3 Ways I Cope With A Bad Migraine Phase
When I have a bad day, I acknowledge its badness. It could be all those small things that pile up like being late everywhere I go or not being able to find my favorite pair of Han Solo socks. While I’m not a fan of a bad day, I don’t fight the awful because when I do, I feel worse. So, I’m trying not to ignore this truth: Lately, I’ve had some pretty bad migraine days.
My migraine frequency is increasing
My 8-year-old son, my husband, our dogs, and my head can tell you that the frequency of my migraine attacks has increased. While the trees were waking up this spring, I was waking up with migraines. Many of my triggers have converged and while some I can control, others I cannot. The move from winter to spring with its unpredictable temperature hop, skips, and jumps was worse for me this year. And combined with some stressful weeks that kept my sleep schedule off-kilter, I had some powerful migraine attacks. This left my head hurting, and my spirit depleted like the first time I watched the much anticipated Star Wars prequel, Attack of the Clones.
I've felt nervous and stressed
While my migraines have their own triggers, my increased attacks are triggering some major nervousness: I’m not sure if this is a bad phase or a shift into a new normal. I can feel the stress building in my stomach and my mind turns itself inside out trying to predict the answer. Knowing this extra tension will interrupt my beauty sleep and bring on a migraine, I strive to find a place of calm. So, that's why I developed 3 tricks to help me chill out and restore.
Staying present. According to the website Psychology Today, “Staying present doesn't mean that you're avoiding or denying your thoughts, but it is a very effective way to relieve the symptoms of anxiety and depression...”1 My brain is super awesome at conjuring up worst-case migraine scenarios. I do my best to set aside the repetitive, scary thoughts that pop up and focus on my breathing to reset.
Spending time in nature Over the years, I've learned that spending time in outdoor spaces is a great way to let go of worries and stress. A recent study by the American Psychological Association reported that spending time in nature is linked to both cognitive benefits and improvements in mood, mental health, and emotional well-being.2 Taking a slow walk or hanging out by my favorite tree has always helped me calm my racing thoughts and feel more grounded.
Discussing options with my doctor. My doctor is a great source of support and encouragement. I know that giving him all the latest deets when it comes to my migraine status will help me to feel safe. Through our talks, I’m confident there are other treatments or options we can try that can hopefully turn my bad days into good ones.
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