Living with migraines – tips and tricks I learnt along the way

In September I have shared my migraine story and the latest research I came across and found rather interesting. I also mentioned I’ll do a separate post on what kind of tips and tricks I discovered while battling yet another attack. Or which ones didn’t do anything for me at all. Well let’s see what I have learnt so far.

craftaliciousme seeking creative life living with maigrains tips and tricks

When you suffer from migraines you most likely know all the common things about battling an attack. Some may help but some may not. While you never really manage to avoid it, it may help with some of the symptoms.
Here are a few tricks and tips I figured out to get through an attack. Maybe they will be helpful for you too:

Become a detective

First of you should definitely start tracking your migraines or headaches. Either have a cute notebook or use an app but take the time to write it down. You’ll see patterns and you see re-occuring situations. Once you have a bit of data you will get a chance to understand your individual migraine and how to handle it. If you look for tools check out part I in this series.

Secondly you might read up on some studies. For me that was helpful in realizing and accepting this is a real disease. It’s not something I made up I my had because I didn’t want to be bothered by people. It’s nothing to be ashamed off when having a migraine and not functioning.

Reduce Stimuli

As I have mentioned in the previous post the brain is overheating with too many stimuli. So easiest to do to have the brain recover – give it a break. This could be by staying in a dark room or wearing sunglasses (even in the office – yes I have done that!)

Also helpful is to reduce noise. Wear earplugs or put on headphone with music that is soothing to you. By drowning out background noise your brain only has to focus on one sound. This is something I often do as it is a huge trigger for me.

The perfect way to shut down your brain is sleep off the attack. This one is actually working well. However I could only start doing this once I was self employed. Being an employee I often had to be in the office at certain times so it was not possible. However if you get the chance to get in on your own time, taking two more hours to kill the attack when its starting will have a huge impact . Most of all though don’t feel guilty – it’s very counter productive and yes I am speaking from experience.

Foods

This one is a big part for me. Not only did I analyze more triggers in food that I care for (sugar, wine, etc….) I also realized that I am craving certain foods and dishes when being within an attack. Here is a list of all time favorite migraine foods:

  • Dark bread with butter and salt
  • Rise bowls
  • Spaghetti aglio olio
  • Spaghetti with tuna and capers
  • Fried potatoes or French fries
  • Salted popcorn
  • Oranges
  • Salted cucumber
  • Mainly vegetarian dishes

As you can see high on calories and minerals. I’ve read somewhere (unfortunately don’t know where) that your body holds too much acid when a migraine attack takes place. To reduce the acid the body needs salt to level back to normal acid-base-balance. For me this seems true with all the foods I am craving. Also the nerv cells can only use carbs as energy supply. I found this helpful list (in German) for recommended and not recommended food for migraineurs.

Lately I have heard that magnesium supplements can help reducing migraines as 20% if patients have a deficit.. I have not done that but am intrigued. I will discuss this with my neurologist and hear her thoughts. Do you have any experience with that?

Physical Exercise

Some people are not able to move during an attack. And believe me I know those days. On other occasion however I felt it comforting to do a bit of yoga to get rid or at least minimize the pain. Also helping is taking a walk – preferably in nature with as quiet as possible. The fresh air also helps. If that’s not possible at least open a window or sit on the porch or balcony.

Professional opinion is that you should learn the art of progressive muscle relaxation. I am not patient enough to do this (starting with arms, and legs and toes…) and trying doing it was counter productive to me. I was getting aggressive by the slowness of the progress. But give it a try. However I use parts of the method to mindfully relaxing my neck muscles when I have an attack. I can even hear the muscles crackle when relaxing. Does anyone else has that experience?

Another strong recommendation by professionals is to start doing some sort of endurance exercise to prevent and minimize attacks. Again, I am not big into that. Or maybe my pain is not strong enough yet… This is definitely a part I am struggling with. But I have a lifetime to work on it I guess.

Medication

Yes you need medication. In the early years I always thought I can just bear this attack without pills. I didn’t want to take to many so I rationed myself. This is so wrong! Seriously if you are on triptans it is better to take them as early as possible when a migraine is sending it’s signals. If you are not sure check out this app the have a questionnaire integrated to help you. However if you are using ibuprofen or aspirin it’s another story. For example with ibuprofen you shouldn’t take more than 10 pills a months and never more than 3 days in a row. My experience now even tells me what kind of medication would be best for this attack. Sometimes I use the triptans and other ibuprofen. My doctor even told me I could mix the too if one doesn’t work as they are working differently. (Please check with your doctor if you do that because every medication is different and what works for me can not be adapted!)

