Eight tips on how to manage your migraine this Christmas
Brought to you by Novartis
Untangling Christmas lights isn't the only way to end up with a festive headache...
Ah Christmas – a time of egg nog, hot chocolate, turkey, and fluffy jumpers. What's not to love?
That said, it can sometimes be a stressful time of year as well between presents and everything else. The last thing you want when you're trying to get everything sorted is a migraine to add to the stress.
A survey of over 10,000 people* conducted by Novartis found that eight out of 10 people with frequent and severe migraine said their relationships with family and friends were significantly impacted by migraine.
If you think you may suffer from migraines it's important to talk to your GP (as it often goes undiagnosed), but here are our tips for dealing with them over Christmas:
1. Pace yourself
Plan what you need to do between now and Christmas and spread it out. Plan events ahead, don’t keep your gift shopping until the last minute and make sure to save yourself some "me time."
By "me time" of course we mean watching Die Hard for the 78th time.
2. Keep a daily routine
Easier said than done perhaps, but eat regularly and don’t have too many late nights. There are always plenty of great films on the telly over Christmas, so maybe stick one on and put the feet up instead of hitting the town.
Better again, avoid the TV glare and play a board game. We won't be held responsible for any Monopoly-related incidents though...
3. Stay hydrated
Dehydration leads to tiredness and fatigue, which can prompt an attack so make an effort to carry fluids at all times.
4. Be prepared
Migraine attacks can strike at any time, so make sure to keep your medication to hand for all holiday outings.
5. Know your environment
For some people, loud noises and flashing lights can worsen or even trigger migraines, so if you plan on hitting the town, keep an eye out for dark, quieter areas, where you may be able to seek out a calmer environment.
Don’t be shy about suggesting alternative venues to your pals too.
6. Pack sweets
Keep a stash of ginger-flavoured sweets nearby to help with nausea.
Also just bring some sweets with you because sweets are great.
7. Know your triggers
From the aroma of Christmas candles to perfumed beauty halls, the holidays are filled with strong odours that can be difficult to avoid.
If smells are a trigger and you find yourself unable to escape these festive aromas, an essential oil such as peppermint or eucalyptus can be helpful to block them out. Plus they can double up as relief for sore neck muscles during an attack, don’t forget to read the instructions on the bottle for the recommended application method!
8. Check the menu
Identify potential dietary triggers. Start keeping a migraine diary now, and see if you can identify particular foods that trigger your migraine and make an effort to avoid these foods during the holidays.
That way you can stick to eating the food you love.
So if you're concerned, or you just want to try to stay on track of things, get yourself a migraine diary, which is available through the Migraine Association of Ireland or by downloading the free Migraine Buddy app.
Please be advised to talk to your doctor or pharmacist should you have any concerns about migraine management.
Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, they use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. Find out more at novartis.ie.
* Results are from a large-scale global patient and caregiver survey undertaken by Novartis in 2017 in partnership with the European Migraine and Headache Alliance. A total of 10,235 people in 36 countries participated. In Ireland, the survey involved 131 participants who were recruited from online panels and the patient organisation, the Migraine Association of Ireland, who completed an online survey between September 2017 and February 2018. To participate, patients must have had four or more migraine days each month within the previous three months.
Brought to you by Novartis