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12 'Small,' but Significant Lifestyle Changes That Help People With Migraine

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Editor's Note

Any medical information included is based on a personal experience. For questions or concerns regarding health, please consult a doctor or medical professional.

Though everyone experiences migraine differently, one thing most migraineurs have in common is that your lifestyle usually changes once you start having migraine attacks. Those without migraine may be able to sit out in the sun, stay up late or spritz on some perfume or cologne without a second thought, but when you have migraine, you know that making some small changes in your lifestyle can help you avoid triggers and lead to fewer symptoms later on.

Of course, changing up your lifestyle habits usually doesn’t mean you can avoid migraine attacks entirely, and it’s important to talk with your doctor about any changes you want to make to your health (and keep doing any prescribed treatments you’ve already discussed). But it can be really helpful to hear what other people have done to help make life with migraine a little bit easier. That’s why we asked our Mighty community to share a small, but significant lifestyle change that helps them deal with migraine.

Everyone experiences migraine differently and responds in unique ways to treatments and lifestyle changes, but perhaps some of the following ideas can be helpful as you navigate life with migraine. Let us know if you have any additional ideas in the comments below!

Here’s what our community shared with us:

1. Eliminating Scents From Your Home

“We have had to eliminate or limit scents from our home so I can be free to roam throughout the house. Candles, oils, sprays, etc. Absolutely no cinnamon or spice scents. Fall is torture.” – KariRae L.

“I don’t wear perfume on an everyday basis. I wear it only as needed to prevent a migraine from the different smell. I also stopped burning candles in my home because of the fumes.” – Dorothy F.

“No VOC [volatile organic compound] perfumed items are allowed in my home and I see physicians/healers who have ‘no fragrance’ policies.” – Selma F.

2. Investing in Detangling Hair Products

“Investing in hair detangler. When I have a massive migraine even my hair hurts and it hurts to pull at my head when I brush my hair. With the detangler it makes my life soooo much easier.” – Hannah M.J.

“I own a WetBrush and it’s awesome! The only brush I can use!” – Maria G.

3. Trying to Stay Calm

“When I [have] strong sudden emotions like stress or rage, I get immediate migraines. So I try to stay as calm and relaxed as I can be. No fighting, no yelling, no stressing about stuff I can’t control.” – Caroline M.

“I try to keep calm. Stress of any kind, even excitement, can trigger a migraine or CVS episode.” – Noelle H.

“Learning to stay away from drama and people who crave it! Staying positive, celebrating the ‘good,’ meditating and staying calm.” – Fayth M.

4. Using “Softer” Lighting in Your Home

“Buying lots and lots of ice packs. Also investing in alternative lighting because ‘normal’ lighting is too bright when my eyes are light sensitive.” – Riley S.

5. Changing Your Diet

“I eat small ‘meals’ every two to three hours. I completely changed my diet.” – Carole K.

“I have eliminated sugar from my diet.” – Daniella P.

“Gave up alcohol completely 10 years ago. Not worth a migraine!” – Danna J.T.

“No caffeine.” – Emily L.F.

“Cutting out meat alone cut back my migraines at least 50 percent.” – Clara M.

6. Not Pushing Yourself Past Your Limits

“Not pushing myself as much and choosing to rest in times I used to ‘power through.’” – Marie A.

7. Always Bringing Your Migraine ‘Kit’ With You

“Carrying sunglasses and medication with me constantly. Before I could leave the house with my phone and a small amount of cash and now I carry a backpack everywhere with me.” – Rose M.M.

“Carry a migraine ‘kit’ everywhere I go.” – Laura C.

8. Spending More Time in the Dark

“I lie down in a dark room each day after work for a few minutes. It calms my nerves and brings my chronic migraine down a few levels. My family knows it’s what I need to do for myself. It makes me a nicer wife and mother.” – Patricia A.

9. Shielding Your Senses

“Wearing my Vogmask when I’m out in public or at a doctor appointment. It helps to block out smells that would otherwise send me into a flare.” – Ashley A.

I always keep sunglasses with me, even if it isn’t sunny.” – Carole K.

10. Taking Your Own Transportation

“I always drive places rather than get public transport so that I don’t get a migraine from the perfume worn by other passengers. I learned the hard way the other day not to get an Uber too as they always fill their car with air freshener.” – Grace B.

11. Watching Movies at Home Instead of at the Theater

Don’t go to the cinema to see movies. Have to wait for them to come out on foxtel or DVD.” – Ang M.

12. Maintaining Habits and Routines That Work for You

“Eating properly on time, drinking lots of water. Having a good eight to nine hours of sleep every night.” – Lyn A.

“Eating regularly.” – Sophie C.F.T.

Originally published: August 31, 2018
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