Well living with chronic migraines is a tough scenario for anyone. Anyone who has never had a migraine, let alone have them often, should feel fucking BLESSED! Like for real! Migraine pressure is so terrible.
Think throbbing pain. Pulsating pain. Traveling pain. Pain that will last for hours. Pain that can cause vertigo or black-outs. Pain that no one understands unless they also have had migraines or tells you just to ‘suck it up’ like it’s as easy as turning an off switch (hint, it’s really never that easy!). And perhaps the lack of empathy, the feeling of letting others down because you’re stuck in bed is the greatest pain of them all.
But for a writer or a creative, the ability to not create due to such intense pain is very difficult.
So here’s some tips the next time pain or illness has you down and your creative juices stuck on the off switch.
1. Assess the pain:
This might sound like a strange one, but it’s sometimes hard to tell if one is actually having a migraine. This is because there are different kinds of headaches, and not all are created equal! If it’s simply a headache (which is no picnic either!) chances are, it’ll go away on its own. Try taking an allergy medicine, getting some caffeine or simply not thinking about the pain sometimes helps even though it is hard not to think about the agony of the pain when the state of pain is strong.
Also think about WHERE the pain is because there are some puncture point proceduresyou can do yourself to clear some of the pain away. Check out this video here:
2. Try the Old-Fashioned Remedies before Calling Quits:
- Drink a couple glasses of water in case the pain is really from dehydration
- Strong Cup of Tea or Coffee
- Research some diffuse oils like peppermint or eucalyptus oil
- Take an EXTRA HOT STEAMING shower, steam has been scientifically proven to aid sinus pressure and headaches
- Take a hot bath with stress relief bath salts
- Rub your temples and pressure points (see video above)
- Try over the counter pills that actually have the word ‘migraine’ on the label
- Try roll-on pain relievers like these on Amazon
- Write down when you are experiencing the pain and describe the pain, also write down what you recently ate or if you’re under a lot of stress to help identify triggers
- Try to relocate to a dark, cool environment if you can
- Listen to soothing music
- Meditating sometimes helps at least feel mentally better about the pain
- Have a good cry; sometimes giving into emotions helps move on from the stress of being in pain
3. See a Doctor:
It’s a good idea to see a doctor and see if it’s something as minor as allergies or double check that it’s not something even more major than a migraine might be an identifier of a more serious problem.
Also be sure to tell the doctor how often you are having migraines, and see if there is a prescription they recommend.
They could also be able to tell you if you have to make any lifestyle changes that could be a leading cause of your migraines.
Important also is to tell your doctor if any foods are a trigger for migraine such as high sodium foods or MSG / highly processed foods.
Also see an allergist make sure there is nothing in your normal environment that could be triggering (like pets, pollen, etc.) This could help PREVENT migraines in the future if you can NARROW DOWN what the triggers are.
Some people swear by Chiropractors and see them often to help prevent a migraine. Massage Therapy also helps relieve tension spots that help relieve the pain of a migraine.
An Ear-Nose-Throat doctor, or ENT, can help determine if the migraines are allergy or sinus related. After I had sinus surgery back in high school, I stopped having migraines so frequently (like, once a day!) but your ENT will let you know if sinus surgery is necessary.
Everyone has different triggers. For me, triggers include stress and second-hand cigarette smoke and sometimes some foods can as well. But be careful, just because salt is a trigger for your friend, doesn’t mean it is the same for you. An allergist can help identify and so can recording in a health journal when and where your migraines occur.
Knowing what triggers your migraines can help prevent them!
4. Allow Yourself a Day Off:
This might be the most difficult bit of advice for some people. Because we spend so much time glorifying the HUSTLE HARD lifestyle as a working creative we forget to RECHARGE our human mind and body, and sometimes our bodies just say ENOUGH or I CAN’T EVEN!
“Patients with migraine instinctively seek out a dark, quiet environment in which they can go to sleep for at least a few hours,” Rozental says. “Sleep frequently diminishes or eliminates the pain.”
So go ahead. Take the sick day. Sit back and relax in bed. And try not to feel too guilty about it.
For me, I felt incredibly guilty about how I spent the weekend – which was sleeping all day Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday. I felt like I disappointed the friends I was supposed to meet, and myself for the lack of productivity.
But sometimes we have to let go to move forward, and rest to move on. Migraines are one of those times, because in my experience with them lots of water and lots of rest is the best cure.
5. Rest the Mind:
Creatives are lucky because we don’t always have to be working to be working. That is, when we rest, we often get inspired. And that inspiration can fuel us for a later project!
So go ahead and rest without guilt.
Think of rest as harvesting inspiration 🙂
And even if you don’t feel inspired, that’s all right. Even creatives need a day off once in a while!
6. Can’t Sleep? TRY To Be Creative Anyway:
Being creative, especially writing, you can pretend to be a different person … like your character. You can pretend that because your character is not you, that you can be like your character and not experience the pain you perceive feel.
Might sound like a little crazy, but with a little imagination, it might just imagine the pain away!
At least until you remember the pain that urged you to write in the first place 😉
There’s Always Tomorrow!
Don’t be like MacBeth and dread the morning. Embrace the morrow with ambition and motivation to get better soon!
“There would have been a time for such a word.Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,Creeps in this petty pace from day to dayTo the last syllable of recorded time,And all our yesterdays have lighted foolsThe way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor playerThat struts and frets his hour upon the stageAnd then is heard no more. It is a taleTold by an idiot, full of sound and fury,Signifying nothing.”
~William ShakepeareMacBeth Act 5 Scene 5
So a migraine knocked you out for the day. Your friends and family SHOULD be understanding and your characters will totally understand.
A migraine might knock out the best of us, but it can’t keep a good writer down for long!
So go ahead. Tell the pain to SUCK IT. Tell the pain it might take today, but it’ll never take your creativity!
Yeah this might have gotten a little deep at the end but it’s true. Don’t let a bad day ruin your creative stint! Just make up for it when you feel better 🙂
And if you yourSELF can’t be creative, maybe try and inspire someone else who can.
If you’re having a bad day, try and cheer someone else who can have an even better day. Even if the pain will make you feel like you suck as a creative, the day won’t feel like a total waste if you can make someone else smile or feel inspired!
So got any MIGRAINE TIPS of your own? Share in the comments to save a
life creative day!