1. Change the lighting
Light actually hurts during a migraine. It’s known as photophobia. You can help by turning off bright (especially fluorescent) lights and closing the curtains. If a little light is needed, then soft or low lamps are better than ceiling lights.
2. Be mindful of perfumes and strong-smelling foods.
Strong smells can nauseate a migraine sufferer, who are thought to also has a heightened sense of smell. Which smells and odours cause problems can differ for individuals – check which ones affect the migraine sufferer in your life.
3. Keep it quiet.
The migraine sufferer is very sensitive to noise. Just like it is believed they have a super sense of smell, they also can seem to hear sounds that others can’t. What sounds quiet (or even normal level) for you can be deafening to someone who has a migraine. Speak softly and gently, and avoid any unnecessary sounds such as television, music and loud conversations.
4. Send a text. Don’t phone.
Talking can be difficult for a migraine sufferer on many levels. Firstly, their speech can be affected or they have trouble finding the right words or following a conversation. And secondly, the sound of talking can hurt. Also understand that it might be a few days before they feel up to returning your call.
5. Understand when they cancel social or work commitments.
As a migraine sufferer myself, I’ve had to cancel so many plans which results in feelings of guilt. Plan another event or outing with them in the future to show that you understand and are still there for them, no matter what. Check in on what is fun for your migraine sufferer.
6. Ask how you can help.
Offers to babysit, cover a work project, pick up a prescription or supplement, tidy up or help around the house, drive to appointments or pass on messages on a migraine sufferer’s behalf will be gratefully received.
7. Be supportive of their self-care.
Whether it is a change to diet or a need for quiet time, help them by not tempting them with foods or alcohol they are trying to avoid or crowding in on their downtime.
8. Understand that migraine is not just a bad headache.
Migraine is a whole collection of often debilitating symptoms which makes it difficult to function and think straight. Migraines can strike anytime, and some people get them weekly (or even daily).
Take the time to understand their symptoms, triggers and early warning signs that a migraine is on the way.
Treating and preventing migraine naturally is a special interest of mine. Book in a call or consultation if you would be interested in a naturopathic consultation to help you, or someone you know with migraine.
I've noticed that when I go a bit overboard with eating and indulgence in December, my energy drops way down. I start to rely on sugary treats and caffeine to get through each day, which of course makes the cycle so much worse.
So, here are the 3 simple things I do to get back on track, and feel energised, happy and full of vitality to do all the fun Summer stuff that we look forward to all year.
It sounds really obvious. In fact it is so obvious that it is easy to forget.
Upping your intake of fresh, pure water; and non-caffeinated herbal teas can help you feel energised, motivated, clearer and lighter.
In fact, as I was writing this post, I threw out the cup of coffee I had just made, and replaced it with a peppermint tea (did you know that peppermint has a cooling effect in the body - great for Summer!)
2. Eat more unprocessed foods
Cut out the junk, packaged foods, convenience meals, takeaways, refined grains, sugar, hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Replace them with fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and protein.
Your body will LOVE you for it.
3. Make friends with your liver
Your liver works hard when you overindulge, especially if alcohol, caffeine and sugar is involved.
Increase your intake of leafy green vegetables, fresh herbs, broccoli, lemon, rocket. Replace that second coffee with dandelion root coffee. Chew your food well so your digestive system doesn't have to work so hard to extract nutrition.
If you need a more personalised approach to your Summer wellness, make an appointment to talk to me or consult your healthcare practitioner.
One of the questions I often get asked in clinic is "How can I persuade my partner/family/kids/friends/co-workers to follow a healthier lifestyle?".
Sometimes the path to eating better and taking care of yourself can be very lonely, so it's a good question. Whether you have just discovered how much better you feel on a wholesome, nutritious diet; or if you have always taken care of yourself, it is natural to want others around you to enjoy the same benefits. And of course it is easier to keep on track yourself if those around you are not scoffing junk food or indulging in bad habits.
The first thing we often want to do to encourage someone to break a bad habit, or eat better, or remove negative thought patterns, is to TELL them what to do.
I don't know about you, but when someone tells me what to do, part of me (OK a big part) wants to rebel. Perhaps get passive aggressive, or stubbornly dig my heels in and refuse to take the advice, no matter how well-meaning it is. On top of that, someone pointing out your faults or telling you what to do makes you feel bad about yourself.
On some level, whether consciously or sub-consciously, we already know if we are doing something that does not serve us well, and having it pointed out to us makes us feel so much worse.
On top of that, continuing to nag will just dilute your message, until it is not heard at all.
So what do you do?
Well, to paraphrase Gandhi - "Be the change you want to see in others".
Be an inspiration to those around you by taking care of yourself. Be passionate about what you are doing, and let the enthusiasm spread to others. Lead by example and SHOW the benefits of being positive, embracing wellness and natural healing. Let them see how this leads to a happier state of mind and better health.
Be patient, be kind, be positive.
And be accepting if they won't change at all. It is a personal choice, and while you know that someone would feel so much better, more alive and happier if they took care of themselves, it is ultimately their journey.
"Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another." Napoleon Hill
Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbalist