The Migraine Diaries: Tips On Coping With Migraines – Part 1

September 8, 2021

Anyone who knows me knows that I get migraines. They’ve been particularly bad these last 18 months with the stress of the lockdown, work and have a young family. I’ve not been making the healthiest lifestyle choices lately either, which isn’t helping matters. 

I’ve spent years trying to find ways to make myself feel better when a migraine strikes. Depending on the severity, I will take my medication,  have a hot bath and then lie in a dark room listening to the TV or a podcast. I can’t stand silence when I have a migraine and need something to focus on, which is why a white noise machine doesn’t work. 

I also have my trusty ice-packs, which I wrap in a towel and sleep on, usually on the side of my head that is in pain. 

But I was wondering how other people coped with their migraines, and if there were any tips that I could incorporate into my self-care. So I asked a bloggers Facebook group if they had any advice.  I got so many responses, that’s I’ll be doing a follow up to this post very soon, but it made me realise just how common migraine is and how many people are living with it. It’s a club that I never wanted to be a part of but it’s also good to know that other people understand what you’re going through. 

Jodie Keith – Jodetopia

Laying down in a pitch-black room with a cold flannel on my forehead is my go-to… doesn’t fix an awful migraine but sure makes it a little bit more bearable until medication kicks in or I eventually drift off to sleep! 

Josie Cornhill, Me – Them And The Others 

While my migraines are mostly triggered by my hormones I also find that being hungry or squinting will set them off so I wear my sunglasses everywhere if it’s the time of the month when I’m likely to get one (no matter how crazy that makes me look!) and I make sure I always have food with me. I find I really need protein rather than carbs so I usually have nuts as they are easy to carry around but at home, I might snack on cheese or cooked chicken. 

Michelle Pannell – Mummy From The Heart

I find that having one small caffeinated coffee when I feel the effects of the migraine start, can stop it in its tracks. You can’t have too much and I don’t believe it works if you’re a heavy coffee drinker but for me, it makes the world of difference.

Julia Anne Cantwell – Cantwells Cabin

I massage my temples using Tiger Balm and I have a blackout blind which keeps my room dark. Then I just go to bed and try and sleep. Drink lots of water and avoid caffeine. 

Fiona Hawks – Savvy In Somerset

My husband suffers from hemiplegic migraines and one of the best things we’ve found is keeping little packs of his emergency medicines (anti-sickness tablets etc) and painkillers anywhere he’s likely to be. We have a set in our bedroom (in case he gets a migraine in the middle of the night) in the car, at his work, in my handbag, at his parent’s house etc so as soon as he feels a migraine coming in he can take them. Often the sooner he can take medication, the less severe the migraine will be.

He’s also found a Migracap to be really useful – it’s a cold compress that you keep in the freezer and it covers the whole head and helps to block out light too.

Jo Boyne – A Rose Tinted World

I find that I tend to be prone to more migraines when I’m tired and stressed, so getting sleep and getting enough exercise definitely helps. There is also some evidence that they are linked to emotions, so maybe meditation can help too?

A friend has Botox injections on the NHS and he swears by them. He still gets some migraines but nothing like he used to.

Angela Spicer – Exploring Dorset

Mine are stress-related. Thankfully they are few and far between, however, when they do occur, I need to try to eliminate all noise and light as soon as possible. Sleep is the best cure for me, but if that’s not possible then a sleep mask and a dark room is the best cure with lots of water. 

Simona Rosanom – The Grumpy Olive

I know this sounds quite the weird concoction, but two or three drops of lemon juice in an espresso does wonders for me! If all else fails, including a dark room and no screen time, this is bound to make it go.

Katy Gibson – Make Changes Every Day

I lay down in a dark room with a flaxseed head pillow over my eyes something about the weight of it really helps with the tension and pain a migraine brings for me. I also try to get to sleep as soon as I can when I feel one start to arrive as this helps to keep the migraine from lasting even longer!

Clare Lush-Mansell – My Tunbridge Wells

My migraines are usually triggered by low blood sugar. The main thing I do to combat getting low blood sugar in the first place is to stop myself from getting too hungry. I always carry some healthy snack bars in my bag with me and usually have some in the car too. That way, if lunch is later than planned, I can have something to keep me going. This has helped me out so much since having kids as my routine can sometimes be quite unpredictable. 

Emma Bradley – Emma And 3

I intuitively tap my head and didn’t realise it was a thing until I started reading about the emotional freedom technique (EFT) as an alternative treatment for physical pain and emotional distress. It’s also referred to as tapping or psychological acupressure.

This technique can create a balance in your energy system and treat pain, who knew we could discover this ourselves naturally! The body can do amazing things!

Jennifer Graudenz – Monethalia

Eating plain food such as pasta or bread without anything sometimes helps me.

Catherine Hughes – Growing Family

I try to prevent mine by staying hydrated and being vigilant for the early warning signs (mine are tense face & neck muscles, tiredness and food cravings). If I can lie down in the early stages this can really cut an attack short. I also use my yoga eye mask, it’s filled with lavender and has a bit of weight to it so it blocks out the light really well. 

Jen Mellor – Just Average Jen

My son has migraines and primary stabbing headaches which are similar to migraines according to his consultant and he has found lying down in the dark listening to an audiobook helps because it is relaxing and dark but also keeps him as a teenager distracted from the pain.

Mandi Morrison – Best Spa Days

It’s recognising the triggers, the first sign I’m getting one is flashing lights or tingling in my fingers, at this stage I grab a large glass of half orange juice/ half water then go to a darkened room and lie down if I catch it early enough it tends to subside if it goes on too long then it turns to a full-blown migraine, so doing it early enough is the solution. 

Thank you to all of the bloggers who responded to my post for migraine tips. How many of these have you tried? What works for one person might not for someone else. Hopefully, as part of your migraine journey, you’ll find the right combination of treatments for you (and hope that one day there will be a cure). 

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