Rest is important even when you're not feeling ill

This comment may ruffle some feathers, but I want to say it anyway, because it’s true: sometimes I am grateful for a migraine episode because it makes me slow down and forces me to relax.  I’m not saying I ever wish for an episode or that I would ever trade in a healthy day for one with migraine.  I’m not saying I am grateful for the really bad days, either—it’s just those middle-of-the-road attacks that sometimes have the added benefit of taking me out of the work world and into the relaxation world.

Most of my attacks can be treated relatively quickly and easily with medication, thankfully.  I tend to be able to work on most of my migraine days, even if I have to take an hour or two off while I wait for the meds to kick in.  Once in awhile—I’d say about ten percent of the time—I have attacks that are debilitating enough that I take the day off but not so debilitating that I’m rendered totally immobile and in unbearable pain.

These are the times I try to find the silver lining, and usually I succeed.

I’m a lucky migraineur in that I can read and watch TV during all but my most terrible attacks.  I’m also really fortunate in that I make my own work schedule and have a reliable, empathetic team of employees to call on if I can’t fulfill all my bookshop commitments.

This means that, in many cases, I can take part or all of a day off when I really need to.  Being able to read and relax and watch bad TV and doze off here and there feels like a luxury, but really it’s a necessity.

And you know what? It’s something I need to take the time to do when I’m NOT sick.

Typically, if I’m feeling good (either with no migraine or a really low-grade migraine), I feel an intense and perhaps obsessive need to check things off my to-do list.  Before I owned a business, I had a lot more downtime: more time to read, more time to spend with friends, more time to just stare into space or make pictures out of clouds.  But now, between my business and my freelance gigs, I feel like I haven’t earned the right to relax just yet, or that even if I tried to relax I would be too distracted by my to-do list to be able to have a day or afternoon off.

I know that this is not logical. I know it is of supreme importance to take time off from work and errands and to put your feet up and have time to relax.  I am taking steps to incorporate relaxation time into my weekly schedule.  Resting is important even when you aren’t feeling ill, and resting can help you keep stress levels under control—and we know that keeping stress levels as low as possible can help us all manage migraines.

How about you? Do you try to find time to relax even when you are feeling healthy?  Are you able to relax a little when you stay home sick with migraine? Let us hear some of your tips for relaxing without having your to-do list threaten your peace! 

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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.

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