Living With Migraines

I’ve suffered for migraines since my young teens. And for a while I thought it was just something that everyone gets. We all have headaches, we all have migraines, I just get mine more than other people.

But while most people have had headaches, they don’t know the debilitation of a migraine. When the ONLY way to get rid of the pulsing pain in your head is to take excedrin, put a cold wash cloth on your head, and sleep. And if you can’t do that, then you just have to spend your day with your migraine. All light is sensitive and all noises are louder than usual. You’re probably nauseous and cranky, it feels like someone is stabbing you in the brain. And you have to work through it, because that’s life with migraines.

You know when someone’s had a migraine before when you tell them you have one and they give you the “I’m so sorry” face. You know when someone hasn’t had a migraine before when you tell them you have one and they’re confused as to why a headache has you couch-ridden.

My migraines are stress induced and I’m stressed out…a lot. In college, every hangover wasn’t just accompanied by that dehydrated splitting headache, but a full blown migraine putting pressure on my temples. Every work day that goes south too fast has me laying on the couch as soon as 5pm hits. Any weekend where I had a stressful sleep includes me trying to shake off the migraine all morning long.

Migraines take time out of my day and they’ve definitely kept me from doing some things I’ve wanted to do. Almost every time we travel, I’m graced with a migraine when we land. Which means our first day of the trip is either miserably powering through or sleeping it off.

The people who don’t have them don’t get it, the people who have them get it too much.

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When Stress Becomes Too Much

Do you ever just become one big ball of stress? Like every daily activity just comes with new stresses to add to the old stresses?

I always find these things tend to pop up when I’ve let my guard down and things have been going well for a while. Then all of a sudden things come up at work and your pet gets sick and those big things make you shut down, causing you to stress even more about the little things.

Because now I care that I’ve been eating like crap. And now I can’t sleep well anymore. And I just can’t do anything because the big stresses caused little stress and I am just walking stress at this point.

It almost feels like there is not much you can do. It would be easier to just lay down and nap than face the day. But big problems can be solved, you’ve done it before. And little problems are just that – little.

One step at a time, one problem at a time, and one solution at a time the stress will go away. It won’t happen all at once or overnight, but sooner rather than later things will return to normal. You can’t let stress get the best of you, the more it takes over your life the harder it will be to get rid of.

Enjoy the ride, right?

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What You Don’t Know About Overthinkers

A lot of people say they’re an overthinker, kind of like the way people casually and incorrectly say they have OCD. Like you may think a lot, but do you truly know what an overthinker goes through?

I’m pretty introverted and socially awkward – I have not always been this way, but it’s something I was shaped into as I got older. I’m pretty weird and that was all fine and fun when I was young and then as I got older we were all pressured into being “cooler” and that’s when I think I became my most uncomfortable with myself and started overthinking.

So, I can sort of remember what it was like to not worry about absolutely everything and I have something to compare it to.

What you may not know about overthinkers is we think all the time – but all. the. time. I think when I wake up in the morning, my work gets interrupted in the day by overthinking, my dreams even keep me up at night because my brain doesn’t shut off. And this thinking can keep us from actually doing. Because we play out so many scenarios and think things to death so much that it just stops us in our tracks.

For most of my college career I avoided seriously dating because it put my thinking into overload and caused too much stress. I would break off relationships before they even started because of the panic that overthinking would cause to come over me.

When I have too much to do, I think about it all day. I make lists and lists and can’t focus on the impending doom that’s coming my way.

You may look at someone and say, “oh you just think too much!” But it’s not as simple as meditating in the morning and wiping your thoughts away. Actually, I can’t enjoy meditation or yoga because the thoughts STILL creep in. There are worry warts, dramatic people, perfectionists – and then there are overthinkers whose minds actually never turn off.

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Letting Stress Get The Best Of You

I am a continuously stressed out person. I normally don’t get worked up over small things, but I do get worked up over small things that keep building up higher and higher and I also really feed off other people’s stress. I’m not usually worried until someone else is worried, and when you work at a 9-5 job pretty much everyone is stressed all the time. So now I am stressed all the time.

And it’s really gotten the best of me lately. So much so, I developed an eye twitch for over two weeks – it’s starting to go away for anyone who has been following my complaints on Instagram. I have awfully vivid dreams and don’t sleep well at night. I get migraines that knock me on my butt for hours at a time. All of this from stress and not managing it correctly.

