Holiday Headaches by Dr. Nicole
The holidays are supposed to be a time for peace and love, right? While I hope that is the case for you, many people find them to be more of a headache. Luckily, with a little self-care and good planning, you can stop those headaches in their tracks. Some of the most common holiday headaches are caused by the stress we put on ourselves; changing the way we are eating, drinking more alcohol than we should, and lack of restful sleep.
In order to keep the stress at bay, planning is key. Make a list of what you need to accomplish, buy, and cook. In my experience, when life gets crazy-hectic, I tend to have this sense that I am forgetting something. If I have my list, it breaks down the things I need to do into a much more manageable format. When planning your holiday schedule, it’s also important to remember that it’s okay to say no. You don’t have to be responsible for everyone. If you try, you’ll find it diminishes the quality time you actually get to spend with people, and can cause headaches and fatigue triggered by stretching yourself too thin.
Pay attention to what you are eating and drinking. Skipping meals can spur a headache, but at the other end of the spectrum are many holiday and comfort foods laden with sugars, dairy, and other pro-inflammatory ingredients. They may taste great, but you will pay the price in how you feel later. Many headache sufferers have recognized that alcohol can be a headache trigger, particularly red wine. If you do drink, do so in moderation and be sure to drink plenty of water as well. Dehydration can cause headaches. A good rule of thumb is to take your weight divided in half, and drink that many ounces of water each day.
Restful sleep is also important. Sleeping in an awkward position can cause neck problems in the same way bad posture does. Sleep on your back or side. When you sleep on your stomach, you must have your head turned in order to breathe, which creates stress in the muscles. When sleeping, your head should be positioned over your shoulders, just as it is when you are standing. If your pillow is not the proper thickness, there can be pulling and tightening of your muscles. A high-quality pillow can reduce muscle pulling and facilitate a better night's sleep. When you sleep, your body heals and restores itself. Without this, you can’t be the best you.
Sometimes even watching your holiday habits isn’t enough to avoid headaches. Exercise can alleviate them. Movement relaxes tight muscles, increases blood flow, and boosts endorphins, the natural painkillers of your body. Drinking water, as with preventing headaches, can be helpful in relieving them. Another effective treatment is massage therapy, which can do many of the same things as exercise, as well as working out tension that could be contributing to your pain
If you still find yourself struggling with headaches after all of this, we have a supplement that might be able to help. Curcumin is a tumeric-based supplement that functions as an anti-inflammatory. Oftentimes, inflammation is at the root of headaches, and other issues like allergies, and stomach complaints. Whole Life will be offering a 20% discount on Curcumin for the month of December, to help you feel your best for the holiday season. Remember: when we are at our busiest, that’s when it’s the hardest to focus on taking care of ourselves. Don’t forget to take time for yourself. Get adjusted, get a massage, and remember to breathe. The holidays should be pleasant; staying well is the first step to ensuring that they are.