Stress and Migraines

Stress can cause migraines, migraines can become a form of chronic pain and chronic pain creates more stress. It is an endless cycle that can seem impossible to avoid. Additionally, if your body is accustomed to constant stress, a weekend off can result in a “let down” migraine when your stress levels abruptly lowers. The migraine brain is vulnerable to change and fluctuations in stress, thus managing stress can be a significant aspect in controlling migraines.
Tips on how to manage stress:
Prioritize – Remember what’s most important when planning your week. Consider what is more time sensitive or urgent.
Protect your time – Schedule what is important and learn to say no to events or tasks that are not important to you or could cause more stress.
Make time for relationships – Studies show that by increasing personal interaction and prioritizing the things that make you happy, stress will instantly be minimized.
Make time for yourself – Many times we are too focused on doing things for others that we forget to take time to focus and work on ourselves. Pamper yourself from time to time.
Communicate your wants and needs – If you communicate your wants and needs properly, everyone around you will be on the same page making managing certain tasks and stress easier.
Better sleep – Proper sleep hygiene is key. Sleep hygiene includes daily exercise, avoiding food before bed, waking up and going to sleep around the same time on a daily basis, keeping the bed separate (no eating, catching up on work in bed) and avoiding screens prior to sleep. Recent studies display that approximately 85% of migraine sufferers report clinically significant poor sleep quality.

by Caroline Pruski, NP