For as long as I can remember, I’ve had headaches. They got really bad and painful when I was eleven/twelve. Since then, they’ve been a frequent visitor to my little body. (I have one right now, which is what made me think of writing this post, lol.) Here are nine tips that I’ve learned for preventing/pushing through headaches.
I can’t stress how important hydration is when preventing headaches. If I don’t drink enough water or if it’s really hot out, I’ll get a headache simply because of that. Doing something as simple as bringing a water bottle around with you to remind yourself to drink can be immensely helpful. If you don’t like the idea of drinking straight water all the time, try adding lemon or lime juice to give it some flavor or ice to cool it down.
Avoid Trigger Foods
I’ve found that certain foods trigger headaches in me. Some of those foods are sugar, most sugar substitutes (xylotol, eurythritol, etc), nutmeg, caffeine, caffeinated coffee…. (You guys do not want to be around me when I’ve had a sugary caffeinated coffee. People breathing on the other side of the room hurts my head. I’m not exaggerating here). If you know that a food or drink consistently causes you headaches, try to eliminate it from your diet or eat it in moderation (like sugar).
Light to a headached head is horrible and just makes everything worse. If you can, sit in a dark room for a while and just give your eyes and head a chance to recover. Sunglasses are also helpful if you’re out and about. They help to cut some of the glare.
I live in a house where blocking out noise completely is as easy as flying to the moon and back in an hour. I hear siblings crying, siblings laughing, siblings shouting and siblings making noise for the sake of noise. But I also have noise canceling headphones that are lovely. Or I can sit in my room with music (although that doesn’t always help – music hurts sometimes).
When I have a really bad headache, sleeping is the only thing that makes it go away. Take a nap. Go to bed early. See if it helps to alleviate some of the pain.
Maybe this is a strange tip. But I’ve found that if I’m really hungry or haven’t eaten in a while, I’ll get headaches. Headaches can kill your appetite, but try to eat a bit and see if it helps. Don’t eat sugary or caffeinated foods, but something solid.
Another tip that might seem counterproductive. But I’ll get headaches from sitting too long (doing school, writing, etc.) and sometimes getting up and moving can take away a low-grade headache. It doesn’t typically work on bad headaches, though.
Too much computer/phone/tablet time can lead to neck cramps, backaches, headaches, etc. Take a break and go outside and walk for fifteen or twenty minutes. Another tip for screens – keep the brightness as low as you can. I always have it down completely otherwise I get headaches in an amazingly short time.
I generally avoid taking pain meds. If I took them every time I had a headache, I’d consume way more than is good for my body. If a headache is really bad and you are completely unable to function, there is nothing wrong with taking pain meds to help combat it.
What types of things have you found helpful when combating headaches?