Last week, I posted a blog bemoaning my increasingly frequent (and increasingly painful) migraine attacks. I mentioned that I was unsure what to do and how to handle a ramped up cycle like the one I’ve been caught in without medication. My readers – kind souls that you are – sent me much-needed words of encouragement, as well as a few helpful tips. They also, it turned out, made me realize that I’ve neglected the majority of my self-care routine for at least a month now. Long enough, it seems, to aggravate my migraines.
Over the years, I’ve created a pretty good migraine-management plan. I try to avoid cheese and soy, keep my caffeine and alcohol intake down to sensible levels, drink at least 12 glasses of water a day, exercise regularly, relax for at least an hour a day, stick to a regular schedule, and get enough sleep. I also take CoQ10, B2, and Magnesium supplements on a daily basis. If I do all of these things consistently, I usually only get waylaid by a full-blown migraine maybe once per week.
For the past four weeks, however, I doubt I’ve done any of those things often enough to be considered “consistently.”
I’ve been working overtime to finish a book that is scheduled to be released in March. I also took on a few extra, time-sensitive projects to pay for the new car my husband and I had to purchase to replace our wrecked one. I’ve also been preparing for a much-needed vacation, which always means a lot of extra hours beforehand. And, my final semester of school started earlier this month. A few mornings of getting up at 4 a.m. to finish a project or meet an important deadline led to a few skipped breakfasts, a couple of missed supplements, and a crazy schedule. Suddenly, I had a migraine, which led to an even crazier schedule. All at once, every good habit I’d established had flown out the window.
I’m glad my readers helped me recognize that I had forgotten what should be my top priority – to treat myself well. I had forgotten that if I don’t take the time to care for myself, then – very quickly – there won’t be any time or any energy for anything. If I don’t take time for me, everyone loses. Thank you all for reminding me of that.
I’m heading off on vacation this week, and when I return I will ensure that I firmly re-establish all of those good habits. I will go to bed and wake up at the same time at least five days a week. I won’t skip meals or dance class, and I will build time for relaxation into my schedule, even if it means getting a little less done that day. I’ll remember to refill – and take – my supplements every morning and every afternoon. Most importantly, I’ll remember to listen to my body and not to push myself further just because I can.
Again, thank you all for the gentle – but much needed – reminder. Someday, I hope to do the same for you.