Mindset

It’s all in your head – quite literally. Once you accept you’ll live with a migraine it becomes easier. No more guilt of missed get-togethers, low work performance and unhealthy food choices. You can not control a migraine and if you work against it it will control you. It really is true. When I pity myself and believe the entire universe in conspiring against me the migraine dances in my head. If I decide to not give it a second thought and try to get on with my life it isn’t that bad.

I hope you could find some helpful nuggets here. I would love to hear what you are doing to live with your migraines. Please share in the comment so we all have a good list of tips and tricks.

Painless day to you

Tobia

MY FAVORITE INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS – 2019 Edition

It’s been a while since I shared my favorite Instagram accounts. Let’s be honest we are all spending enough time there already but there is just so much inspiration and beauty. You just need to find it. Today I feel like sharing my current favorite accounts with you:

Ricky Guevarra | ricky_guevarry
He writes the most wonderful love letters in a square, thoughts and poems. It’s truly a blessing when they pop up in my feed. Go read it it will give you smiles and food for thought.

Sabine Scheer |sabine.scheer
I try to improve in my product shooting and this account is very inspiring for me. So many great ideas and lovely execution. I would start an internship there in a heartbeat.

Carina Hagen | fictionfaery
I think one of the first bookstagrams I started following. Wonderful feed and every images oozes coziness. Also a plus she is from Norway and I do have thing for the colder regions.

Sylvie Bonne | bonnesilvie
I connected with Silvia through this years 100 Day project. Hers was walking all streeets of NYC and you truly got to discover the city. Now she moved to Berlin and it’s even more fun seeing my city through her eyes. One of those days we also meet for coffee.

Warren Keenan | warrenkeelan
He takes the most gorgeous ocean images you can imagine. They look like silk and the colors… I am seriously considering getting myself an image – I just wished I had a huge space to put it because I believe those images need room to breath.

Stephanie Hühllmann | stephaniehuellmann
Amazing art made of natural ingredients like rice corns or flower seeds. Truly mesmerizing and I always wonder how that art holds together.

Andrea David | filmtourismus
Ever wondered where a certain movie scene was shot? Look no more! Just follow Andrea and you will be amazed.

Birgit Fazit | zeit_statt_zeug
Working hard on minimizing my clutter – this account helps (only in German though). Little challenges throughout the year and a good reminder on what needs to be looked at.

Niilo Isotalo | niiloi
Ever since my honeymoon a piece of my heart is still in Finland. Niilo is supplying lots of images and I am really amazed by his beautiful nature images.

Nicole Baumann | golden_freckles
Colorful und fun art with everyday objects. I have met Nicole at my last Blogst outing and she is such a sweet person. She also just started being self-employed. Really fun are her “Mitmachen-Instagram-Story” prompt where she gives one object and e everyone is invited to create with her.

I know it is quite a few photography accounts but I love looking at images that make me feel good. Now drop one account you love looking at. You can never get too much inspiration and pretty things to look at.

Happy scrolling

Tobia

10 things you don’t know about me :: part v

Today marks the start of yet another attempt in doing a whole months of blogging. Also known as NaBloPoMo. It will be my third time doing it (read about 2017 and 2018). It’s always fun to come across new blogs, engage more and spent more time writing. So if you want to join let me know. And as tradition has it I kick of my NaBloPo month with a fun post about 10 things you don’t know about me. Here we go:

1. I am voice conscious

Meaning if I can’t listen to a voice I can not bear to be in it’s vicinity – if I can help it. It makes me aggressive and unpleasant to be a round. This is one reason why I never watched Sex in the City. For the life of me I can not listen to Sarah Jessica Parker. Same thing with Meredith from Grey’s Anatomy. Also a couple podcast are just not for me even though the content would be so interesting.

2. I fell off a chair lift

Unfortunately this is no joke. It was my second or third year skiing and the first time using a chairlift. Before that I’ve only used platter lifts. I was nervous how to get on or even off. So was my mom who was riding with me. I ended up only sitting on the edge and once the ascent started I was lifted of the ground , well I dropped. It was already high like two or three meters. Lucky for me there was a snow pile so it was a soft landing. But it took me a couple years to give it another try. Later on I managed to take chairlifts with a snowboard. So I guess no matter how deep you fall always get a back up.

