After the migraine: how to prevent migraine headaches?

Stress - woman stressed with headacheI was under the weather during the weekend, suffering from a self-inflicted migraine attack. A bad one.

I call it self-inflicted because I might’ve been able to prevent it if I’d been more careful. I know from personal experience what habits I need to stick to in order to prevent migraine headaches.

This time I just forgot to heed my own advice!

I think that a seed for my migraine got planted last Friday when I spent 6-8 hours in front of my computer trying to troubleshoot a technical problem. I knew I should take breaks but I didn’t: some technical problems are so infuriating it’s difficult to stop working on them.

To add insult to injury, I spent most of Saturday lying in bed and reading a riveting fantasy novel. Big mistake: I should’ve taken a brisk walk outside and done a couple of short Feldenkrais lessons to get rid of  accumulated muscle tension.

The result was a bad migraine attack that lasted a couple of days. Monday was the worst day – the pain was excruciating and I couldn’t eat because I felt so nauseated. I didn’t even drag myself out of my apartment to get more migraine medications from the pharmacist.

I haven’t thought about it very consciously, but I do have a set of recommendations in place for preventing migraine headaches. They work if I adhere to them. 🙂  Here they are:

My migraine prevention rules of thumb:

  • eat regular meals
  • sleep 7-8 hours per night
  • exercise daily
  • limit time spent sitting
  • limit time spent in front of computer

Boring stuff! 🙂 Getting plenty of movement and exercise is very important to me because my migraines are usually triggered by muscle tension and stress.

Neglecting my self-care for one day isn’t enough to give me a headache but neglecting my them for several days in a row is begging for trouble.

I hope I’ll be more mindful about my habits in the future. The negative side of being an adult and living alone is that there is no one to remind you of your bad habits…. 🙂

If you’re a migraine sufferer, do you know what triggers your migraines and what to do to prevent them in the first place? Also, am I the only one who doesn’t heed their own advice?


  1. My mother used to get really bad migraines, but hasn’t for a while. She always felt hers were brought on by certain foods but I think stress played a big role because a few times she got them I knew she was particularly run-down or worried about something.

    She hasn’t actually had one in ages and I must ask if she’s been doing something different. Having said that, she’s good with the things you recommend: eats regularly, exercises most days and is quite active in her daily activities (lots on).


  2. Satu says:

    I think stress is usually one of the most common triggers and that most people have several triggers, not just one. I doubt foods are on my list of triggers…, but some of my medications might.

    I only started having migraines after my menopause 5 years ago. I’ve read that some women stop having a migraines after the menopause.

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