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How I conquer my monthly migraines

Hi my name is Shannon Bird, creator of Birdalamode.com. Birdalamode is a destination for lovers of fashion and for unique lifestyle ideas. I am a mother of two, almost three, former NBA dancer, current model / actor , BYU graduate in Sch...

Here we go again. It starts with spotted vision, usually in just one eye then slowly I can only see purple spots out of both, spinning, and I want to throw up and lie down all at the same time.

Great! Another migraine. These monthly visitors always show up at the most inconvenient time and can really get in the way of my everyday life as a mom if I'm not careful. I'm not the only one who feels that way, The Millennial Migraine Report, commissioned by the makers Excedrin® Migraine, found that 40 percent of millennial migraine sufferers surveyed say that the condition impacts their family life. Being a busy mother of two very little children, and a diagnosed migraine sufferer, I understand that feeling. I can't let my migraines get in the way, I don't have the luxury anymore to call in sick, or call a sub. I have preschool, gymnastics and other life demands that can’t be put on hold.

After suffering for years with these nasty migraines, I've finally figured out a few things about how to manage them and not let them take over my life. In addition to taking an over-the-counter medication I have a few other tricks that help me win the migraine battle.

1. Drink up

I try to drink a lot of water every day, but especially when I feel a migraine coming on. Although the water won't stop a migraine that's already coming, it definitely helps ease the pain some for me. I try to drink at least eight glasses of water daily. If you struggle to get that much water daily, try adding a green juice in the morning. They're great for hydration.

2. Put off the housework

Like I mentioned, having two small kids and a migraine is not easy. Normally their nap time is when I get work done around the house. I learned early on that when the migraines hit, instead of cleaning the house while my children are napping to lie down next to them and nap as well. Look for any opportunity to lie down and rest. According to the Millennial Migraine Report, 62 percent of millennial migraine sufferers surveyed make sure they get enough sleep to help manage their migraines.

3. Switch off the screens

Running my blog, Bird a la Mode, means I spend lots of time in front of my phone and computer writing articles, editing photos and engaging with my readers. I've found that during migraines, I really need to give my eyes a break. I do not use my phone, laptop or watch television. It's a good reminder to disconnect too. And, according to the Millennial Migraine Report, 25 percent of millennial migraine sufferers take a break from their handheld devices to better manage their migraines as well.

4. Find a calming distraction

I've heard some people tap the spot between their eyebrows when migraines come on. For me, a calming distraction is to rub the piece of skin between my pointer finger and my thumb on both sides of my hand for two minutes. This relaxes me and I swear that it helps ease my migraines. I think anything that helps me connect with my breathing helps. Not surprisingly, 34 percent of millennial migraine sufferers surveyed also said that they practice relaxation methods to try to manage their migraines.

Migraines are not friendly visitors, but I have learned how to read the signs so that as soon as I feel them coming on I can shorten their stay and let them know they are not welcome here!

To learn more about migraines and the Millennial Migraine Report visit Excedrin.com/stories.

*Disclosure: This post was sponsored by SheKnows. This article and its survey findings were made possible by Novartis Consumer Health, Inc., the makers of Excedrin® Migraine. Respondents of the survey were diagnosed migraine sufferers. See your doctor for diagnosis of migraines and migraine treatment options.

Photo credit: chad rogers/Flickr
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