3. I always open my mail right away

Most likely you’ll find me ripping open envelopes while walking up to my apartment. Unless it’s some very important mail. Like a letter from a person and I really want to have time reading. The other thing I don’t open is invoice mail that arrives monthly. Other then that I need to know what it says right away. Curious much… Might be!

4. I can’t wear beanies, hats or such things

While I often love the look unfortunately I always look like I am just coming from chemotherapy. However I do look pretty good with glasses – don’t need any though.

5. I find everything with zombies rather annoying

Once I realize a movie has zombies in I am bored. It’s just stupid. I find aliens much more believable. Or any sort of super hero, wizard or magical creature. Or vampires – well you could argue they are some sort of zombies … but at least they usually look good.

6. I snuggle my hot water bottle most nights

Yep, true thing. I actually have scars from hugging it too tight and burning myself during the night. But it’s so cozy and warm…

7. I  have never stayed in a hospital.

Lucky me I’ve never needed to stay in a hospital over night. Not saying I haven’t spent a night in a hospital but it was sitting beside a bed. I honestly hope I didn’t jinx it by writing it down.

8. I only eat salted popcorn

There used to be a time when I had no idea salty popcorn excists. That was pre-1999. Then I took a trip to the U.S. to spent an exchange year. First time having popcorn I was utterly confused as it was salty. After the initial shock of not eating what you expect I never went back to sugared popcorn. Unfortunately it still isn’t much common in Germany.

9. I recognize people by their hair

I guess everyone has some sort of key features to differentiate people when meeting them for the first time. For me it’s hair. I usually know how it looks and what style it was. So when we would meet a second time and in between a color change happened or just ponytail to open style … uhhh I might not recognize you again. Sorry…

10. I don’t peel potatoes

I remember a lunch with my grandparents and my grandma didn’t take of the peel from her potatoes. When I asked her why she explained you could eat it and during the time of war they always did. So for me it was a challenge to give it a try. I was pre-school back then I think. I believed I did something cool by not peeling them anymore. Ever since then I resist peeling potatoes. It’s just boring and such a waste of time. And it really doesn’t taste that different.

Well, that’s it for this year. If you liked this kind of post you might be interested to read part I, part II, part III and part IV version of this post. I’d also love to hear one fun fact about you in the comments. Looking forward meeting you.

Cheers

Tobia

VIRTUAL COFFEE DATE | OCTOBER

Fall is most definitely here. I can not only tell by cooler temperatures but also in my increase of consumed hot beverages. Double cup of coffee in the mornings followed by many cups of tea. So it’s the perfect time to meet up for coffee and have a chat.

If you and I were sipping coffee I’d…
tell you all about my recent trip to Venice. It was my birthday present for Mr. ♡ birthday and I am so glad this city has been on his travel list. It is gorgeous and I immediately fell in love. Every corner is so photogenic and I had a hard time not making this into a photo trip. I think I need to come back with more time and plans. Are you interested in me sharing a separate post?

If you and I were sipping coffee I’d…
wonder what you think of this thought my dad recently shared with me.
He believes that within the next 50 years books will be one of the great investments and take over gold and silver. Books are currently not on demand and e-books are the go to. So in a couple of years when resources are even tighter than today books are no longer a production priority and will become more expensive. This did make me think as I am currently in the habit to sell and donate all books and only keep very special ones. But I fear he might be close to the truth. What do you think?

If you and I were sipping coffee I’d…
ask if you are also cultivating the habit of keeping seasonal bucket lists. And then I would share my fall bucket list with you. I like having those three months lists. Often times I have so many plans but kinda loose track. With those lists I keep myself accountable.

If you and I were sipping coffee I’d…
share that I have recently landed a new freelance project which will be lasting until end of February. I am really excited for that opportunity and look forward starting on October 17th. It will be a great learning experience and perfect for the portfolio I am building. I’d also share that it seems like that now that I am busy again with work a lot more projects are finding the way to me which I now have to decline. Why is it always like that?

If you and I were sipping coffee I’d…
admit that it’s been almost a year last time I went to a hairdresser. But I finally managed yesterday. I always have a hard time telling them what I want because all the looks and hair colors I’d want seem never to work out because my hair is just weird. I would prefer if they had some suggestions and not be scared. I usually tell them I am flexible and open for trying stuff but most likely they will end up suggesting some blond shade and a layered cut. I wonder if they don’t believe in my offer to go crazy or if nothing else look good with my face. What are your hairdresser stories and routines? I’d really love to hear more.

