Good morning friends. I just wanted to pop in quickly and see how you are doing?
Whether you're going gangbusters at your goals, still pondering them or anywhere in between - you're doing great because you are at the very least thinking about them.
Me - I'm in between, on the slower end in some areas, moving along a bit in others and little roadblocks here and there to get around. It's all part of the process and for me, it helps to look at it like a science experiment: If I do x, how does that affect y, test the theory, decide if tweaks need to be made and adjust.
Migraines are a big pain in the... head - and present a big challenge for me because they not only take me out on the days that they are active, there are phases to migraines that impact the days leading up to one and the days after which feel much like recovering from a flu.
There are many factors that can trigger them. On some days I can have chocolate, other days it will trigger a migraine. Some days I can have a handful of peanuts, other days it will trigger a migraine. If I get too hungry or too full, if the sun is too bright, if there's msg in my food, nitrates, too much caffeine, too little caffeine, cheese, being too hot or cold, crying, a glass of wine, too little water, too much water, full moon. Hormones. Menopause. A stiff neck is never just a stiff neck. It's the start of the pain that creeps up one side of the neck and the anxiety of knowing what's probably coming. A big one that affects me is barometric pressure so I took some time to research it.
Some of the key points that I got from my search:
High pressure = feel good, sunny days
Low pressure = potential migraine, precipitation coming
Changes in the pressure are the catalyst
A quick and big drop in pressure creates an inflammatory effect on our lungs and brains which can trigger anxiety and migraine; arthritis flare ups are also triggered by this phenomenon
I know a few people who experience similar reactions to the barometer and weather to varying degrees. We call ourselves weather witches.
A great resource for support and advice for anyone who suffers or wants to be supportive to someone they know who suffers migraine. I subscribe to a newsletter called Migraine Again. They publish the latest research, findings and support which I have found helpful.
One of the things that I do to help prevent migraines is yoga. I'd like to put the word 'daily' in front of that, but I am working on it and that's what motivated this impromptu blog today. I got my butt on the mat and it feels so good. I mean, not literally my butt on the mat feeling, but doing the yoga feeling.
My favourite instructor to follow is Adriene Mishler and her YouTube channel is Yoga with Adriene. I found her 30 day challenges several years ago and I've done many of them. Her mantra is "find what feels good" so it's not like you imagine a yoga class would be. She's down to earth, funny, sweet, inspiring and motivating.
Practicing yoga ticks off a few of the boxes for my goals. Weight bearing, cardio, stretching, core, mental health, anxiety, breathing. It's a powerful way to start the day.
Here's a link if you want to check her out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0et6I930LaU
I can't tell you how many different remedies I've tried - pills, both over the counter and prescription, nasal spray, chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, sleep aids, hydration drinks, and countless home remedies or suggestions. A few things that help for me:
Diet and exercise - number one. When I have better habits I experience less episodes.
Daith piercing - this one is about 50/50 from my online research about the piercings, but my sister swears it was effective for her so I got both of mine done out of desperation. I had been experiencing 8-10/10 for pain and about 20 of them a year. In the two years since I've gotten the piercings, I've had far less and 3-5/10 for pain. I am lucky. I don't know why it works for some and not for others, but if you decide to try it, make sure you do your research and go to a reputable piercing place.
Ice packs - most drugs do nothing for me so I keep 4 rice bags in the freezer that can be switched out every 30 minutes
When it's a bad one I soak a facecloth in super cold water and put it on my eyes. The moisture seems to help.
Cold seems to be key - once when I did a plunge into a cold lake while in the midst of a wicked migraine, it went away. If only I lived on the edge of a lake! It's really hard to replicate that with a cold shower and the one time that I tried soaking my head with the cold shower, it didn't work.
Dark, quiet, scent-free room
Sometimes I will play a one hour guided meditation that I've listened to for over 10 years. I find the story and voice soothing and the monks chanting lull me into a very relaxed state.
Lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus - I spray my pillows and linens daily and have it in a diffuser.
Bottom line, though is the first bullet point - diet and exercise. I believe that if I can overcome my habit of the western diet as my doctor calls it, I will be much healthier. I don't want to take pills or powders to supplement my poor diet choices that are due to bad habits and laziness. So I am making gradual changes to create better habits.
Starting the day off on a positive note!
A couple of my regular readers will already know that I use music to start my day off on an energetic, positive note and send goofy dance videos to a few people I love to make them laugh and maybe even dance themselves. It makes a difference to how my day begins. Either I sip my coffee and doom scroll until I have to get dressed and drag my butt to work ho hum. Or I put on a little sassy, danc-y, sing-a-long-y tune and get silly.
What songs get you singing and dancing?
Let's make positive energy contagious!