6 Actions to Take to Reach Your Migraine Goals in 2021
The new year is here but that doesn’t mean all of our migraine problems are going away anytime soon. In fact, some of us have spent New Year’s Day cobbled in our dark rooms with an ice pack on our heads and trying to sleep the pain away. If you can relate to this situation we’ve just described, know that you’re not alone.
This week is also that time of the year where everyone’s busy making New Year’s resolutions. Most of us would really just wish for migraine to disappear forever and not cause us any more pain, but we are aware that (unfortunately) that’s not how reality works. ?
While we continue to remain optimistic for a migraine cure, we should also work towards small but achievable migraine goals for this year. To get started, we came up with a list of 6 actions (in no particular order) that can be taken to kickstart the process!
Maintain a regular self-care routine
We’ve probably not mentioned this enough but taking sufficient care of yourself is important. What self-care means to each of us is different, for some it can be a digital detox and for others, it can be enjoying a Netflix marathon with loved ones. The key here is to make sure you have activities that you can always count on to provide some “me” time.
Start small by incorporating one activity into your weekly routine. For example, you could set aside every Wednesday night to do a bubble bath of your choice. Once you’ve gotten used to this routine, layer it up with more activities throughout the week so that you have something to look forward to every day!
If you need some ideas to get started on building a self-care routine, why not check out some tips from the Migraine Buddy community?
Make hydration your best friend
Remember when we were always told since young to drink 8 glasses of water a day? Turns out the adults weren’t wrong after all. Around 60% of your body is made up of water—without sufficient hydration throughout the day, you may be putting yourself at higher risk for a migraine attack and impacting your overall health.
Stay away as much as possible from drinks that dehydrate you, for example, alcohol. Caffeinated beverages are also likely to bring about dehydration—remember to drink in moderation! Coffee can be a frenemy for some: one to two cups may relieve the terrible migraine pain, but anything more tips you over the edge and brings on a full-blown attack.
As with all habits, start small and build up the rhythm later. Make it fun to hydrate yourself with hourly reminders on your phone, adding fruits to flavor your water, or have a marked bottle that indicates how much water you drank throughout the day.
Identify food-related triggers
“You are what you eat” – a phrase that is often repeatedly mentioned to emphasize healthy eating and following certain diets. Of course, we know that it is vital to eat a balanced diet to maintain general health, but migraine warriors have to navigate the added challenge of food triggers.
Check out our most-watched video of 2020, “Food and Migraine Webinar” to learn more about why it is important to start identifying food-related triggers for migraine. Not everyone will have food triggers, but if you suspect sensitivity to some foods, chances are that it is now a good time to start investigating them!
If you think an extra hand is necessary during this process of identification, you may want to consider hopping on a coaching program instead. Designed by a certified nutritionist with a chronic condition, the Good Days Program is also available in the form of a Do-It-Yourself Guide which comes with every annual MBplus subscription purchased from our website.
Explore new reliefs
Whether it is a new treatment that your doctor recommended or an unconventional relief method that you saw on an Internet page, be open (but smart) about trying it out. Make sure you are clearly aware of the associated risks and side effects if it is a drug, and always consult your physician when you are trying something new.
For non-medicinal reliefs, you may find it useful to ask around first if you’re not sure whether this is something worth investing your time into. There are various chat groups in Migraine Buddy to discuss such topics so join them if you haven’t already!
It is often through many rounds of trial and error before we identify the best method to kick the nasty pain aside. If you’re looking for some tips to find the most effective relief, here’s a program you may want to check out.
Build relatable connections
The migraine community is full of strong and brilliant individuals who each have their own stories to tell. Success stories, unsuccessful stories, stories with 30 years of pain, stories with just 3 months of pain, the list goes on.
However, you are never alone in your feelings of fear, despair, and uncertainty. Don’t be hesitant to connect with someone who can relate to and empathize with your pain and condition. We dare say that the greatest gift migraine has given us is the intricate ability to empathize with another person’s pain.
Reach out to anyone in the Migraine Buddy group chats and we will be more than willing to lend a listening ear. ?
Ensure quality sleep
It is a common understanding that one should be getting sufficient sleep daily in order to recharge for the next day. What is not often mentioned, however, is the quality of your sleep.
Last year in 2020, lack of sleep was the second most common trigger recorded in Migraine Buddy. Although the specifics of sleep weren’t reported, anecdotes from the community shared the significance of getting good quality, deep, and routine sleep.
Here are some sleep tips to take note of—going to bed/waking up at the same time every day, the pillows that you use, your before-bed routine, and use accessories that help lull you to sleep (think eye patches, earplugs, or even a white noise machine if you’re a light sleeper).
Having said all that, we certainly hope that this year would surpass 2020 in terms of good news and achievements. It’s never easy to grapple with a condition like migraine but know that we are always rooting for better days for you! ?
Feel free to adapt the actions above to your needs and let us know what your migraine goals for 2021 are! ?