Marcia Cross on Navigating Holiday Parties with Migraines

by Teri Robert, Lead Expert

The holiday season should be a time of the year fun-filled with parties with friends, families and co-workers. But, if you suffer from Migraine disease, certain foods and hectic schedules prevalent during the season can be just enough to trigger a Migraine and ruin the holiday fun.

More than 36 million Americans, including TV and Film Actress Marcia Cross, suffer from Migraines, and exposure to Migraine-related triggers can peak during the holiday season. But that doesn’t mean that you have to avoid the holiday festivities! If there's anything good about Migraine disease, it's that there are a great many things we can do to help ourselves, to avoid Migraine attacks and improve our quality of life.

Here are Marcia’s tips for managing her Migraines and enjoying the festivities throughout the holiday season:

  1. Make party planning stress-free: Stress can make you more susceptible to your Migraine triggers. Planning a dinner party for friends and family? Plan ahead and shop early. Enlist helpers and delegate duties to make last-minute details stress free as possible.
  2. Eat regularly: An empty stomach is known to spur Migraines. Even if you are busy, it’s important to make time to eat. Pack a snack with you when you are on-the-go to avoid skipping meals. This also applies to staying hydrated. See Dehydration - An Avoidable Migraine Trigger for more information.
  3. Get your shut eye: A lack of sleep or too much sleep can trigger a Migraine. Try to keep a regular sleep schedule during the season. Pick a few key events and get an appropriate amount of rest.
  4. Know your food triggers: Certain foods and drinks can fuel a Migraine. If cheese is one of your triggers, try choosing fresh fruits and vegetables as a substitute. Consider opting for the carrot cake if chocolate seems to lead to your Migraine attacks. In other words, you can still enjoy, just think about your choices.
  5. Be Prepared: In the past, a strategy that has worked for me was keeping my Migraine specific medication with me at all times. That way I could take it at the first sign of Migraine pain, to lessen the chance that a Migraine would ruin my day.
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