Headaches are a pain, excuse the pun. I am often taken the micky out of for having a 'Victorian constitution' (light headed, feeling faint when too hot, over exerted, over stimulated, you get the image...), which unfortunately means I get headaches. A lot. Well... I used to! After popping back paracetamol most days and deciding that really wasn't a healthy approach to a persistent problem, I decided to knock it on the head (ok, I'll leave now) once and for all.
Every person is unique, so the below is simply what worked for me. I have friends who can go a whole day on a thimble full of water and feel peachy come the evening. If you're one of those people, first of all I hate you, second of all you probably aren't in the 'Fragile Ladies Club.' Lucky you.
Like all of life's problems, water seems to be the answer. Of course, drinking lots of water is great, but drinking water consistently is key. I always have a bottle of water topped up and sip from it continuously throughout the day. I know that dehydration is one of my headache triggers, so I make sure I'm drinking around one pint every two hours. It also improves the complexion, which we can all agree is a bonus!
Find Out What Your Triggers Are
I've mentioned that dehydration is a definite headache trigger of mine, but drinking water alone wasn't enough to eradicate them from my daily life. Try altering your daily habits for two weeks at a time and see if something in your routine is causing headache onsets. For instance, I cut out caffeine completely for a month to see if this helped. I'm talking decaf tea, no coffee at all, no fizzy drinks, the lot! I tell you what, coffee withdrawal is real and my headaches were so much worse for the first two weeks. After that, I felt like a heavy veil had lifted. The difference was incredible. I had more energy consistently throughout the day, no headaches and a higher water intake from all the green tea I had! Now, I drink caffeine only occasionally (or if I'm really really tired). It's made the world of difference.
Get Outside For a Walk
This is great for a general de-stress, but as stress is a major cause of headaches it's just as well you do it anyway! In my new job I have to move around a lot anyway, but if you're office based it's so important to get outside in the fresh air at some point every day. Yup, even if it's gale force 5 and you left your mittens at home. Looking around, moving and taking deep breathes calms the mind and releases head tension. This = happy you!
When I went to China on an exchange programme I witnessed all the students doing acupressure exercises around their eyes between classes to keep focus and prevent tiredness. Seriously, this voiceover comes over the classroom speakers and an upbeat Chinese man guides pupils through a series of exercises that apply pressure across the brow bone, nose and temples. I took this back home with me, because it really works. Yes, you do look a little odd giving yourself a facial massage several times an afternoon, but you feel great afterwards. Applying pressure to the fleshy part of your hand between your thumb and first finger is also said to relieve headache strain. This video explains it better than me.
Step Up Your Vitamin Intake
I'm talking kale, spinach, carrots, broccoli, pomegranate, figs, sweetcorn, anything that you nosh down without having to pull out of a processed package. I've tried to make an effort to start taking healthier snacks in to work and to have a least a third of my dinner plate covered in veggies.
I hope this advice is useful and that you find your headache happy place! The last headache I had was due to a hangover so I'm pretty convinced that the above has helped keep the dailies at bay.
Do you suffer from frequent headaches? What do you do to combat them?