5 Do’s and 5 Dont’s to Avoid Migraine During the Festive Season

5 Do's and 5 Dont's to Keep Migraines at Bay During the Festive Season


5 Do’s and 5 Dont’s to Avoid Migraine During the Festive Season

I. Do’s to Keep Migraine at Bay During the Festive Season

A. Maintain a Regular Sleep Schedule

Consistent sleep patterns play a crucial role in migraine management. During the festive season, it is important to establish a sleep routine to minimize the risk of migraine attacks. Here are some tips:

  • Stick to a fixed bedtime and waking schedule, even on weekends or holidays.
  • Create a peaceful sleep environment by ensuring your bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool.
  • Avoid caffeine and electronic devices before bed as they can interfere with sleep quality.

For example, try incorporating a wind-down routine before bed that includes activities such as reading a book or taking a warm bath. These calming activities can signal to your body that it’s time to relax and prepare for sleep.

B. Stay Hydrated and Mindful of Alcohol Consumption

Dehydration is a common trigger for migraine attacks, and it becomes even more important to stay hydrated during the festivities. Additionally, alcohol can also trigger migraine attacks in some individuals. Here’s what you can do:

  • Drink enough water throughout the day to stay hydrated and prevent dehydration-triggered migraine attacks.
  • Limit alcohol consumption or avoid it altogether. If you choose to drink, be aware of the types of alcoholic beverages that may trigger migraine attacks for you.
  • Consider alternatives to alcoholic drinks, such as mocktails or non-alcoholic options.

For example, you can try mixing sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice and garnishing it with fresh fruits to create a refreshing and migraine-friendly mocktail.

C. Practice Stress Management Techniques

The festive season can be stressful, and stress is a common migraine trigger. To keep migraine attacks at bay, it’s important to prioritize stress management. Here are some effective techniques:

  • Engage in deep breathing exercises, such as diaphragmatic breathing, to promote relaxation.
  • Try meditation and mindfulness techniques to reduce stress and increase overall well-being.
  • Make self-care activities a priority, such as taking a warm bath, reading a book, or engaging in hobbies that help you relax and unwind.

For example, you can set aside a few minutes each day to practice deep breathing exercises or download a meditation app to guide you through mindfulness exercises. These techniques can help reduce stress levels and decrease the likelihood of migraine attacks.

D. Be Mindful of Food Triggers

Certain foods can trigger migraine attacks in susceptible individuals. During the festive season, it’s important to be mindful of your food choices. Consider the following strategies:

  • Maintain a food diary to identify specific foods that may trigger migraine attacks for you.
  • Plan your meals in advance, focusing on migraine-friendly options that do not contain common triggers.
  • Opt for alternatives to trigger foods, such as choosing dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate or using natural sweeteners instead of artificial ones.

For example, if you know that aged cheese triggers your migraine attacks, you can opt for a delicious and migraine-friendly alternative, such as a soft goat cheese or a vegan cheese made from nuts or tofu.

E. Take Breaks and Pace Yourself

The festive season can be overwhelming, with sensory overload and overstimulation being common triggers for migraine attacks. Taking regular breaks is essential to prevent migraine attacks. Consider these strategies:

  • Find quiet spaces to relax and calm your mind when you feel overwhelmed.
  • Engage in calming activities, such as deep breathing or stretching, when you need a break.
  • Prioritize rest to prevent migraine attacks and listen to your body’s cues for when it’s time to rest.

For example, if you’re attending a festive gathering and start to feel overwhelmed, excuse yourself and find a quiet room or step outside for a few minutes to take a break and give yourself a chance to recharge.

II. Don’ts to Avoid Migraine During the Festive Season

A. Don’t Overindulge in Festive Treats

Dietary choices can have a significant impact on migraine attacks. Overindulging in certain festive treats can increase the risk of migraine attacks. Consider the following:

  • Avoid consuming excessive amounts of high-sugar and processed foods.
  • Be mindful of artificial additives and preservatives commonly found in festive snacks and treats.

For example, instead of reaching for a sugary candy cane, opt for a naturally sweetened fruit salad or a homemade granola bar made with wholesome ingredients.

B. Avoid Excessive Caffeine Consumption

Caffeine is a double-edged sword when it comes to migraine attacks. While small amounts of caffeine can provide relief, excessive consumption can trigger migraine attacks. Here’s what you can do:

  • Moderate your caffeine intake and avoid consuming it in large quantities.
  • Be aware of potential caffeine withdrawal headaches if you suddenly reduce your caffeine intake. Consider gradually decreasing your consumption.
  • Opt for decaffeinated alternatives when possible.

For example, if you’re used to drinking multiple cups of coffee throughout the day, gradually reduce your intake and incorporate herbal teas or caffeine-free beverages as alternatives.

C. Don’t Overcommit or Exhaust Yourself

Stress and fatigue are common triggers for migraine attacks, so it’s important not to overcommit or exhaust yourself during the festive season. Here are some suggestions:

  • Prioritize self-care and rest, even when you have many social obligations.
  • Learn to say no to excessive invitations or responsibilities that may lead to stress and exhaustion.
  • Set clear boundaries and communicate your limits to others.

For example, if you feel overwhelmed with a packed schedule, choose the events and activities that are most important to you and politely decline the rest. Taking care of your well-being should be a top priority.

D. Avoid Strong Smells and Perfumes

Strong smells can trigger migraine attacks in some individuals. During the festive season, it’s important to minimize exposure to strong smells. Try the following:

  • If you encounter a strong smell or perfume, step outside for some fresh air.
  • Choose scent-free products when possible to reduce the risk of triggering migraine attacks.

For example, if you’re attending a holiday party and are sensitive to perfumes, consider keeping a small bottle of essential oil with a calming scent in your bag. You can discreetly inhale it when needed or apply a small amount to your wrists.

E. Don’t Neglect Your Medication and Treatment Plan

Consistency with your medication and treatment plan is crucial, even during the festive season. Here’s what you should do:

  • Carry necessary medications with you at all times, especially when attending social gatherings or events.
  • Communicate with your healthcare provider about your holiday plans to ensure you have an adequate supply of medications.

For example, if you have a preventive medication for migraine attacks, make sure to take it as prescribed and bring it with you when you’re away from home. Set reminders on your phone or use a pill organizer to help you stay on top of your medication schedule.

By incorporating these do’s and avoiding the don’ts, individuals with migraine attacks can have a more enjoyable festive season while minimizing the risk of triggering painful attacks. It’s crucial to prioritize self-care, manage stress, and be proactive in preventing migraine attacks, allowing for a happier and healthier holiday experience.


Jenny from Migraine Buddy

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