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How to Deal With Migraines at Work

12 Apr. 2022

Being prone to migraines means that you always have to be on your toes. You never know when you’ll have an attack. Coping with migraines can be extremely difficult. But getting migraines at work can be gruesome cause most of the time you can’t find isolation. Migraines can seriously mess up your professional schedule. That’s why people prone to migraines who get attacks during office hours prefer having a flexible schedule.

When a migraine hits you at home you can simply take painkillers, turn down the lights, get into bed, and then wait for it to go away. But, at the office, you have to bear the pain until it’s time to go. The majority of people with migraines can function properly during an attack. It is extremely hard to concentrate on the task at hand when your head is throbbing with unbearable pain. The stigma that surrounds migraine also makes it hard to cope with an attack. It can be hard to explain to your employers and coworkers why you can’t get any work done.

Are you also someone who gets migraine attacks during your work hours? Here are a few tips that will help you deal with a migraine attack at work:

1. Have a Plan 

If you get your migraine attacks during certain hours of the day then it is better to have a plan. Organize your schedule according to it. Prioritize tasks that can’t be put on hold. Try to scratch as many tasks off your to-do list as you can. Also, plan an Uber ride, if you are unable to drive during your attacks. You can also ask someone you trust to take over whenever you are hit by a migraine.

2. Inform Your Boss

Migraine symptoms don’t manifest themselves like cold or fever. They are practically invisible. The person sitting next to you could be having migraine without you knowing it. It is easy to stigmatize something you can’t see. That’s why we often see people writing off migraine as a simple headache.

The best way to deal with such a situation is to inform Human Resources (HR) and your manager. So, whenever you’re hit by an attack you can easily come clean to your boss instead of making excuses. You should also turn in a doctor’s note that explains the complexities of migraine and how it affects your professional performance.

3. Invest Your Time In Stress Management

The main trigger for migraines is usually stress. A usual hectic day at the office is enough to trigger a migraine. Then add on top of it mounds of deadlines and a difficult boss, It can lead to a chronic migraine attack. Some simple stress-management tips and exercise can reduce work-related stress. All it takes is a few tweaks here and there in your routine to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks.

Form habits that help you relieve stress. Here are a few simple tips that work for everyone:

Take 5-Minute Breaks

Take small breaks throughout your working hours to stretch, walk, and meditate. Taking a break unwinds your mind and takes off unnecessary stress.

Break It Down

Instead of taking on a big project all at once, try breaking it down into smaller chunks. The task will seem less daunting and appear to be more manageable.

Learn To Speak Up

If you have any problems at your workplace or any other grievances, discuss them with your manager, HR, or a trustworthy coworker.

Choose Therapy

If your stress seems to be unmanageable, it is better to go to a therapist. Seek advice from a mental health professional instead of trying to cope with it all by yourself.

4.Control Your Triggers

Migraine can be triggered by several stimuli. For instance, bright lights, certain smells, or loud noises. Try to avoid your triggers as much as you can. Talk to your manager about reducing any possible migraine triggers from your workspace. Here are a few tips that will help you avoid possible migraine triggers surrounding you:

Use Dim Lights

Whether it’s your mobile phone, laptop, or any other device, always use it on low-brightness settings. If your workspace has bright lights that may trigger migraine attacks, ask your manager to switch to lights with lower-watt lights.

Opt For Lower Volumes

If you have an office, reduce sensory stimuli by closing the door. If you work in a cubicle then ask your manager to make the walls sound-proof or simply extend the walls upwards. If nothing else works then you can simply wear noise cancelling headphones or ear-plugs.

Avoid Strong Odours

Avoid wearing strong perfumes and ask your co-workers to do the same. If the cleaning crew at your office uses strong-smelling chemicals, ask your manager to have them changed. Also, explain your sensitivity to certain triggers to the HR.

Final Word

Migraines attack not only your body but your whole life. It disrupts your schedule, makes you lose precious time, and sets you back compared to other co-workers. Not to mention, the pain and the auras are so severe that you can’t focus on the task at hand. Most of the time a migraine attack will send you running to your home so that you can wait for it to go away. But, you can reduce the frequency of the attacks by making your environment better for your well-being. And keep yourself prepared for the worst.

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