Lawrence Newman, M.D., FAHS
Director of the Headache Division, NYU Langone Medical Center; American Migraine Association
As the world faces the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, those with chronic illness face additional stressors, like concerns specific to their health or further isolation from friends and family. Stress is a trigger for people living with migraine, which impacts their mental and physical health.
Here are some helpful tips to manage your migraine and live well during the pandemic:
- Maintain a routine: Make an effort to stick to a regular schedule when it comes to diet, hydration, and sleep. Your body needs sleep, and getting a consistent, adequate amount of sleep provides the foundation for healthier living and fewer migraine attacks.
- Find a community: To combat isolation, plan virtual or socially distant meetups with friends and family. Online, create or join a group of people who can understand and relate, like the Move Against Migraine Facebook group, a social network of thousands of people living with migraine.
- Stay active: Poor posture and long periods of inactivity can contribute to an increase in migraine frequency. Carve out time in your day to exercise, even if that simply means light stretching at your desk or a walk between meetings. Not only will breaks help your neck and spine, they’ll help you return to your school or workday feeling refreshed and energized.
- Eat regular, nutritious meals: Fueling your body properly and regularly may improve your symptoms and reduce your risk of a migraine attack. Dehydration can be a trigger, so it’s recommended that you drink 7 to 8 glasses of water a day and limit caffeine containing beverages to two or fewer daily.
- Know you are not alone: Migraine is a debilitating disease that affects more than 39 million Americans and their families. Share your story with your loved ones so they can understand and support you throughout your migraine journey and the pandemic.
Through the pandemic and beyond, the American Migraine Foundation remains dedicated to providing support, education, and comfort to those with migraine and chronic illness. For more information on managing migraine and living well during the pandemic, visit americanmigrainefoundation.org.