Holiday Shopping Strategies to Cope With Chronic Migraine Triggers

December 7, 2012

Does leaving your home this season fill you with dread and anxiety that your chronic migraine will kick in at any moment?  Every store is jam packed with crowds of people.  Flashing colorful lights are strung across every man made and natural structure and seasonal music is blasting everywhere…you’re convinced at this point it must be programmed into your brain.  Then of course there are the smells…chemically contrived nauseating variants of evergreen, cinnamon, baked apples and spice cookies.  Don’t be ashamed that your emotions are running a little ‘scrooge-like’.  After all, this season is overloaded with migraine triggers and you dread that if it worsens, your usual drug free migraine solutions will not suffice!  Hang in there because we have some advice that just may turn that frown upside down!

When you’re on the go, there isn’t much you can do to change the festive mood all around.  But you can control your own behavior to manage or avoid some of these triggers, thereby using your best drug free migraine strategy.

  • Bring along lightly tinted sunglasses that you can wear in brightly decorated indoor spaces like malls.  Consider wearing a hat with a brim to further shield against flickering lights.
  • Pop in inexpensive squishy earplugs, available at drug stores, designed to protect your hearing in noisy areas.
  • The American Headache Society recommends avoiding peak shopping hours to minimize exposure to the crowd frenzy, or even shopping online!
  • Make lists so that you don’t get overwhelmed by all the stimulation, and can get your errands done quicker so that you can flee crazy holiday zones.  Otherwise, you may find yourself wandering in a panicky fog trying to remember what you came for.  Surely that could trigger your chronic migraine.

Most importantly, make sure you take extra care of yourself during this high stimulation time of the year.  Stick to your drug free migraine strategies.  Keep your sleep, meal and work schedules as consistent as possible.  Even with ten thousand stressful things to do, remember to take time out for yourself to relax and decompress.  With careful planning, and armed with this good advice, you’ve got a pretty good chance to avoid triggering your chronic migraines, despite the happy insanity all around!

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