Living With Headaches and Migraines

This past week I went to bed early due to yet another headache, and had two more headaches later in the week. I have always been more prone to headaches and migraines. I’ll get headaches from dehydration, neck and back tension, staring at a computer all day (#officelife), and even headaches due to weather change.
Certain headaches are avoidable, while others seem to come out of nowhere and can be very debilitating… But over the years, I have learned how to prevent and treat my headaches to the best of my ability. Some methods are no brainers, but I have found all of the following tricks to really help me in times of need.
Prevention
We will start with the obvious, water. I have never been good at drinking water, and that is usually where my headaches will stem from. If you are prone to headaches and migraines like me, try to always have water with you. Have it at your desk at work, your car for longer drives, even next to you bed. It might sound a bit excessive, but it will help you in the long run. And drinking water has a million other health benefits, so it’s a win-win!
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This next one might sound expensive at first, but level with me… get regular massages. I know massages can be pricey, but after I found an amazing masseur and started going about once every 4 weeks, I started noticing a difference in my headaches. If your pain stems from muscle tension, getting professional massages will help break up toxins and release the tension throughout your body. To be cost effective, find Groupons or even spa packages (if any of you are in the Milwaukee area, East Town Spa has great packages available for just $40-60/massage)! If you don’t want to pay for massages, ask for gift cards for your birthday and around the holidays, you won’t regret it.
As I mentioned before, I work in an office and stare at a computer all day. The strain on my eyes can really effect my headaches. I recently purchased computer glasses to help block blue light from my computer screen, and I have really noticed a difference. I don’t wear glasses or contacts, so these glasses are purely to help with eye fatigue that comes from too much exposure to blue light. I purchased mine from Pixel Eyewear.
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They have a great selection of frames, and they do have a 30-day 100% guarantee so you can exchange or return them if you are not as in love as I am. I try to wear them for most of the day, or at least when I am really heavy into a project and am looking at my screen for a long period of time.
Treatment
When I feel a headache coming on, my first step is to drink as much water as I can. Sometimes this will stop the headache before it starts, but if it doesn’t here are some way to help treat your headache or migraine.
I always keep a gel eye mask in my fridge at home. This is a life saver when my headaches are really bad! Depending on where my head hurts, I will put the mask over my eyes, on my forehead, or even on my neck. The trick is to always keep one in your fridge because you never know when a bad headache will hit, and you don’t want to have to wait 20 minutes for something to cool in your fridge or freezer. Depending on the type of headache, I sometimes will use a heating pad on my neck and shoulders to improve circulation and get more blood flow to my head.
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I have started to use essential oils to help with sleep and energy, and have noticed that it also can help with headaches. I will usually use peppermint and rub it on my temples, the back of my neck and wrists. I will put my wrists to my face and breath deep for some aromatherapy while the oil on my temples and my neck help awaken my system.
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In addition to essential oils, I have found that hitting certain pressure points can also help my headaches. Simply pinch the skin between your thumb and your index finger for 20 seconds and breath deep. Switch between hands, and the headache will slowly fade away.
When all else fails, bring on the Excedrin! I used tylenol for years, but after using it for so long my body became immune to it and it stopped working… So now I go for Excedrin (I typically will buy the off brand and it works just as good). Because I get headaches so frequently, I keep a stash everywhere… at home, in my purse, and even in my car. I try not to take it often and treat my headaches naturally, but lets be honest if I am out and I can’t use any of my at home remedies, I would rather take something than ruin an event… which has happened many times if I don’t take something right away.
Last, but certainly not least, I always find that sleep is the best medicine. If I am at home with a headache, I usually will try to sleep it off with my chilled eye mask over my face to block light. Sometimes a 30-minute nap is all I need, but migraines are another story and could take a few hours in a dark room with no sound.
In any case, always do what’s best for you and your body. Certain remedies work differently on people, so listen to your body and do what feels best for you.
Aftermath
As I said before, water is key! Keep drinking even after your headache fades, and try to add in some healthy foods. I usually want something cold after a headache and smoothies can be very nutritious and refreshing.
Avoid blue light and electronics if possible, and try to get some light exercise. Even just a short walk around the block will get your blood flowing and help your whole body heal.
Do you have any headache or migraine tips? Natural remedies or prevention tips? Leave them below!

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