12 Tips for Living Well with Migraines

by Teri Robert Patient Advocate

Evaluate your medical team

How is your medical team? Are you happy with your doctors or are you settling because you just don't have the fortitude to change doctors? Are you making progress in treating your headaches and migraines?

Review your treatment regimen

If your regimen isn't working well, or if it could use a few tweaks, why not make some notes and talk with your doctor? Evaluate your treatment, set goals, then discuss the evaluation and goals with your doctor.

Identify those triggers

Do you know what your migraine triggers are? Trigger identification and management are a vital part of migraine disease management. If certain foods are triggers for you, avoid them. If bad sleep habits or missed meals are found to be triggers for you, you can do something about them.

Plan better nutrition

Diet. It's a nasty word. A better choice is to use the terms "way of eating" or "nutritional plan," and for it to mean an ongoing way of nourishing your body that contributes to being healthier and feeling better.

Don't forget good hydration

Often overlooked is the importance of proper hydration. Not only is it important to our overall health, but dehydration can be a headache and migraine trigger.

Find and adopt an acceptable level of activity

Our overall health is better when we have some activity or exercise. And, when our overall health is better, we're less susceptible to headache and migraine triggers. It's a win-win situation.

Improve your organization

Now is the perfect time to make your life easier by becoming better organized. Organization will make your life simpler and less stressful.

Learn to delegate

You're not Superman or Superwoman, and you do yourself and everyone around you a disservice when you take everything upon yourself. You do not have to do everything. There's nothing wrong with delegating.

Dump the guilt

Guilt is destructive and unnecessary. It's also a very negative expenditure of energy, and our energy is too valuable to spend in negative ways.

Take some "Me Time" each day

Here's something to consider -- How can you be at your best for others if you don't take care of yourself? The truth is pretty straightforward. You can't.

Seek and offer support

Support is as important to dealing with migraines and headaches as good medical care, so don't ignore the care and feeding of your support system.

Remember, you can be in control

Repeat after me: "I have migraines, but migraines do not have me. I have headaches, but headaches do not have me." You do not have to let migraines or headaches control your life.

Teri Robert
Meet Our Writer
Teri Robert

Teri Robert is a leading patient educator and advocate and the author of Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches. A co-founder of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy and the American Headache and Migraine Association, she received the National Headache Foundation's Patient Partners Award and a Distinguished Service Award from the American Headache Society.