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What It’s Really Like To Live With Migraines

What It’s Really Like To Live With Migraines

For those who have never experienced a migraine, it is hard to fathom the pain of this intense condition. It is more than just a bad headache, since it can last for days and include light and sound sensitivity, nausea, and vomiting. Television star Marsha Cross and movie star Ben Affleck are two celebrities that have struggled publicly with migraines. Read on to clear up some common misconceptions about this debilitating ailment.

There is no simple test to determine migraines

Unfortunately, there is no medical test to help determine whether an individual does in fact have migraines. Symptoms and a family history are the best indicators that a migraine is the culprit for someone who has been suffering. Even then, it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of a person’s headaches because there are similar conditions such as cluster, sinus, or tension headaches that can exhibit very similar symptoms. It it important for those who might believe that they are suffering from migraines to keep a detailed journal of their symptoms, including frequency and intensity, to share with their medical physician, since every individual case is different.

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There is no such thing as a common frequency for the symptoms

Depending on the individual, the frequency of their migraines can vary greatly — from once a year to once a day. There are numerous factors that can cause an episode, including the weather, certain types of food, the environment, and stress. Individuals who suffer from migraines can usually anticipate what will bring one on and can learn to find ways to avoid or lessen these situations. With the advancement of technology, there are many different applications and websites that are available to help out those who suffer from this illness.

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There is not one pill that works as a cure-all for everyone

Like any other illness, there are various ways to treat a migraine depending on the individual. For smaller migraines, sometimes over-the-counter pain medications will do the trick. For more intense migraines, there are a lot of different prescriptions that can be given. There are also prevention medications that can help migraine suffers ward off any future episodes and help reduce any associated nausea. Also, just because one medication might not seem to work, it is important to keep trying different ones until you find one that works for your specific case.

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More than just Caucasian women suffer from migraines

It is true that Caucasian women more commonly suffer from migraines, but that does not mean everyone else is in the clear. Women of other races have the chance of developing this condition to a lower degree and men have a lesser chance, but it is still possible. It is believed that women are more likely to develop migraines due to hormones. It is also often believed that women who are high-achievers and have type-A personalities are more likely to suffer. However, women of all temperaments can indeed suffer from migraines.

There is no proof that chocolate triggers migraines

It is a common misconception that women who suffer from migraines will bring on an episode by eating chocolate. While this can be true for some women, the opposite can be true as well. Chocolate contains caffeine that can actually help to alleviate the pain of a migraine and some women swear by this sweet treat to cure their head woes. The darker the chocolate, the better, since milk chocolate is not as nutritious as its darker counterpart. There are, of course, common foods that can trigger a migraine, including red wine, aged cheese, and any dishes laden with monosodium glutamate (MSG).

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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