Care with Migraine

By Winslow

When you have a migraine, it can destroy any plans, obligations or commitments you’ve made. This can make you feel unreliable and lazy. Migraines can not only ruin your plans, but they can ruin your self esteem as well.

When we are inhibited by the pain and symptoms of migraine, it can be easy to slip into a mode of self-hatred. But, the truth is that when you are fighting a migraine, you need to take care of yourself even more than you normally would. Here are some ways you can practice self-care with migraines…

With a migraine, the standard neurologist’s recommendation is to lie down in a dark, cool room and rest. But with kids, work and other life commitments, it is not always possible to escape to a secluded space. So, how can you rest when you can’t just escape your responsibilities?

– If possible, dim the lights in your environment. Maybe put a movie on for your kids or bring a small, dim lamp for your desk in your office. Wearing sunglasses indoors is completely acceptable for a migraine sufferer, too!


Use headphones as an escape from loud, pain-increasing noises. There are many playlists and apps for calming sounds, white noise and soothing music, as well as noise-cancelling headphones.

Use a portable ice or heat pack to soothe the throbbing pains from a migraine. Small packs can be placed discreetly on the back of your neck and hidden under the collar of a shirt or jacket. There are also ice pack hats out there, but of course these are a bit more obvious.

Migraines are a strain on the human body; even the strongest of individuals struggle to cope with the agonizing pain and symptoms of these severely painful events. The human body has basic metabolic needs, even more so when it is struggling to handle migraines. How can you help your body manage migraines?

– Proper hydration! It can be difficult to drink adequate amounts of fluids when battling the nausea and severe pain that accompanies migraines, however dehydration can actually cause migraines. pexels-photo-113734

Do your best to stay hydrated to prevent and manage migraines. If you cannot tolerate plain water, drinks like Gatorade and Pedialyte contain electrolytes that may help alleviate some of your symptoms and help you stay properly hydrated.

– Certain foods are known migraine triggers. These include fermented foods and additives such as MSG. Everyone is different and you are the only person that can truly know what helps and hurts your migraines. Lack of food can also be a migraine trigger. Be sure you are eating the proper amounts of calories and avoiding foods that can exacerbate your symptoms.

– An adequate amount of sleep is an essential in the life of a migraine sufferer. Lack of sleep can trigger migraines. The average adult requires eight hours of sleep per night to achieve maximal function, however everyone is different. Some migraine sufferers report that oversleeping also triggers their migraines. Only you can determine how much sleep you need and should be vigilant of your specific needs.


– Be sure to take your prescription medications properly as prescribed. Certain medicines can deeply impact the body’s chemical synergy and taking them sporadically–too little or too much–can trigger migraines.

– No one lives a completely stress free life. However, eliminating excess and unnecessary stress is key in the management of migraines.

As the old saying goes, “No man is an island.” Migraines can inhibit even the strongest of people. A good support system can be helpful in the management of migraines.

– Ask for support if you need it. Someone who truly cares about you won’t mind lending a helping hand. Ask grandma to take the kids for a night while you recover. Ask your spouse to cook dinner or do a chore for you. Those who love you will be glad to help.

– Don’t overextend yourself. There is nothing wrong with saying “NO.” Migraine sufferers have to put their health first. Be understanding with yourself. Would you want anyone else to push through the agony, nausea and other symptoms of migraine? Love yourself. Do what is best for your health.


– Inform your employer about your migraines. If you are upfront with them beforehand about your struggle, they will most likely be more understanding. Doctors can also provide documentation to add to your workplace file. This protects you and I highly recommend that everyone who battles chronic illness provide their employers with documentation of their health status. Legally, you cannot be fired for legitimate, documented health issues.

Everyone battles migraines differently. You have to decide what is best for your life and your health. Migraines are a difficult issue to battle, but know that you are never alone in this fight. All you can do is your best, and that is enough. Take care of yourself, you are worth it!



2 thoughts on “Practicing Self Care with Migraine

  1. The Frozen Mind says:

    Most days getting out of my pajamas is at best, a chore and at worst, impossible. I actually text my husband to brag on days that I am able to put on “real” clothes!

    Self care is one of my biggest struggles.


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