Has your mailbox (virtual and real) been bombarded with holiday-themed merchandise catalogs? The images of festive and tranquil domestic scenes featuring puppies, children and grandparents evoke wonderful memories and emotions. If you live in rural towns these scenes are no doubt familiar. However for many of you living in major cities like Detroit, migraines and chronic headaches are featured in your familiar holiday images! Don’t blame your city—rather blame the stress of fast-paced living, crowds, and sensory bombardment. Try some of the following stress-busters this holiday season to keep your pain away and joy nearby:
- It’s the thought that counts. Don’t agonize over finding the perfect gifts for everyone on your list. Your spouse won’t divorce you, your kids will always love you, and your crazy uncle will keep visiting no matter the present.
- Make lists and stay organized. Stress levels rise when we feel overwhelmed and pressured to juggle the many activities and obligations that come during the holidays. Plan ahead and prioritize your list of to do’s; and for goodness sake–stick to it!
- Spread the ‘cheer’. In other words, delegate your many responsibilities and avoid double booking your own time. It’s perfectly fine to expect your family and friends to pitch in, and they will probably appreciate the opportunity to get involved.
- Chocolate, wine and migraine. Just because they are all special occasions, don’t get stressed into eating migraine triggering food and beverages at parties. Temptations are abundant, but your good sense should prevail.
- Release the memories. Emotions, both good and bad, run high for many of us this season. Don’t feel obligated to live up to past memories by recreating perfect celebrations. Look forward and create new memories with loved ones.
- Stick to Fitness. Getting outside and moving can ward off depression and extra holiday pounds. Staying active will help you manage stress and keep you centered during this chaotic time.
- No thanks to drama. Just because your sister loves to stir it up at every holiday dinner, doesn’t mean you must get involved, or even pay attention. Find a mellow-fellow and strike up your own happy conversation about puppies!
- Find yourself. Not that you are lost. Making time for yourself to relax, wind-down or even meditate will help you keep the pandemonium in perspective. Easing tense muscles will also alleviate chronic headache or migraine pain.
No matter how you celebrate this holiday season; and no matter whether you rejoice in a secluded cabin atop Mt. Washington or party in Detroit, migraines and headaches should be dis-invited. Keeping your migraine medication on hand, and your stress-busting tips in mind should make for very HAPPY HOLIDAYS indeed!