Self-Care During a Headache

Self-Care During a Headache

When you have a headache coming on, rather than automatically reaching for the medication, try one of these tips first and see if it helps. If you suffer from frequent headaches or migraines, you should seek advice from your healthcare provider.

Go hot and cold

Get the frozen peas out of the freezer, wrap them in a towel and put them on your forehead if you don’t have an ice pack. Keep it there for 15 minutes. Alternatively, a cold shower may relieve the pain. Tension headaches often respond well to heat, so try a heating pad on your neck.

Have a coffee

Or a strong cup of tea if you prefer. If you get it early a dose of caffeine can help to ease the pain of a headache. It also works well in conjunction with over-the-counter pain killers. Don’t go mad though; overdoing caffeine can actually cause headaches.


Yoga, stretches, or deep breathing techniques will help you to chill out if a headache strikes. Breathe into the spot just below your navel, filling your abdomen up with air. Breathe in fully, then let the air go in a long, slow exhalation. Keep practicing until you start to relax.


Rub our temples and the back of your neck gently with the tips of your fingers to see if that helps relieve the headache. You could even add some aromatherapy essential oils - Peppermint oil is often recommended to treat headaches because it contains menthol, a pain reliever and muscle relaxant. Dilute it with a carrier oil (such as olive oil or coconut oil) and apply to your temples, or buy a ready-mixed headache blend.

Try some ginger

Studies have shown that for some people, taking a little ginger works almost as well as prescription migraine meds. Buy a ginger supplement from the health food store or maybe make your own ginger tea and see if that helps.


The last thing you might feel like is exercise but if you can manage it, a brisk walk, swim or bike ride might see off your headache better than pain meds can.


primary article shared with permission, by Gael Wood

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