Headache Hell: how I try to stop mine

I suffer with headaches, migraines too. Often on a daily basis. I can’t remember a time I didn’t, I’ve probably had them since I was a young teenager.

They got really bad during the last few years and I’m starting to get back control of my head and thought I’d share some of my top tips to a clearer, less painful mind without reaching for the medicines.

  • Firstly, drink more water and electrolyte drinks. You need to keep that head of yours hydrated as the basic step to helping with headaches. Electrolyte drinks are also very useful as they help restore your salts and certain minerals. This in turn may help prevent headaches because it is bringing back balance to cell functions and helping your head restore it’s own balance (my theory, but seems logical).
  • My partner loves to research and he pointed out whilst I don’t drink coffee, I drink an insane amount of tea which is full of caffeine too. Many people don’t think about tea’s caffeine content but it is quite a lot. It’s also in most fizzy drinks, which I’ve sadly enjoyed a lot of lately. As much as possible I’ve tried to cut out caffeine from my diet, swapping regular tea for decaf and only drinking fizzy drinks in small quantities and not as often as I used to. This has been a very successful change, my headaches have decreased a lot. At first I actually had caffeine withdrawal and my headaches increased but after a week or two my body seemed to settle into a life with less caffeine and my head was thankful.
  • Mindfulness. This is a big one. I’m an actor and when I’m acting or involved in anything creative I very rarely have a headache. Whereas at work, where it is not my dream vocation, I suffer immensely, sometimes struggling to sleep afterwards due to pain. Looking after number 1 is an important life lesson to learn. I’m still working on it but I am trying to set more time aside to live life how I want to. For example, writing on here, walking the doggies, tutoring, acting and relaxing with my partner in crime. Some things in life I can’t change immediately but putting the wheels in motion relax me, therefore my mind and my head.
  • Get outside! Turn off the tech (or put it to one side at least) and sit outside, maybe your back garden or the park. Breathing in fresh air and being outside, for me, kind of falls into the mindfulness bracket but turning off the tech is a big one. Sitting in front of your phone all day isn’t helpful as it strains your eyes which in turn puts strain on your head. I can feel headaches creeping in as I check my phone so I try to charge it in a different room to where I am. Leaving my tech elsewhere helps to prevent the temptation to use it.

Hopefully this info is helpful to those who suffer like I do, and note to self, I am not holistic in the sense that I don’t use conventional medication too. I take my paracetamol if I need to!

L xx

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