I have been no stranger to having headaches a few times a week with an occasional migraine. This is to help the headache sufferers, however. Migraines are a different beast I will tackle another time.
If you have persistent headaches and/or migraines always talk to your doctor first before seeking out Dr. Google.
I experience headaches mostly in the mornings. Like today, I woke up with one. Rather it woke me up. My headaches feel like a hangover headache; heavy, persistent, and slightly disorienting.
Usually, the last thing I want to do is take any meds, even if it is just Tylenol/Motrin. I used to just take them without a second thought but after my bad stomach issues and messed up blood tests I had recently that led to me getting an EGD I’ve been put off. They leave me with a bad stomach ache and never really solve the underlying issue. I was taking way too many a day and it was getting unhealthy.
Here are the steps I take to solve my issue without medications. It’s extra time and works but it’s worth it in the long run.
- I get coffee in me straight away. Sometimes this actually does it for me, and I get lucky. But regardless, this is always my first step.
- Make sure my hair is not in a ponytail. If it is I take it down right away and brush out my hair. The pressure of having my heavy hair up can sometimes be the issue. Especially if I slept in a ponytail/bun. Relieving the tension on my scalp by brushing it out helps.
- Take a shower and leave my hair to air dry. The coolness of wet hair is soothing.
- I make myself some iced mint or chamomile tea. A lot of the time I have the tea made into ice cubes and ready to go. All I have to do is pop a few in my glass of water. Hot tea is also ok, but for me I find that cool drinks help the most. I am also an Arizonan so I gravitate towards ice in everything naturally.
- Stretching. This is usually a great help and I recommend it every day if you can manage. I stretch my shoulders, neck and upper back. Just like the ponytail I get the same feeling of relief of tension but in a wider area of my body.
- Take my meds on time. ON TIME. I’ve been slacking recently and it has been causing some extra headaches.
- EAT. It helps a little, but I have found that I don’t get hunger headaches often so this is more of a reminder to eat in general so I don’t make a headache any worse.
If all of this fails I will take a Tylenol. Usually one or two of these things work though. Some light stretching and coffee is my go-to for the bad ones. If it’s the middle of the day I will have the cold tea instead of coffee.
As a preventative measure for days I know I can’t get a headache because I have too much to do, I will make sure that my hair is down and that I am stretched before moving on with my day.
This is all about self-care because it’s easy to forget that you have other needs which include just relaxing. Some of these things I listed seem obvious, but I often forget when I shouldn’t. For the most part, they are designed to relax and relieve tension.