Believe it or not, journaling can be one of the most effective ways to work through a series of painful migraines. Many people’s migraines are triggered by food allergies or sensitivities, sleep schedules, exercise routines, or stress factors. The thing is people don’t know that these factors are triggering their migraines. Most people think that heading to the doctor and going on medication is the only way to stop their migraines. They are downcast and anxious, because week after week they are afflicted with the same terrible, pounding headaches, but they don’t know where to look for healing. So, they turn to medication, only to find that they must now take these drugs for years and years.
Try a natural, home remedy before turning to these extremes. Keeping a journal that tracks your migraines is a great way to start. Here are some tips for keeping a successful journal series:
Record the food you eat.
Write down what you eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you have snacks, don’t forget to record those as well. If you have a migraine after eating a meal, it may be likely that a certain food caused it. Try cutting out the food you had for that meal and introducing it a week later. Record what happens. Did you have a headache or not? If so, try cutting that food out of your diet for a few weeks and see how it affects your migraines. These foods may make you especially susceptible to migraine attacks: caffeine, red wine, yeast, nuts, processed meats, citrus, artificial sweeteners, excess sugar, chocolate, or cheese.
Watch your sleep schedule.
I cannot stress enough how important sleep is for your mental and physical health. That being said, your sleep schedule can deeply affect your migraines. Try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Taking naps in the afternoon is fine, but make sure that they don’t interrupt your nighttime schedule. Journal how much you sleep every night, and how well you slept. If you got a little sleep, how did that affect your headaches? Did you notice a difference the next day, or even two days later?
Help yourself out by making sure that when you do sleep, you sleep well. Don’t use electronics an hour before you sleep, completely darken your room, and if you need to use white noise, then experiment with different sounds.
Establish an Exercise Routine.
Exercise is incredibly important for balancing your hormones and taking care of your physical and mental health. Try to exercise three times a week, for at least 30 minutes. Hydrate with plenty of fluids before, during, and after working out. Journal when you exercise, and how you feel before and afterwards. Does it feel better to do cardio or anaerobic exercises? It is especially important to establish a routine, so that you can see the affects of your exercise over time, as recorded in your journal.
Limit your exposure to stress.
What makes you feel stressed? How can you limit those areas in your life? How do you feel when you are stressed? Do you stop eating, do you stop exercising, does your sleep schedule go out the window? Write about what makes you stressed out in your journal and be creative about how you can fix the problem. Trace the frequency and intensity of your migraines and how it may correlate to pressures in your life.
We would love to hear about your experience keeping a migraine journal! What are some of the challenges you face, and how can we help you? What do you like about journaling? Have you found ways to improve your migraines?
Reach out to us anytime by phone, email, website chat, or come visit our office in Colorado Springs to let us know! We would love to see you and hear your story.