When you live with a chronic condition, practicing self-care is not only acceptable, it’s necessary. For people living with migraine, investing time in your emotional and physical well-being can really pay off.
Finding ways to practice self-care can help prevent stress-related flare-ups and can make flare-ups more comfortable when they do occur.
There are so many ways to practice self-care: getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, finding a new hobby that brings you joy. Of course, the main thing to remember about self-care is that it works for you.
It’s important to focus on self-care even when you aren’t in the midst of a flare-up. Finding strategies that work for you when you do feel well can help you develop a self-care toolkit to use at times when you don’t.
Sometimes people worry that taking time to look after their own needs is selfish. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Prioritizing self-care is necessary to feel emotionally and physically well enough to take care of others and fulfill the responsibilities you have.
The Migraine Healthline community understands what it’s like navigating self-care when you live with a chronic condition. Here’s what they had to say.
Find connection through spirituality
“When pain is part of your daily life, you sometimes rely on spiritual things. I drink tea with honey and pray or read the Bible. I remember that I am not alone.” — yaya1018
Listen to music or chat with a loved one
“More often than not, music helps me to feel better. I have a playlist on my phone that is guaranteed (almost) to make me feel lighter.
“I also tend to bake or cook for distraction when my pain is annoying, but not completely debilitating. Chatting with my sister-in-law also helps a lot.” — Eileen Zollinger, Migraine Healthline community guide
Try to escape from your thoughts
“Do anything that takes you out of your thoughts or makes you laugh without trying. Or try something that transports you to another world like a book, movie, or music.
“I’ll sometimes play a game that makes me focus on a very specific task, even something like Tetris.” — Leah
Listen to things that bring comfort during flares
“Listening to a funny show I know by heart really helps me. I listen to it in the dark.” — Mazhira
Think of self-care as a practice
“You have to start small and set small goals. Set one positive goal a week, try to make that goal. If you don’t do it, try again… one day at a time. That’s what I’m doing. Things are coming together slowly and that is OK.” — Hippie4
The bottom line
Taking care of your own needs is essential, especially if you live with a chronic condition like migraine. The first step in practicing self-care is recognizing your needs.
Sometimes self-care may mean curling up with a great book or taking a hot bath. Other days, self-care may mean finding time to catch up with a friend. Just as your needs change on a day-to-day basis, so will your self-care practice.
The Migraine Healthline community knows firsthand what it’s like navigating self-care when living with migraine.
Whether you are looking for treatment tips, emotional support, or just great conversations, the community is here for you.