Making Diet and Lifestyle Changes Without the Overwhelm
Last updated: August 2021
Diet and lifestyle changes can be a great compliment to the medical treatment that you’re receiving from your doctor in managing migraines.
Overwhelmed by the grocery store
We continue to learn more and more each year about the true impact food has on our body’s ability to feel better. It sounds obvious, right? Yet it doesn’t always feel obvious as we walk the aisles of the grocery store.
The shelves are lined with more than 40,000 options. Thanks to the introduction of a lot of processed foods, our food choices are now more prompted by cravings and convenience than they are based on how well that particular food is going to feed our cells.
Reclaiming health from migraine
However, when we’re trying to reclaim our health from migraines, we start to look at our food and lifestyle choices in a new way. We want to eliminate the potential migraine triggers through something like an elimination diet, we’re trying to manage stress, create consistent sleep patterns, discover an appropriate level of exercise and so much more.
Each of these habits can be incredibly helpful to our health and possibly reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines. (They’re not a cure, but they can be one of the many tools in our toolbelt.) So, how do we start addressing these diet and lifestyle changes without the overwhelm?
Set realistic expectations
First and foremost, set realistic expectations. It’s not likely that the first week of changes, your migraines will disappear. It’s also not likely that you can make radical changes in your diet and lifestyle in just one week – especially if you’re currently not feeling well.
So, what feels manageable to you? Or one of the questions I love to ask myself if this were simple: What would it look like? This shifts my focus from perfection to progress.
Maybe this week, I can focus on increasing the amount of water I drink each day. Or maybe I set an alarm on my phone, so I remember to actually take my vitamins and supplements. Trust that each of these weekly goals will gain momentum in time so you can start to improve your health.
Did you have a trigger food that you were trying to avoid? Did you slack on a healthy habit like stretching or turning off your phone an hour before bed? Drop any guilt or reasoning behind it, and simply begin again.
Managing migraines is hard. Life is hard. Have some compassion with yourself as you’re making these diet and lifestyle changes. If you got derailed, cheated, goofed… whatever you want to call it, simply let it go and see this moment as an opportunity to begin again.
Remember your why
Why do you want to get healthy? What would you do in life if you experienced fewer or less debilitating migraines? The answer to that question is often “your why,” – meaning the deeper reason why you’re making these changes.
For many people their why is to be active with their family, other individuals want to travel, some people feel compelled by the mission of their work, and many other reasons.
The reason is personal to you. Why is it important for you to be healthy? Once you know that answer, you can keep that in your mind and keep you motivated in your healthy diet and lifestyle journey.
These are just a few things that I find helpful in eliminating the overwhelm and keeping me focused on prioritizing my healthy habits. Do you have suggestions? We’d love to know what’s working for you too. Please share below.
Are the family and friends you will be seeing this holiday season understanding about migraine?