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Living with Migraines - Thoughts on a Sunday

"Bah humbug!" to Holiday Migraine Triggers

ScroogeSmallEach year, many Migraineurs miss out on holiday activities or enjoy them less because of Migraines. An obvious statement, right? Yeah, I know, but let's take a look at it anyway.

There are triggers we can avoid and triggers we can't avoid. We can't really avoid triggers such as weather changes or hormonal fluctuations, but we can avoid some triggers such as foods and our sleep schedule.

There's also that third category of Migraine triggers, those that could be avoidable, but... Take fragrance as an example of this kind of trigger. If perfumes, scented candles, and the like are triggers for us, we can avoid them, IF... If we keep them out of our homes, don't go out, and don't let other people in. Bah humbug! That's certainly not in the holiday spirit.

So, what do we do? I certainly can't tell you that we can avoid all our Migraines during the holidays. Well, I could, but it would be a lie. We CAN, however, take steps to minimize our exposure to some triggers and to reduce the impact of any Migraines we do get.

Let's take a look at how we can work on this:

If we're going to try to avoid our triggers to reduce the number of Migraines we have, we need to know what our triggers are. The best tool for identifying triggers is to keep a Migraine diary. If you need a diary, you can download a free diary workbook with diaries in several formats for you to choose from HERE.

Once we know what our triggers are, planning ahead is our best weapon. For tips on managing avoidable holiday triggers, take a look at 10 TIps for Enjoying the Holidays Despite Migraines and Navigating Holiday Parties with Migraines: Five TIps from Marcia Cross.

Since it's impossible to guarantee no Migraines during the holidays, it's vital to have a plan in place to handle any Migraines we do get...

  • Check your medications - prescription and over-the-counter. If you need medications, make sure to get them in advance, especially if you need a new prescription from your doctor.
  • Traveling? Be sure to take your medications AND anything else that you need during a Migraine. Remember those things that you use for comfort too. They can be important. I have a bag that I keep packed with the things I need during a Migraine - everything except my prescription medications. When a Migraine strikes when I'm home, that makes it easy for my husband to get me the things I need and want. When we travel, I add my medications to the bag, and I'm ready to go. Want some suggestions for putting a bag together? See MAPP Your Migraines.

Living with Migraines for over 50 years has taught me always be prepared for a Migraine, then try not to worry too much about getting one. Not worrying is definitely easier said than done, especially when important events are coming up, butif all these years have driven one point home it's that worry about it won't keep it from happening, but it will dim my enjoyment of the family, friends, and all that goes with the holidays.

Try to let go of any need to push for perfection that you may have. Perfection is highly overrated and virtually impossible to achieve. People who care about us are more concerned about enjoying our company than whether holiday meals are just right or whether all the gifts are beautifully wrapped. Let go of striving for perfection and of any guilt and embrace the joy of the holidays.

Happy Holidays!



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© Teri Robert, 2011
Last updated December 8, 2011

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