Migraines and other headache disorders have such a huge impact on our lives that we sometimes lose track of activities we enjoy, including our hobbies. But, we need those hobbies -- both to retain as much of our lives as possible and to help cope with our Migraines and/or headaches.
When my Migraines were frequent, hobbies were an important way to hang on to parts of my life. Now that they're well managed and far less frequent, I use my hobbies to help take my mind off a Migraine when I get one, to help get through that period of time when I'm waiting for my medications to work.
A bit about my hobbies...
Aromatherapy is fascinating to me, AND it helps with some of my Migraine symptoms. Depending on how I'm feeling during a Migraine, I may choose one of several different uses of essential oils:
- Peppermint essential oil is great for nausea. I've used it with some dead sea salt in a small bottle to make smelling salts. Sometimes, I'll put a bit on my temples too. Be careful with it though. It should never be applied directly to the skin without diluting it in a carrier oil because it's too irritating to the skin. Fractionated coconut oil is an excellent carrier. The fractionated oil doesn't have a coconut smell. It's light, and if you get it on your clothes or linens, it washes out more easily than many other oils.
- The only time I've ever experienced a panic attack was as a symptom of a Migraine. Citrus oils are great for any type of mood issues. I particularly like lemongrass and red Mandarin essential oils, and they can be used in the same way as the peppermint oil.
- Another great way to use these oils is with a diffuser. Diffusers release the fragrance into the air. They're best used in smaller rooms, and I prefer the electric ones to those with candles for safety issues.
I hate shopping, and it's hard to find good quality essential oils where I live, so I buy my aromatherapy supplies online at www.NaturesGift.com.
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I love to read. Unfortunately, I have some vision issues that have made reading more difficult, not to mention that a Migraine can make reading more difficult too.
Amazon's Kindle has helped me get back to reading! It's easy to adjust the font size, and that's one big issue solved for me. The screen doesn't have a flicker or refresh rate, which keeps it from being a Migraine trigger. Plus, on the new Kindle 3, the screen has a soft gray background, which is far easier on the eyes than white backgrounds. I use my Kindle to read pretty much everything from fiction to Migraine books to NY Times Bestsellers.
We've even become a two-Kindle household. LOL! I also love my Kindle for travel because I can take so many books with me, and it's literally smaller than many paperback books.
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Writing poetry is another of my hobbies. There's something cathartic about writing poetry. Yes, I was one of those "sappy" teenagers who wrote poetry about every "broken heart."
Over the years, I've found that writing about Migraines or depression to be very therapeutic. When I don't want to "burden" my family and friends with my pain or depression, I pout it out into poetry. Writing during a Migraine can be difficult physically. Usually, I don't feel like sitting at the computer, so I keep "blank" books handy to write in. If you look, you can find them with off-white, blue, gray, or other colored paper so you're not faced with the glare of bright white paper. A lot of what I write when I'm not feelign well stays in the books just for me. When I write something I actually like, I can type it up when I'm feeling better. Other MIgraineurs have also found writing poetry to be a good outlet, so I hold the Putting Our Heads Together Poetry Contest every year.
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For some reason, I've always loved pretty stones and crystals. In the process of researching possible treatments for Migraines and headaches, I came across some writings about crystal therapy. The basic theory is based on how the atoms of matter vibrate. The atoms in everything vibrate, and the theory of crystal therapy is that the crystals vibrate on frequencies that interact with our bodies and aid in healing. That makes some sense to me, and having crystals around can't hurt anything. So, why not? The crystal most associated with helping Migraines and headaches is amethyst. One thing to know about amethyst is that it fades if left in direct sunlight. If you like amethyst, and want to keep it around, put it somewhere out of the sun.
What are your hobbies? Do you use them to help you cope with Migraines or headaches? Let's talk about it! Just click the "Comments" link below to share your thoughts and experiences.
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© Teri Robert, 2010
Last updated October 8, 2010