A twitter conversation with Liana Brooks about migraines, inspired me to get started with a list of tips for those of us who get migraines. I don’t mean to imply there is any connection between autism and migraines beyond being human. But I would like to spark more dialogue about parental self care.
Most non-medication related migraine advice is to avoid stress, eat well and sleep well. Which is great advice for us humans, but most of us struggle with these issues and they compound upon each other. Don’t let self-care stress you out, set reasonable goals.
Accept that migraines happen. Of course I try to avoid them, but my main goal is to lessen the negative impact of migraines on my daily life. This sets me up to have some successes, which makes me feel less defeated by them.
I get up and go to bed at the same time every day. This is hard, but irregular sleep patterns are a big migraine trigger. I don’t sleep in on weekends and I try not to stay up late.
Naps are migraine triggers for me, your mileage may vary. Even if I am up for part of the night, I’m better off waiting until my regular bedtime to sleep.
Find ways to give yourself five minutes of zen. Listen to a song, play a game, watch a funny video, whatever it takes. I’m teaching DD to give me a five minute break.
Drink lots of water. At the first twinge especially, up the hydration. Consider cold or warm compresses on eyes, neck or anywhere you like. Try an extra bath or shower or humidifier.
Be aware of food triggers and that you might crave the very foods that trigger migraines. Its like I crave junk when I need proteins and fat so I try to plan options ahead. Figure out what foods make your brain feel good.
I try not to skip meals or let myself go to sleep hungry.
Too much sun is a migraine trigger, but getting some sun can help to end a migraine episode. Mysterious vitamin D. I’m going to experiment with supplements, but I’m trying not to fear the sun.
Anyone else have any suggestions?