If you suffer from migraines regularly, you’re likely familiar with the potential migraine triggers that come with the holidays – family dynamics, social expectations, financial pressure, irregular sleep and physical activity, and increased food and alcohol intake.
But what about after the holidays?
Post-Holiday Blues and Headaches:
For many people, the letdown after the excitement and/or the stress of the holidays can actually be an even bigger trigger for a migraine event. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of end-of-year work deadlines, holiday preparations and rushing from one social engagement to the next, our cortisol levels increase. Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenal glands (small glands that sit upon our kidneys) when we experience stress.
While it may seem counterintuitive, there is research that shows that a drop in cortisol levels–like what we experience during the holiday letdown, when our stress levels return to a normal level – may trigger a migraine event.
So, as we come to the end of another busy holiday season, what can you do to help avoid a holiday-letdown migraine?
Post-Holiday Migraine Prevention Strategies:
- Get back to your regularly scheduled programming: Return to your normal sleep and wake pattern as soon as possible and eat three healthy meals a day. Pay close attention to how much water you’re drinking and ensure you’re staying well hydrated.
- Slow down as soon as you feel the first warning signs of a migraine: You may want to push through and get all of those holiday decorations taken down and put back into the attic, but if you feel a migraine coming on, rest.
- Decompress: If you can, try to schedule some time after the holidays to reflect and recuperate before jumping straight back into work and life.
- Get outside: Time spent in nature doing mild physical activity, like taking a long walk with your partner or family pet.
- Have a wellness plan: Know what you need to stop a migraine from taking hold and what you need to manage the pain if one is triggered. This may include medication, rest, meditation or breathwork, or chiropractic care.
Overall, the best way to avoid post-holiday migraines is to set expectations. Knowing that the letdown may put you at risk for a migraine event can help you prepare appropriately.
Don’t plan to do too much and build in time to rest and reflect and get back into your normal routine–it will make a huge difference during the transition into the rest of the winter season.
Our team at Cianci Chiropractic may be able to help you manage your migraines. Schedule an appointment today and start living headache-free.