TEN WAYS TO PAMPER YOURSELF AFTER A MIGRAINE
It’s tough work battling a migraine. So when that moment of relief arrives, treat yourself.
When you’ve got a painful migraine, it’s hard to think about anything but your throbbing head. So after that moment of relief (finally!) arrives, a little pampering may be in order. Here are 10 easy ways to treat yourself when you’ve made it through the pain.
Laugh it up. Try a mini-binge of a TV comedy you’ve been dying to catch up on. If you’re in a nostalgic mood, try an ’80s or ’90s favorite on late-night basic cable, or turn to your streaming service of choice and for a newer award-winner or buzzed-about reality show. No matter what you choose, take the advantage of losing yourself a bit before you go back to the (now migraine-free) real world.
Head to the spa. A massage probably sounds pretty great after a migraine clears, right? But there’s more to find at your local day spa — a flat fee will sometimes give you access to whirlpools, saunas and relaxation rooms, even if you don’t spring for a treatment. And with all the deal sites out there, you have a good chance of finding a discount. At the very least, there’s always a 10-minute chair massage at the nail salon. Read more about the health benefits of positive touch.
Try meditation. Even a brief meditation session may leave you feeling great. Research indicates that for some, mindfulness meditation can help reduce anxiety and pain 1; plus, the practice could have lasting effects on how our bodies manage stress. 2 Need help getting started? There are smartphone apps that provide guided audio meditations to make it easy, even for beginners.
Visit a store you love. You could commemorate your new pain-free, post-migraine self with a little retail therapy. Head to your favorite brick-and-mortar store and buy that hardback book, bright sweater or really fancy umbrella (hey, to each their own) that you’ve had your eye on.
Tackle a task. Cleaning off your desk or hanging up that family photo may not sound like a thrill ride, but crossing off a “To Do” can be very satisfying — especially if you’ve felt incapacitated by a migraine. Just keep it reasonable so it doesn’t add to your stress level (e.g. tackle one drawer, not the entire basement).
Call a friend. Staying in touch with friends and family can boost happiness — in fact, research has shown that calling your mom can even reduce stress. Jump on a quick call or try a video chat to make it feel like you’re really spending time with your loved one.
Make a new recipe. Cooking a tasty meal is a great way to treat yourself, but it’s easy to fall into a rut and make the same thing over and over. Crack open a neglected cookbook or do a web search on a lesser-known ingredient (like, say, pomegranates), and try something new and exciting.
Take a walk. Maybe your migraine has had you cooped up inside, so why not get some fresh air? Try a brisk walk on your favorite path – or maybe even just a trip around the block.
Try something new. A migraine may make you feel completely unlike yourself. Now that you’re back in action, push yourself into doing that long-forgotten DIY project (making a new slipcover, staining that old wooden chest) or an always-talked-about exercise or language class (Español, anyone?).
1. Goyal M, Singh S, Sibinga EM, et al. Meditation programs for psychological stress and well-being: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(3):357-68. http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1809754
2. Stress reduction correlates with structural changes in the amygdala. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 2010;5(1):11. http://intl-scan.oxfordjournals.org/content/5/1/11.full
3. Van Den Berg AE, Custers MH. Gardening promotes neuroendocrine and affective restoration from stress. J Health Psychol. 2011 Jan;16(1):3-11. doi:10.1177/1359105310365577. Epub 2010 Jun 3. PubMed PMID: 20522508. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20522508?dopt=Abstract