How to deal with chronic headaches

Right now I am sitting here on the couch with my laptop. I have a headache. Again. Or still. Usually it doesn’t even worth mentioning that “I have a headache.” because I pretty much always have a headache. I get a few headache-free days a month, but normally it is just on-going, day in and day out, day and night thing that affects my quality of life, my emotional well-being…it even affects my sleep, even in my dreams I have headaches.

I am in a desperate search for solutions. Every day I am practicing healthy habits as much as possible and trying to improve each day. I am reading and learning so much about holistic health and making my best effort to apply everything I learn. So far I haven’t been able to improve my situation. Not having money to seek any professional help and living nomadically outside of ‘the system’ (any system) doesn’t make matter easier either.

I am not giving up though. There has to be a solution. I know I will beat this. I know I will be healthy again. I just have to be.

But how do I deal with my chronic headache pain in the meantime on a day to day basis? Here are some tips…

1. Keep things normal. I try to keep things normal as much as possible. Sure, I reject and cancel way more social invites than I did when I had headaches ‘only’ every 3-6 weeks. Sure, I often have difficult focusing, being energetic or looking happy. But I try to keep my life as normal as possible. I keep it to my plans. I try not to use the ‘I have a headache’ excuse and do what I can.

2. Keep a routine. Having a routine really helps. I wake up, I oil-pull, I drink my lemon water, I exercise, I dry brush, I shower…etc Keeping it to a routine gives me a sense of power and a sense of accomplishment. I recently moved onto a new country and soon will be constantly traveling for a month. My routine is broken a little bit and I do admit I feel better when I have it down.

3. Journal. Journaling helps so much on so many levels. It allows me to be with my thoughts. I can express my deepest emotions. Writing things down simply helps to release emotions. It helps me to gain perspective. Free writing can be so liberating. Writing in general is just extremely relaxing for me.

4. Run. Running is extremely important to me. I love it so much. Sure it is much more relaxing to run without a headache, but I love it so much that even with pain it feels amazing. While my headache doesn’t stop while running, running still gives me an amazing feeling of freedom and happiness. That feeling helps me through the entire day.

5. Smile and laugh. Smiling and laughing can release a little bit of tension and can create a better mood. While it doesn’t stop the pain, it betters my mood and state of mind. Admittedly, when I am in major pain smiling and laughing can become a challenge. No problem. Some cute kitten pictures and videos will instantly put a huge excited smile on my face.

6. Live in the moment. This one if challenging for me, but so important. I tend to be pissed at my headaches, worry that they will never go away, be upset that I can afford hiring a health coach or getting a massage, and so on. But I need to turn the worry off for a moment. I need to stop focusing on ‘what if’-s and the future, but just experience and be thankful for each moment.

7. Hugs and kisses. Showing affection, giving or receiving a hug or a kiss will not take my headache away. But it will instantly help with my mood. Feeling loved, belonging and safe is incredibly important to me. At times the little evil voice in my head tells me that I am not lovable because of the headaches. A hug or a kiss or even a smile can instantly stop the voice and make me feel loved.

8. Eat my fruits and veggies. Though so far, unfortunately, I haven’t experienced yet any amazing benefits of drinking vegetable juices, increasing my salad sizes and eating lots of fruit. But I know that it is good for me and the results will come sooner or later. Regardless of the results though, I love eating my fruits and veggies. They really put a smile on my face.

9. Remember, I am not my headaches. Having headaches all the time and having my life wrapped around them, I can’t help but sometimes feel that I am actually my headaches. But I am not. I experience headaches but I am not the headaches. I am a friend, a girlfriend, a runner, a traveler, a learner, a helper, an educator…and much more…but I am not my headaches.

10. Chick-flicks and youtube. If all else fails and when it is a particularly bad day, I turn to youtube browsing motivational videos, funny cartoons, look at cat videos…and when it really becomes blah, I just reach for the most brainless chick-flick possible. I am not even a chick-flick person, yet, sometimes it is needed to get through the pain.



8 thoughts on “How to deal with chronic headaches

  1. I can empathize with you. I have headaches almost everyday too. I am know for migraines too, especially when I get over stressed. I take OTC meds like they are candy. They drain you both physically and mentally. I hope you find some relief.

    • I used to take OTC meds like crazy. They don’t help. Ever. At all. I still took them always hoping that they will help. They never did. So 2 years ago I completely stopped taking them… Yes, they can be extremely draining! People without chronic headaches often don’t understand how worn-down and shitty you can feel with ‘just headaches’. Thanks for understanding. I hope you find relief for your headaches too.

  2. When I was in elementary and secondary school I suffered from headaches at least 3 times per week. During high school it got better, and now I have it rarely.
    I have a question for you: when did it start?
    I think it’s something you should also consider.
    I hope you will be headache free one day!

    • I have headaches since I was about 12 (maybe 10, maybe 11?). They were frequent but unsure how frequent…during my teens and college I had them every 3-6 weeks, lasting for about 2-4 days, pain-killers didn’t help. They got more and more frequent and started to last longer and longer from 2009 (when I was 26) and for the past 2 years they have been basically nearly every day as I described. Regular pain-killers don’t help. I used imitrex for a while, though I don’t have migraines, it still helped, but since the headache anyways returns within 0.5-2 days I stopped using it, I can’t take 3-6 of those a week… Doctors made no sense, I decided not to go the medication route of trying anything from low-blood pressure to epipleptic meds to botox, but trying the alternative and holistic route. As said, I am mostly on my own as I can’t afford seeking too much professional help. Thanks for your support!

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