A migraine during the workday can make things more difficult to deal with. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, over 90 percent of those with migraine are either not able to work or function normally when one occurs (O’Donnell, 2018). However, there are several things you can do to better manage your symptoms while at work. Consider trying these tips to improve workplace migraine:
- Stay hydrated and take breaks – Setup an alert on your phone to remind you to get up and take a brief walk and refill your cup of water every hour. By establishing a routine of moving around each hour and drinking plenty of water, you will be able to give yourself a break from the strain of sitting in front of your computer monitor for prolonged periods of time. This helps to relieve stress and may help you think clearer.
- Take your migraine medicine as reviewed with your doctor or health professional as soon as you feel an attack coming – Always keep your medication on hand and take it once you begin to feel the onset of your migraine symptoms. The earlier you take your medicine, the more effective it will be a relieving your migraine symptoms. Doing this properly may mean you are able to function at work, rather than having to go home due to more painful symptoms.
- Lighting adjustment – The type of lighting in your office or work environment can have a role in triggering migraine attacks. It is best to avoid fluorescent lights, as they can set off a migraine. Optimal types of lighting are incandescent or LED, as these are the least likely to trigger a migraine. If this isn’t an option for you, try to do what you can to dim or turn off nearby lights, such as at your desk or in your immediate vicinity. Dimming your computer monitor can also be helpful (O’Donnell, 2018).
- Talk with your boss – Discuss common migraine triggers in your office environment with your boss, as he or she may be able to make accommodations for you. Starting this conversation with your supervisor or someone in human resources can help reassure them that even if you need to take time off from your work until your migraine goes away, you will still be able to address your work duties and continue to meet expectations.
By taking a proactive approach at your workplace to mitigate your migraine symptoms, you will be more likely to function at work during your attacks. As a result, this can reduce stress, improve symptoms, and make you feel better throughout your workday. Even if symptoms are too severe for you to be able to work, having a dialogue with your supervisor will bring about an understanding of your migraine attacks. In turn, this can promote an ideal work environment that is responsive to your needs.
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O’Donnell, E. (2018). WebMD Focus on Migraine [Pamphlet]. WebMD LLC.