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Living with Migraine : Reducing Stress at Home

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Q: I get very stressed when I try to take care of myself and everything else I have to do at home. How can I do it all?
A: Accommodating your treatment program and home responsibilities can be a real source of stress. As you continue with your lifestyle changes and succeed with better migraine control, you will find this challenge less overwhelming. Often the stress is created by your need to take care of everything yourself. Trying to continue your lifestyle as usual and adding your treatment program will only cause unnecessary stress. If you hope to succeed with your treatment, you will need to make some adjustments in your lifestyle to accommodate your migraine care.
Q: I feel guilty when I cannot do things with my family and friends. How do I find time for social activities, as well as my treatment program?
A: In the beginning, you may need to make some changes in your usual activities to allow time for your migraine treatment program. Placing some of your activities on hold until you have your migraine under control will reduce stress. The necessary commitments can be shared with family or friends. Before you involve yourself in an activity, make sure you can maintain your treatment-friendly lifestyle.
Q: Should I ask my family to adapt their schedule because of my treatment?
A: Yes, one family member’s chronic illness is a burden that the entire family must help them to bear. Unless migraine is aggressively treated, the attacks can cause considerable disruption for everybody around you. If changing your family’s schedule helps reduce the frequency of attacks, it will benefit everyone. Your family can, and should, support you, so do not feel guilty about asking them to contribute to the success of your treatment program.
Q: How can I identify relationships or financial issues that are creating stress?
A: Stress increases the frequency of migraine attacks. In order to reduce stress, you need to determine what issues are creating problems. Relationships and financial situations are common sources of stress for many people. Monitoring your migraine attacks, tracking them in your migraine diary, and documenting stressful events will help you identify sources of stress. When you are able to determine the sources of your stress, you are better able to formulate a plan to deal with the problem.
Q: Can my home environment cause stress?
A: Yes, your domestic environment certainly can cause stress and trigger a migraine attack. Your home needs to be migraine-friendly. Making sure you have a quiet, comfortable setting to go to when you have a migraine attack is an important aspect of your abortive therapy. Reducing glare and eliminating pungent odors and unnecessary noise will help decrease migraine triggers. Maintaining a home environment that is both relaxing and turmoil-free will go a long way in helping you prevent migraine.
Q: When I listen to the news I become very upset. How can I prevent global issues from causing me overwhelming stress?
A: We live in a time when 24-hour news channels provide us with constant updates on wars, natural disasters, humanitarian crises, and global warming. Obviously, it is important that you stay informed. However, you need to avoid overexposure to stressful news. Therefore, you should limit the amount of time you spend listening to news about events that could upset you. If you are feeling overwhelmed, find someone with whom you can share your concerns, or seek professional help for stress management.
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