Hello everyone! I’m going to start out this post with an exclamation–I Love Summer! Here’s what I love about the summertime: All of the cold beverages I get to make, such as smoothies, iced tea, and a long cool drink of watermelon water (we’ve just adopted a habit of saving the sweet pink water that collects in the bowls of the cut up melon wedges we eat so much of around here. It’s so good!); getting to eat pounds of fresh fruit, and local berries and veggies every week; how “voluminous” and wavy my hair is in the humidity; getting to work on my favorite farm, and bringing home part of my wages in the form of freshly cut bouquets; watching the wildlife activity in our backyard every day and being constantly inspired by it; lastly, and best of all, I hardly ever get a migraine in the summertime…
…that is what this post is really about–migraines. I don’t know if I’ve ever shared the fact that I get migraines on the blog before, but last week as we were taking this photo shoot, and I was pushing through the pain, I made up my mind to devote this post to talking about that very fact, sharing the few things I do to help me get through a hard day, while staying on top of my commitments and keeping up a good appearance.
That is probably one of the hardest things to do when I have a migraine–dress myself in a nice outfit that makes me feel good. I don’t want it to be too fussy, and I really want it to feel relaxed. I chose my outfit based on these three things: #1 It happened to be the hottest day of the year, however, I would be in air-conditioned comfort for most of the day, but I wore a light top to accommodate the heat whenever I needed to be outside. #2 I need to feel extremely comfortable when my head is throbbing, thus the palazzo pants, and my very simple hairstyle. #3 Even though I wanted to feel comfortable, and believe me, palazzo pants afford you both comfort and style, I still needed something else to tie the outfit together…literally! So I added a gauzy scarf which immediately gave it the quintessential 1930’s look.
I can’t say just how much I love my palazzo pants, and those of you who have bought Brigid’s pattern to make yourself a pair will understand just how wonderful they are. Nevertheless, I have always had a difficult time matching them with my tops… there was always something missing. A belt is what they really needed. Then, one day I suddenly remembered an old vintage photo of a lovely lady wearing a pair of palazzos, only she had finished them off at the waist with a long, streaming sash. It accentuated her waist marvelously, and the two draping tails of the knot only added to the graceful flow of her palazzos. Not long after I had that inspiring moment, I picked up this scarf on one of our shopping trips.
Now how do I combat migraine pain? When I wake up with one, I’ve recently begun to make up a cup of caffeine-packed black tea (a headache remedy I discovered earlier in the year after learning the benefits of caffeine and how it helps with migraines). The caffeine in the tea dilates the blood vessels, releasing a lot of the pressure inside my head. The tea doesn’t always work for me, but it seems like if I catch it early enough, and chug down a mug of black tea, it usually takes it right away. Sometimes it comes back later on in the day when the caffeine has worn off, but I won’t dare drink a glass in the afternoon for fear of not getting to sleep that night. Boosted by the caffeine, I try to do an exercise routine to push my heart rate up enough to get the blood flowing and release more of the pressure in my head. Second to caffeine, I have read that peppermint essential oil is excellent for dealing with inflammation and its cooling effects are very soothing. I tried it out with this last migraine, dropping one or two drops on or near the most painful areas of my head, and then I massaged it in with my fingers. The peppermint took action a few seconds after it was rubbed in, making the area feel cool, and taking a little of the pain away. It was very nice, and it smelled so good! It is NOT a proven remedy for my migraine, but it really does help me combat the ache without me having to resort to a synthetic painkiller.
The days I have a migraine pounding in my head are the days that seem to stretch out the longest; endless you might say. The one comfort I do have though, is if I keep going and use all the energy I have, I’m bound to get a restful night’s sleep and wake up pain free. But it’s getting through the day that is the hardest. When it is like that, I set myself more limits so that I don’t get worked up over something that I’m just not able to accomplish. That is probably the biggest mental boost you can give yourself when you’re not feeling well–just do the best you can on the things that you are able to work on. Otherwise, I am a grumpy mess, and everybody in my family knows to stay clear of me. But you really don’t always want people to stay clear of you when you’re in pain. A lot of the time it is nice to have a word of sympathy or encouragement, but I know I won’t get that if I’m a grump. So, limitations are a good, and not an evil on the hard days.
Aside from all of these remedies, the best thing for me to remember when I have an ache in my head is this: God has given me a challenge, now how am I going to approach it? With prayer, and a lot of patience, which I don’t always have, but I am learning to work on that with each hard day.
How do you combat a migraine?
Do you use essential oils?
What do you like to wear when you are not feeling the best?
Love and blessings,
Jessica, the Eldest Sister & Singer