Work Politics

7 Ways To Cope With A Migraine At Work 

How to cope with a migraine at work

At times your workload may seem heavier than a truck filled with bricks. Now imagine this while dealing with migraines at work.

No doubt it’ll be extremely painful and can even push you over the edge.

Struggling with migraines at work will affect your productivity, mental health, and even physical health.

Some studies have shown that reduced productivity in addition to medical expenses costs the economy $20 billion a year.

Coping with migraines can pose quite a challenge, especially when you’re in an environment that repeatedly triggers you.

So how can you cope with a migraine at work? Let’s talk about it…

How to cope with a migraine at work

1. Identify Your Triggers

A migraine-prone brain is quite irritable, so you must repeatedly change what it’s used to.

It doesn’t really like change. This is why you must have a stable routine and stick to it.

Sleep, wake, and work at the same time every day. Don’t miss any meals.

Although triggers vary from individual to individual, some common triggers include; overly bright lighting, certain smells, loud noises, etc.

Once you identify what triggers you, do your best to avoid it.

Bearing in mind that you’re in a work environment and there’s only so much you can change, don’t hesitate to speak to your employer or colleagues about your migraine.

If they are the source of any of your triggers, speak to them respectfully and try to come to a consensus so you don’t get triggered and everyone else isn’t inconvenienced.

2. Have Supplies

If you struggle with migraines at work, your office cupboard should have pain relief medications and any other prescribed medication that can help you manage your migraines.

You should also have water and food or snacks.

You have to ensure you’re never parched/dehydrated or hungry, as these can also be a trigger for migraines.

I know sometimes at work things can get a little intense and out of hand, but under no circumstances should you forget to eat.

I’ve found that setting a reminder actually helps, so this is one tip you should incorporate into your work routine if like me you forget to eat.

When stocking up your office cupboard spring for items that’ll give you energy like protein bars and nuts.

You can even spoil yourself and throw some chocolate in there if you wish.

And don’t forget to drink enough water – at least eight cups.

3. Take Time Out To Cope

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) you are allowed to take up to 12 weeks off if you struggle with severe migraines.

Although this leave is unpaid, you are at no risk of losing your job.

This is an option you should consider taking if your migraines at work are overly severe.

Remember health is wealth, so don’t take yours for granted.

4. Get Blue Light Filters

You should either use blue light filter glasses or software. 

The blue light from your devices which you’re constantly staring at can cause migraines.

One reason is that they can screw up your sleep schedule as they affect your circadian rhythm.

Blue light also causes eye strain which will eventually lead to a headache or in this case, a migraine.

5. Keep Stress Levels Low

Let’s be real, work and stress go hand in hand like a moth to a flame.

But what you can’t stop or completely control, you tame, just like a flame.

So while at work you have to try to reduce the amount of stress you face or avoid anything that’ll stress you.

Stress is a big trigger for migraines for some people, so if you’re in this category, try to avoid too much stress.

When things start getting overwhelming, take deep breaths, go outside and listen to something you find calming(low volume).

Try to tune out of your immediate surroundings too, if it’ll help.

If your workplace is inevitably stressful, then you have to ensure your home works as a stress reliever.

So you don’t take that stress and migraine home and then go to work the next day.

6. Take Screen Breaks

I’m sure you’ve probably heard of the 20-20-20 rule which states that for every 20 minutes of screen time, you should stare at an object 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds.

Prolonged screen time can worsen or trigger migraines. But staring at the screen is a key part of work, so you can minimize your screen time by following the 20-20-20 rule.

7. Take Action

The moment you feel you’re about to have a migraine at work, don’t let it become full-blown.

Once you start feeling the symptoms, which vary from person to person don’t wait around for it to get worse.

Put everything previously mentioned to use.

Get a cool quiet corner, drink water, eat, try to relax, and take your pills.

If you don’t feel better after some time, ask for permission to go home or to see a doctor.

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Migraines At Work

Dealing with migraines at work which is a place that is designed to stress can be tricky.

However, with proper planning and execution, you can manage migraines effectively and prevent them from affecting your work.

As I previously said, with proper planning and execution you can manage migraines at work.

So, remember to eat, drink enough water, use blue light-blocking glasses or software, have your pills ready, and don’t hesitate to take a leave when the situation gets out of hand.

Coping with migraines and other work-related issues isn’t easy but it’s easier when you have help.

The NetWerk community has provided resources to help you get the best out of your career.

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About Peace Eke-efeme

Peace is a writer for NetWerk® who believes words hold the greatest power imaginable. Her articles are here to make you the best version of yourself one sentence at a time. Connect with Peace through her website!

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