Essential Self-Care Behaviours To Reduce Your Migraines

Throughout my recovery from chronic migraines it’s fair to say I have learnt a lot, actually a hell of a lot, not through my triumphs, but through my failures. After all, if you don’t try then you won’t fail, and if you don’t fail then you won’t learn, and if you don’t learn then you won’t be able to succeed so I guess it was all part of the journey.

That being said, I wanted to share with you a few self-care behaviours that I learnt in the hope that I might be able to prevent you from a little bit of pain along your own journey of healing. Ok, so let’s get stuck in.

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    1.  Put Yourself First

This was a hard lesson and unfortunately one that I only learnt the hard way, in fact so many times I lost count. As a migraine sufferer it is normal to be filled with guilt on a daily basis and many times I would attend a party or gathering with friends when deep down I really knew I shouldn’t. My gut was telling me no but my conscience was telling me to go! I would always worry about what others would think and sure, I have lost a couple of people I thought were friends over the last few years but I am here to tell you that until you prioritise your health first above anything else, your healing won’t be able to begin.

By prioritising number one it reduces your anxiety and eliminates unnecessary stress which only makes migraines so much worse. I lost count of the number of times I did things for others and suffered for days as a result so try to remember friends to put yourself first, it’s just not worth it. YOU are worth it.

    2.  Learning That It’s Ok To Say No

Ok, so you’ve listened to your gut (which I have to say is 99.999999% right most of the time) and you have politely turned your friend down for those birthday drinks you wanted to attend, but what I want you to realise is that you are not being selfish by saying no you can’t make it in any way. Real friends will stick around come what may, no matter how many times you cancel on them as they truly only want what’s best for you.

My top tip on how to make this situation more comfortable for both of you is to be honest with them from the start. If deep down you know you probably won’t be able to attend something just explain that to your friend from the start, be honest rather than promising you will be there and 10 minutes before you leave you message saying you can’t make it.

The more transparent and open you are about a situation, the more likely they are to understand and don’t worry, there will be plenty more opportunities in the future that you won’t miss out on.

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   3.  Love Yourself Exactly Where You Are

When my migraines were at my worst I’ll be honest, I hated everything about myself. I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror as I was ashamed of who I had become. That was until I read Louise Hay’s book “You Can Heal Your Life” and everything began to change.

She taught me compassion for myself, patience and how to love myself exactly the way I was. Don’t get me wrong, it took me a long time for my mindset to change but when it did I realised how much tension and stress I was creating myself.

She would always ask “What would you say to a friend if they were in your position?”. Of course you wouldn’t put them down and give them a hard time for what they are going through would you? No, you would be empathetic, patient and understanding of the battle that they are fighting so why aren’t you doing the same to yourself? She made a good point.

So take a moment today to be kind to yourself and reflect on this notion. And if you are still struggling then get yourself down to a book store and grab a copy of Louise’s Hay’s “You Can Heal Your Life”. It’s magic.

  4.  Nourish Your Body On All Levels

In order for your body to begin to heal, you need to master self-care in all areas of your life. Everything from making time out for yourself, being disciplined about your social schedule, how much sleep you get, the food you put in your body every day, whether you talk positively or negatively to yourself or whether you have time to release stress and tension through exercise.

Whatever it is, your body deserves the best and the more you give it what it needs, the more you will be able to thrive again and become migraine free. Essentially, self-care is simply ensuring that you are taking care of your emotional, physical and mental health friends and yes, we are all totally worth it so try checking in with yourself now and again to discover where you could nourish yourself on a deeper level.

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I really hope that these self-care behaviours help you find a little more balance in life in order to reduce your migraine frequency. In what ways do you struggle with self-care? Is it balancing family commitments or your busy work schedule? I would love to connect and hear from you. Feel free to leave a comment below.

