I don’t know about you, but, for some reason, I find that I tend to get more migraines during the colder months. Personally, I am more affected by weather patterns and shifts in barometric pressure. This seems to occur more frequently on the East Coast during the winter. I joke with my husband that we should just move to Arizona and be done with it, but we all know that moving isn’t a permanent solution. There’s more than one trigger when it comes to migraine monsters. In fact, there are several monsters that plague me on a continuous basis. Whether it’s hormonal, stress, food-related, or environmental, something always seems to be triggering my very sensitive body.
Don’t Let The Changing Weather Affect Your Migraine Patterns
So, how can we stay on top of it all? How can we prepare for any upcoming storm patterns that might swoop in and ruin our festive fun? I have a few tips that I believe might help and wanted to share them with you in case you are getting worried about the current season and all that it has to offer.
Stay Prepared: I’m on daily medication and I absolutely need to make sure that I stay on top of my regular doses. Also, I don’t go on a trip unless I’ve packed all my medicine in preparation for a migraine attack. Be prepared—no matter where you are.
Realize That You Are Sensitive: Last week, I cried in my neurologist’s office. He said something to me that I have been ignoring. I’ve been avoiding a very simple fact. The fourth quarter is a very hard time of the year for me. I tend to take on a lot of work and I am so very thankful for it—don’t get me wrong. But he told me that I shouldn’t do all the things that I do because I am someone that simply cannot handle what a “normal” person can handle. He asked me if I am able to skip a meal without getting a migraine. He asked me to answer honestly. I told him I couldn’t. I cannot skip a meal because if I do then I will get a migraine. That is a fact. I need to live a life of balance. I need to drink a certain amount of water every day. I need to get a good amount of sleep at night. I can’t exercise too much. I can’t get too overwhelmed. I can’t feel too anxious. I can’t eat too many sweets or carbs. Any slight modification from what I am used to will result in a migraine. And when I admitted that for the first time in my life it made me just break down because I know that it’s true. I know exactly what I need in order to find balance. I am sensitive. Realize that you are, too. Accept it. Honor it. And do the best you can to work around that hard fact.
Meditate: Calmness can do wonders for the mind. It won’t happen overnight. You might feel silly when you start—believe me, I know. But every day, try to just meditate for a few minutes. Start with 5 minutes. Look up some apps. There are so many free guided options on the market right now that are wonderful—you’d be surprised! As a society, we do too much. We take on more than we should. Give yourself back a few minutes every day to just reset and reap the benefits.
Lean On Your Support Team: I fully confess that I get a lot of help from a lot of people. I cannot possibly do everything that I need done all by myself. And you know what? I don’t want to do it alone. I’m not a hero! I’m no martyr. When I see somebody who seems to be doing everything by herself, I don’t look at her as a superwoman, I actually feel sorry for her! You have people in your life—use them. Lean on your family and friends when you feel like there is too much on your plate. When I feel too stressed, I know that the emotion is a huge trigger for me, which will, of course, result in a migraine. That’s the last thing my family wants to happen because once I get a full migraine I can be down for one to three days. Then I am of no use to anyone! It’s better to get a little help when I need it than to crash and burn because I asked for none at the start. You’re part of a team. Don’t forget that.
Recognize Your Triggers: I spoke about some of my triggers in the beginning of my post. Try to figure out what sets off your migraines and steer clear from them. I have friends who keep journals. A good girlfriend of mine learned that red wine is a major trigger for her and so she has since switched to another drink instead. Knowledge is power and you won’t KNOW unless you start to pay attention. You don’t have to use anything fancy. Just make a list and start writing down what you eat and drink.
Talk To Your Doctor: Have a real conversation with your doctor about ways you can better manage your migraine monsters. There are so many different options available that you should absolutely research. The wintertime is overwhelming, but there’s no need to go through it all alone.
How do you handle the winter season? Do you find that you tend to get more migraines during the colder months? What methods do you use to tackle your migraine monsters? Would love to hear!
I’m sharing my personal migraine story in partnership with Promius Pharma as a paid spokesperson. The story thoughts, and opinions above are expressly my own.