Mitigating Triggers You Can’t Control
Jet lag can make the average person feel tired and out of sorts. For those with migraines that fatigue can be the perfect trigger for a headache. Try to sleep on the plane if you can, and allow for a day of catching up with sleep or a good nap. Don’t set a schedule that has you hitting the ground running.
Eating different foods on a completely different and unusual schedule can trigger a migraine. I try to keep things on a normal schedule the first day or two. Avoid trigger foods – watch for things with nitrates like hot dogs, sausages, and other processed meats.
Traveling with children can be stressful and filled with little arguments and moody behavior. My kids seem to have days on vacation when they are amazing and get along perfectly and then there are days their behavior is challenging, loud and I think I will lose my mind.
I try to pack enough down-time activities that there are always quiet options to keep them busy and happy. On the plane they have a backpack of coloring books, small action figures, stickers and paper, books to read, and my husband and I bring our tablets loaded with a movie or two. Don’t forget the ear buds for personal listening.
Too Much Sun
Taking in too much sun can trigger a migraine. I also have lupus, so I must limit my UV exposure in order to prevent the other issues I suffer from, but I have read that people with migraines should limit their time in the sun, wear sunscreen, drink plenty of water and don’t overheat in order to prevent a headache from striking.
Another thing to think about that you can control is your alcohol consumption. A nice drink with an umbrella in it is symbolic of a relaxing vacation, but it can be a big trigger for migraines. Keep consumption in check, drink plenty of water to counteract dehydration, and stop at the first sign of a migraine. Moderation is key to enjoying yourself.
Finally, get plenty of fresh air and exercise throughout your vacation. Try to relax and not worry about a migraine striking. You can only do so much in preventative measures, so cut yourself some slack when it comes to worrying about it. The mission is to make the most of this time and do all you can to make sure it is migraine free, but if one strikes it is OK to take a day to rest. Let go of rigid plans and schedules and go more with how you feel each day of the vacation.
Most of all, don’t let migraines ruin your all your fun and relaxation.