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Some Help with Those Holiday Migraine Challenges

Migraines are a giant pain in the… well, several places, depending on whether we’re speaking literally or metaphorically.

During the holiday season, their impact can be magnified because they can so strongly impact our ability to take part in even the smallest holiday events. They can cause us to miss holiday events at work, family holiday celebrations, religious observances, and more.

Not only must we deal with the pain of Migraines, but all the other symptoms as well, both physical and emotional. Between Migraine attacks, we worry about when the next one will hit. What will it cause us to miss?

There are two issues that come into play especially strongly during the holiday season:

  1. Guilt. We often feel guilty, feel that we’re letting down the people most important to us. Maybe it’s because we’ve been unable to do holiday shopping, wrap presents, prepare holiday meals or celebrations, or attend events with those close to us.
  2. Isolation. Migraines often make us feel isolated, and never more so than during a season when there’s so much going on, so much to do.

Feelings of guilt and isolation can be made worse if the people who are important to us don’t understand Migraine disease and that we can’t help missing events and being unable to do all the things we want or need to do.

Since we’re quickly approaching the winter holiday season, I’d like to offer you a few practical suggestions as well as “Top 10 Things I Want to Share About Migraines,”a document you can print out and share with friends and others who are close to you but don’t really “get it” yet.

Some holiday suggestions:

  • When possible, rest up. Migraines can strike more frequently and severely when we’re tired. Be sure to get enough good quality sleep at night. It’s recommended that Migraineurs go to bed at the same time every day, including weekends and holidays. If napping isn’t a trigger for you, fit in a nap before an event to be sure you’re well rested.
  • Choose your location. Are you better off hosting events at your home so you have more control over your surroundings, or are you better off when someone else hosts events so you don’t have to do as much preparation? If you’re better off in your home, and your friends are amenable to it, host holiday events yourself.
  • Plan foods. If you have Migraine food triggers, plan ahead. If you’re going to an event with food, take a Migraine-friendly dish with you to share.
  • About that alcohol. Are alcoholic beverages a Migraine trigger for you? Club soda or tonic water with lime are refreshing, and they look like a mixed drink. They let you fit right in with everyone else without triggering a Migraine. You can also buy non-alcoholic champagne.
  • Don’t skip meals. Going to a holiday dinner? Is it scheduled later than you usually have dinner? If so, have a snack at home so eating later doesn’t trigger a Migraine.

Helping others understand Migraine:

Let’s be honest here. People who are truly your friends will work to understand Migraines and their impact on you. If they don’t want to enlighten themselves, you may need to reconsider that friendship.

I’ve prepared “Top 10 Things I Want to Share About Migraines” for you to print and share with the people close to you. So, print “Top 10 Things I Want to Share About Migraines” and keep copies with you to give to people. You can also download and attach it to an email if you want to share it with your friends through email.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


  • Lisa King
    8 years ago

    this is a great web site! thank you very much! Happy Thanksgiving to you!

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