6 Ways to Avoid Holiday Headaches

If you’re prone to migraines, the holidays can be the opposite of the most wonderful time of the year.

If you’re prone to migraines, the holidays can be the opposite of the most wonderful time of the year. The combination of indulgent eating, hectic plans, and stress that accompany the festivities could give anyone a headache, so the season can be pretty miserable for migraine sufferers.

While you can’t control the onset of every migraine, you can affect the number you have. Taking an active role in monitoring your migraines and doing what you can to avoid triggers will increase your quality of life, all year round and during the holidays.

  • Schedule down time. Make down time a nonnegotiable part of your holiday plans. Overdoing it with parties and socializing is a surefire way to trigger a migraine. Set aside time to relax; whether you prefer to soak in a bubble bath, meditate, or curl up with a good book, just make sure you find some you time.
  • Avoid last-minute shopping. Migraine and stress are strongly linked and there’s few things more stressful than the mall at the holidays! Shop early or consider online shopping.
  • Sleep. Disturbances to your sleeping patterns are a very common migraine trigger. Too much, too little, poor quality, or disrupted sleep all can set a migraine in motion. Stick to your normal bedtime and wake up times even on the weekends, holidays, and vacation. If that means leaving a party early to get to bed on time, so be it.
  • Put on the shades. Sunglasses aren’t just for the summer. Invest in a good pair of optical-grade, polarized sunglasses. Polarization is essential for cutting glare. If you live in a snowy area especially, blocking the reflected glare off the snow is essential. Rock your shades whenever you’re in sunlight, and even inside if the light is bothering you.
  • No skipping meals. On some days when there’s cooking, cleaning, decorating, shopping, and wrapping to do, eating at regular intervals can get away from you. Empty stomachs can spur headaches! Try your best to eat meals on schedule and at the very least have snacks readily available.
  • Stay on track. Even though it seems like there’s a million other things to do during the holidays that seem more important, prioritize making notes in your migraine diary. Now is as important as ever to point out your triggers.

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