I have things that make me feel happy and organized. I’m a list maker, I plan trips to keep my wanderlust at bay, I have a gratitude journal, I organize my plans far in advance. And yet it still doesn’t seem to be enough in this postgrad world of mine.

I want to put the fun back into life – but even the fun things cause stress now. Everything needs to be scheduled, put in the planner. When unexpected things come up – fun or not so fun – it is a total drain on my energy.

What are your tips for dealing with stress and not letting life weigh too heavily on you? Leave me comments – I always appreciate advice! 🙂

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10 Life Tips That I Almost Never Follow

  1. Overthinking won’t help the situation.
    I can calm my hectic brain by coloring, journaling, cleaning, etc. But I always let overthinking get the best of me.
  2. Always take your PTO as much as possible.
    Take it and use it for something fun. Unfortunately, dentist appointments and car problems often end up being the reasons I take off instead of fun.
  3. Don’t try to drink as much as you did in college.
    The hangovers are real and I am often reminded how little I actually like drinking. You don’t have to keep up with people or get drunk just to have fun.
  4. It’s okay to just do nothing.
    Not every day has to be the most exciting day of your life, no matter how much fomo you feel from seeing others doing fun things on social media.
  5. It’s okay to be alone.
    It’s okay to do things alone, to be single, to need alone time.
  6. Accept help from others.
    I know you want to, but you just can’t do it all on your own.
  7. Meditation or some form of de-stressing works.
    If you know what works for you, then do it. Don’t put things off or completely shut down from stress if you can avoid it.
  8. Helping others can help yourself.
    Sometimes you just get too wrapped up in yourself, helping others may help to clear your head.
  9. There’s always something to be grateful for.
    Even when it doesn’t seem like it, you can be grateful that you just made it to work that day or you have a job or that you’re breathing.
  10. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
    You are not the only person who doesn’t have life figured out, no one has life figured out. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

    hc
    Photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pixx0ne/

 

How Stress Affects Me

We all get stressed in different ways about different things. This can come as a challenge when you are constantly interacting with different people. We have friends, family, relationships, and coworkers who all get stressed about different things and in different ways. Yet, we still have to figure out how to deal with it.

When I get stressed, I kind of shut down. In light stress situations, I used to be able to make lists and do things that cheered my up before everything got too heavy. But when time isn’t on your side, it’s relatively easy to let things get too heavy.

I’ve never been one to communicate well  verbally, even in happy situations. But when I’m stressed, I can barely communicate at all because my brain is chatting to itself constantly. I just don’t take the time to talk to anyone and a lot of my friendships and relationships get impacted by this. I don’t know how to push aside the overthinking to make room for other conversations, whether they are about what I’m stressed about or not.

The challenge to understand how others stress is difficult. Of course we all have our own problems and of course we all want to help our loved ones when they have problems. But how do we juggle it all? It seems possible to some people, but extremely impossible for me.

Leave me a comment about how stress affects you or how you deal with it!

hc
photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sodaniechea/

Visit Your Past, But Don’t Live In It

There are three kinds of people. The people who live in the past, the people who live in the present, and the people who live in the future.

I don’t think many people live in the present. It’s very hard to be completely aware of the moment you’re in when you have years of junk from the past filling your head and years of wants in the future to look ahead to. I applaud the people who live in the present, the ones who are appreciating the life they are currently living.

The people who live in the future face a lot of anxiety because there is so much unknown and they just want to know it all. They have so many desires and so much to work toward that they forget there is a life to be lived right now, in this exact moment.

The people who live in the past tend to ache for something that once was,  but will probably never be again. They get caught up in it and stop moving forward because they’re reaching so far in the past. It hinders them.

It’s fine to revisit your past every once in a while. It’s fine that a song reminds you of your ex boyfriend. It’s fine that a picture reminds you of broken friendships. But don’t dwell on those things – learn from them.

Happy memories as well as sad memories hold lessons that are so important for you to learn. Don’t let anyone tell you to get over it or move on if you’re still learning. But also don’t let yourself get caught up in a moment that you can’t change.

Continue to move forward, but don’t forget your past completely. Visit it, but don’t live in it. If you want something to change, then change it. If some memories are still painful, grow from them. If some things still make you smile, learn how to do that in your present.

There is so much that you have done and so much to be done, but remember to keep those lessons close to your heart to make your present as great as possible. Be grateful and be aware of your life – if you had happiness in the past you can surely have it right now, too.

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