#LousieHay #SelfCare #SelfLove #Migraines #Healing #Compassion

How To Go Beyond Just Eliminating Your ‘Trigger’ Foods And Start Using Food To Prevent Your Migraines

We all know that food plays a huge role in migraine, but I didn’t realise just how huge until I recently completely re-evaluated my diet and everything that I was eating.

A couple of years ago when I was seeking traditional western medical treatment for my migraines, the one question I seemed to be asked time and time again by different specialists was “do you know what your migraine trigger foods are”? What then proceeded was each doctor telling me the same list of foods I should avoid – MSG, chocolate, red wine, artificial sweeteners etc. The usual – you get the gist but unfortunately for me avoiding everything on this list like the plague didn’t seem to make much of a dent in the frequency of my migraines.

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This left me thinking that there must be more to this than just eliminating trigger foods? Yes I’m sure it helps but what about everything else that you are eating in a day, surely that must have an impact on your migraine frequency too?

It then struck me that not one doctor had ever asked me about my overall diet. All that seemed to matter was that I eliminated trigger foods. How had no one ever thought about this before I wondered? I had seen several top Neurologist’s, Headaches Specialists and General Practitioners, but none of them had ever approached this subject. Why, I asked myself?

On reflection, I guess this is because unfortunately western doctors have very little, if any, training on how important food is in the role of health. Sad but true. However after studying to become a Health Coach at The Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I found the answer straight away. It is HUGELY important, no actually it’s ESSENTIAL to evaluate our diets as a whole, as effectively we are what we eat on an even deeper level than you think.

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So, as my studies progressed I learnt all about the chemicals and pesticides sprayed on non organic food, how we refine carbohydrates and extract their nutrients, how sugar causes inflammation in the body, how hormones and antibiotics fill our meat, how soy and corn dominates pretty much everything in our diets and the list goes on.

The bottom line is that what we are putting into our bodies on a daily basis matters, A LOT! And my point is that you could be avoiding the original “trigger list” but still be filling the rest of your diet with the so-called ‘foods’ that I just listed above. If we can actually even call it food? Surely we need to be looking at the whole picture? It just didn’t make any sense to me so I set about using my own body to experiment and you will never guess what happened.

My migraines halved in severity and intensity! Yup, you heard me right! HALVED! I was proof that there was more to treating migraines by simply avoiding the so-called ‘trigger list’. And today I stand proud nearly 13 weeks migraine free! Oh yes.

Now I know other factors have helped me get to where I am today but what I have been putting in my mouth everyday has clearly been making a difference. Clean, whole, unprocessed, nutrient abundant food! It’s that simple. Not food imitating products that line our shelves pretending to be food, just plain old real food.

I guess you might then ask “so what do you eat” and my answer is simple. You know when you have got your trolley and entered the supermarket, ok? From there you are greeted with the fresh produce section, well that’s it! Just stay there and go crazy! From whole beetroot to radishes, from swish chard to mushrooms, from mangos to papayas, from pomegranates to dates, from green beans to asparagus, shop to your heart’s content, not forgetting a quick stop to the herbs, spices and whole grain isles but that’s it. See, pretty simply right?

To prove to you that it’s not all gloom and doom, below gives you an example of what my day-to-day eating now looks like and not for love nor money would I go back to eating low-calorie, weight watchers chicken tikka microwavable meals! (Yes I know, I actually did that – bad, bad Kristie!)

 

So from my findings I have come to believe that the migraine industry must be missing a HUGE trick. How is it that this has never been questioned before or even researched into? I just don’t get it!

However, as times change and functional whole body medicine starts to be introduced into mainstream healthcare, my hope is that the industry discovers the power of eating organic, whole, processed free food, in its natural form straight out of the ground, exactly the way nature intended. I believe not only can this help migraine sufferers, but it has the power to heal the world.

I guess Hippocrates really was right all those generations ago. Food truly is medicine.

 #Food #Nutrition #Heal #FoodIsMedicine #Health #MigrainePrevention