How to Avoid Migraines During the Holidays

No matter how hard you try to avoid it, the holidays can be an extremely stressful time of year. While there are of course many pleasures that come with the holiday season, migraine sufferers often face more hard times than good. If you are someone who deals with migraines – whether on a regular basis or sparingly – it’s important you take the time to prepare for the holidays and find ways to avoid a debilitating migraine.

The holidays can be tricky for everyone, whether you are prone to migraines or not.

Don’t Let a Migraine Rule You

Sure, avoiding a migraine altogether is perhaps unrealistic, but there are certain things you can do to protect yourself and keep those pesky migraines at bay. It can be difficult to stay on the right track by eating healthy, limiting alcohol, and learning how to cope with stress in a manageable way that works for you.

Even if you really, really try, sometimes a migraine is inevitable. But this shouldn’t discourage you! I am a firm believer in the power of self-care and have seen firsthand how focusing on you and your health during the holidays can keep a migraine from ruining the party.

Dealing with Migraines During the Holidays

Migraines are intense and can wreak havoc on your life, often at the most inopportune times, like during big family dinners during the holidays. If you are prone to migraines, these tips should help keep your holidays bright and maybe even migraine-free:

  • Stay hydrated and fed – One of the biggest mistakes people make during the holidays is skipping meals and not drinking enough water. If you are heading out shopping, be sure and pack some snacks and always have a water bottle with you.
  • Consume alcohol in moderation – The holidays are full of parties and tons of opportunities to imbibe. If you drink, try to do so in moderation and avoid certain spirits, such as red wine. Increase your water intake if you are drinking, as this can help prevent headaches.
  • Make time for exercise – Our typical routine often gets thrown off course during the holidays, but it is important to carve out time to exercise. Even just going for a brisk walk around the block can help reduce stress and tension, which can play a huge role in decreasing migraines.
  • Get plenty of sleep – I know you have a lot on your mind during the holidays, but getting enough sleep is key to avoiding migraines.
  • Try to avoid last-minute shopping – One of the main triggers of a migraine is stress, which is nearly unavoidable during the holidays. If possible, plan ahead and try to limit those last-minute trips to the store.


The Bottom Line? Take Care of Yourself

I can give you all the tips and tricks in the world, but your key to an enjoyable and migraine-free holiday is to listen to your body and take care of yourself. It is easy to put everyone else before you during this busy time of year, but I encourage you to take a step back and think about what you need. We often wonder why the holidays make us sick, and unfortunately, there is no cut-and-dry answer. A good place to start? Pay attention to what some of your triggers are, take time for you, try to cut out stress, and remember to be gentle with yourself.


Sources – 10 Holiday Headache Triggers

American Migraine Foundation – Sleigh Your Holiday Headaches

Health 24 – How to Handle Headaches During the Holidays