If you and I were sipping coffee I’d…
seek your advice in how to improve my writing skills. I have this urge to get better and enhance the way I write. I’ve read a couple books about storytelling and writing but for some reason it didn’t really do much. Most of the tips I have heard before it’s more like how could I implement when writing and how would I know if it gotten any better?

Now that we have chatting and sipped our coffee I’d suggest we get another cup to go and walk around the park a bit. The light is always so magical this time of year when it dances in the foliage of the colorful trees. And while we stroll I would listen to all the things happening lately in your life. When we part ways we still have lots to talk about so we agree to meet next month.

Tobia

This is a monthly get-together hosted by Lecy. Go read others chats.

Hello Fall – My Fall Bucket List 2019

Fall is finally here. I have much looked forward to this season as summer was really tough this year being prone to migraines. Just not a huge fan of those hot temperatures and high humidity. So I welcome this season with a new fall bucket list. But as always before getting started with new goals, dreams and wishes let’s have a look at the summer list:

  1. ✓ Spending some more time strolling along Berlins lakes and canals. → We went for some visits at Wannsee, Tegler See and walked around Alt Stralau. So yes.
  2. ✓ Enjoy the balcony to the fullest. → definitely did this. I even managed to keep my plants alive during this heatwave of summer.
  3. Taking a photo trip to a part of Berlin I haven’t yet been or wasn’t for long time.
  4. ✓ Going to two school enrollment ceremonies. → Yes and I even made some Zuckertüten (aka candy cones) for all kids.
  5. ✓ Celebrating Mr. ♡ milestone birthday. → It was a good birthday. Even though he felt sick on his birthday we had a ice cream party and a week later a wonderful dinner with friends and family.
  6. ╳ Finishing #the100daysofcraftaliciousimages project. → still working on it. Currently 31 days to go.
  7. ✓ Sewing summer clothes. → I managed to sew two shirts, have another one ready to stitch together and a short pants (that unfortunately doesn’t fit because I thought I was smarter than the instructions…)
  8. ✓ Making some more jewelry. → I made some lovely birch wood jewelry. Also thinking about selling a few.
  9. ✓ Spa Day with myself → It was wonderful to finally spent a day relaxing.
  10. ╳ Baking from a new recipe → nope… only staples
  11. ╳ Go swimming. → unfortunately not but I came close. I was at a lake and went almost skinny dipping because I had no swim suite. But I chickened out because I didn’t want to leave car keys and camera unattended.
  12. ╳ Eat lots of veggies. → huge fail here. Less veggies more chocolate and cake.
craftaliciousme seeking creative life fall foliage with sprinkler Berlin

Summer you have been other than expected but still great. But now it’s time to move on. For me fall starts with my moms birthday which happens to fall on the official fall start – tomorrow. Here is my fall list I’ve compiled for this season:

  1. Finishing #the100daysofcraftaliciousimages project.
    As mentioned still 31 days to go. I will get this done. However I need to make adjustments for next year.
  2. Participating in #inktober
    I feel like drawing and sketching and I always am more into it when doing a challenge. However I might be putting too much on my plate here.
  3. Participating in #NaBloPoMO again
    Always fun to spent more time on this blog and this would be year four to have a full blogging month.
  4. Sew a pencil skirt
    I have this blue textured fabric and I have a pattern in mind. Just need to sit down and do it.
  5. Baking pumpkin muffins
    They have been a favorite 20 years ago and I haven’t had one in ages. It’s bit more effort since there is no pumkinpie filling available in Germany and you have to make that from scratch.
  6. Take walks and enjoy the changing season.
    My steps have decreased during summer and the heatwave- time to pick it up again. And I love the fall light dancing in the colorful trees.
  7. Sell stuff on eBay
    Lots of things have accumulated again and it’s time to put some effort into finding them a new home. I am going to dissolve my extensive dvd collection.
  8. Read Dracula
    This book is my TBR for too long. Around Halloween I’ll will finally start reading it.
  9. Spending a weekend in Venice
    Longtime dream to visit Venice will come true this fall. Plane and hotel is booked. Now just to figure out what to see.
  10. Getting cozy
    I am looking forward to sitting by my (digital) fireplace, reading, having hot drinks and just be happy and content.
  11. Getting started on xmas presents
    Every year I feel like I should have listened to people when they tell me of things they like so once Christmas comes around I am not lost of ideas. I want to make an effort to already collecting ideas throughout fall. Maybe I’ll have good clues at hand when it gets time to buy things.

I am looking forward to the season. Have you written a fall list too? Please share your ideas. And if need more ideas check out last years list.

Happy leave hunting

Tobia