Migraines: How Family Can Help

Last updated: May 2022

When a migraine strikes, we can feel helpless.

The pain, nausea, and the disappointment of constantly having your life interrupted and spending so many days in a dark, quiet room, to name a few side effects of them, can be extremely hard to manage.

Our loved ones feel helpless, too

Sometimes medicine works. Sometimes it doesn't. But at that moment, it's easy to feel helpless. The same can be said for our family and friends who want to lend a helping hand.

As hard as it is to be the one in pain, it's also hard to see your loved ones suffering and not feel like there's anything you can do to help them feel better.

"Let me know how I can help!"

Oftentimes, people will say, "Let me know if there's anything I can do to help." While they genuinely want to help, what can they actually do to help?

So, we respond, "thanks," and it stops there. But there are, in fact, many things that family and friends can do to support us through a migraine.

My favorite suggestions

Let me share a few of my favorite suggestions in hopes it helps you receive a little TLC and help your family and friends feel useful in your time of need.

Take the kids

If you're a momma, you know there's nothing harder about parenting than having to parent when you're sick. It's physically hard on you, but it's also emotionally hard not being able to show up for your kids the way you want to as a mother.

I recently experienced this with my newborn baby girl. I desperately wanted someone to say, "I'll take the baby so you can take a nap."

Ask family, friends, neighbors, or whomever you feel comfortable watching your kids to take them for a couple of hours or even the day. That will give you peace of mind that they're being taken care of so you can rest.

Drive you to an appointment

There's not much your primary care doctor or neurologist can do in the middle of an active migraine. However, many other providers can support you with bodywork that can provide some relief.

I personally find relief with chiropractic care, massage therapy, acupuncture, and cranial sacral therapy. When I'm in the middle of a migraine, however, the idea of driving to an appointment feels impossible. I often don't have the strength or energy to drive, not to mention the light of the day feels too strong to keep my eyes open on the car ride over.

Ask people in your support team to give you a ride to an appointment.

Replenish ice packs

Replenishing ice packs is often the easiest but most overlooked support.

While ice packs don't take the migraine away, they can help us feel more comfortable in the moment. Personally, I love laying down on a cold ice pack fresh from the freezer.

Ask someone to help replenish your ice packs, so you always have a cold one on hand.

Top off your beverage

I'll be honest, I don't always do well staying hydrated during a migraine, but I know it's important not to fall behind on drinking because I get dehydrated too easily, especially if I'm vomiting too.

So, I ask my husband to keep my water bottle filled and give me a little reminder or encouragement if he sees that I'm not drinking much.

Keep checking in

While I need to rest in a quiet, dark room during a migraine, I hate how lonely it feels lying in bed, especially when it lasts several days. I like when someone checks in on me, just to remind me that I'm not in this alone.

So, I ask people to check back in on me. That can be in a text or just popping their head in the room to see if I need anything. So if this is helpful for you as well, speak up and ask for some check-ins.

What are some ways you ask family and friends to support you during a migraine? Post below so we can gather even more ideas!

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