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How to Cope with Migraine at Work: Strategies for Success

How to Cope with Migraine at Work: Strategies for Success

Kent Yoshimura -

Migraines can be a debilitating and painful condition that can disrupt your daily routine, including your work life. It can be difficult to manage your responsibilities when your head is pounding and your vision is blurred. However, with the right coping strategies, you can learn to manage your migraine symptoms and succeed in your professional life. In this article, we will explore some effective strategies for coping with migraines at work, including tips for prevention, management, and communication with your colleagues. Whether you experience occasional migraines or they are a regular occurrence, these strategies will help you maintain your productivity, achieve your goals, and feel your best. So, if you're ready to take control of your migraine symptoms and thrive in your workplace, keep reading!


Be open with your employer

    If you suffer from migraines, it's important to be open and honest with your employer about your condition. While it can be difficult to discuss personal health issues in the workplace, being upfront about your needs can help you better manage your symptoms and achieve success in your career.

    One of the first steps you can take is to inform your employer about your migraines and how they affect your work. This can include sharing information about your triggers, symptoms, and any necessary accommodations you may require. For example, if you need to take frequent breaks or work from a dimly lit space, be sure to communicate this to your employer.

    Another key aspect of managing migraines at work is ensuring that you have access to the resources and support you need. This could include providing medical documentation, consulting with a healthcare professional, or working with your employer to develop a migraine management plan. By being transparent about your needs, you can work with your employer to find the best solutions for you.

    While it can be challenging to discuss migraines with your employer, remember that you have legal rights to reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Your employer is required to make reasonable accommodations to allow you to perform your job, as long as it does not create an undue burden on the company.

    Ultimately, being open with your employer about your migraines can help you to better manage your symptoms and succeed in your career. With the right support and accommodations, you can continue to perform your job at a high level while minimizing the impact of your migraines on your work life.


    Take breaks

    Taking breaks is an essential part of managing migraines at work. Migraines can be triggered or worsened by stress, lack of sleep, dehydration, and other factors that are common in the workplace. By taking regular breaks, you can reduce your stress levels and give yourself time to rest, recharge, and manage your symptoms.

    It's important to note that breaks don't have to be long or frequent to be effective. Even short, five-minute breaks can help you to refresh your mind and body, reduce your stress levels, and prevent your migraines from becoming more severe. This could include taking a walk, doing some gentle stretching, or simply taking a few deep breaths.

    Another way to incorporate breaks into your workday is by practicing the 20-20-20 rule. This involves taking a 20-second break every 20 minutes to look away from your screen and focus on something at least 20 feet away. This can help to reduce eye strain, which is a common trigger for migraines.

    When it comes to taking breaks, communication with your employer is key. Be sure to discuss your needs and concerns with your employer so that they can help you to create a schedule or routine that allows for regular breaks. If possible, try to schedule your breaks around your migraine symptoms, such as taking a break before your migraine is triggered or during the onset of your symptoms.

    In addition to taking breaks, it's important to prioritize self-care practices outside of work as well. This could include getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, and managing stress through activities like yoga or meditation.

    By taking breaks and prioritizing self-care practices, you can better manage your migraines at work and maintain your productivity and well-being. Remember that taking care of yourself is essential to success in both your personal and professional life.


    Create a migraine management plan

      Creating a migraine management plan can be a useful tool for managing your migraines at work. A management plan is a personalized approach to managing your migraine symptoms that can help you to identify triggers, establish coping strategies, and prevent or reduce the severity of your migraines.

      To create a migraine management plan, you can start by identifying your triggers. This could include factors such as stress, lack of sleep, certain foods or beverages, and changes in weather or lighting. By identifying your triggers, you can take steps to avoid or minimize their impact on your work life.

      Next, you can establish a set of coping strategies that work for you. This could include taking regular breaks, practicing relaxation techniques, using over-the-counter or prescription medication, or seeking out alternative treatments such as acupuncture or massage. It's important to identify coping strategies that are realistic and feasible for your work environment and schedule.

      Another important component of a migraine management plan is communication. Talk to your employer, coworkers, and healthcare provider about your needs and concerns related to managing your migraines at work. This can help to ensure that you have the resources and support you need to effectively manage your symptoms.

      Finally, it's important to regularly review and update your migraine management plan. This can help you to identify what works and what doesn't, and make adjustments as needed. Keep track of your migraine patterns, symptoms, and coping strategies to help inform your plan and make improvements over time.

      Overall, creating a migraine management plan can be a helpful tool for managing your migraines at work. By identifying triggers, establishing coping strategies, communicating with others, and regularly reviewing your plan, you can better manage your symptoms and maintain your productivity and well-being.


      Use technology to your advantage

        Using technology to your advantage can be a helpful strategy for managing your migraines at work. There are a variety of apps and tools available that can help you to track your symptoms, manage your triggers, and stay organized and productive throughout the workday.

        One useful tool for managing migraines is a headache diary app. This type of app allows you to track your symptoms, triggers, and treatments, and can provide valuable data to help you identify patterns and improve your management strategies. Some examples of headache diary apps include Migraine Buddy, Migraine Coach, and Headache Diary.

        Another helpful technology tool is blue light filter software. Blue light, which is emitted by computer and smartphone screens, can trigger migraines for some people. Using a blue light filter can help to reduce the impact of screen time on your migraines. There are a variety of blue light filter apps and software available, such as f.lux and Night Shift.

        If your migraines are triggered by noise, using noise-cancelling headphones can also be an effective strategy. These headphones can help to block out background noise and provide a quieter and more peaceful work environment. You can also use white noise apps or sound machines to create a more soothing environment.

        Finally, it's important to prioritize ergonomic practices when using technology at work. This could include using an ergonomic keyboard or mouse, adjusting your monitor height and angle, and taking frequent breaks to stretch and move your body.

        By using technology to your advantage, you can better manage your migraines and improve your productivity and well-being at work. Whether it's tracking your symptoms, reducing screen time, or creating a more comfortable work environment, there are a variety of tools and strategies available to help you succeed.


        Manage your stress

          Managing stress and migraine at work can be challenging, but with the right strategies, it's possible to alleviate symptoms and maintain productivity. Here are some tips to help manage stress and migraine at work:

          1. Practice relaxation techniques: Deep breathing, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation are all effective techniques for managing stress and reducing migraine symptoms. Take a few minutes to practice these techniques throughout the day, especially when you feel overwhelmed.

          2. Create a migraine-friendly work environment: Bright lights, loud noises, and strong smells can trigger migraines. If possible, adjust your work environment to reduce these triggers. For example, use a white noise machine to block out noise, wear earplugs, and use a glare screen for your computer.

          3. Prioritize your workload: Stress can trigger migraines, so it's important to prioritize your workload to reduce stress levels. Make a to-do list and tackle the most important tasks first. If you're feeling overwhelmed, don't be afraid to ask for help or delegate tasks.

          4. Take breaks: Taking regular breaks throughout the day can help reduce stress and prevent migraines. Take a quick walk, stretch, or simply close your eyes and relax for a few minutes. Read our article Office Break Exercises to Refresh Your Mind.

          5. Stay hydrated: Dehydration can trigger migraines, so make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Avoid caffeine and sugary drinks, which can worsen symptoms.

          6. Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can trigger migraines and make stress worse. Make sure you're getting enough sleep each night, and try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule.

          7. Communicate with your employer: If you're struggling with migraines and stress at work, talk to your employer. They may be able to make accommodations to help you manage your symptoms, such as providing a quiet workspace or adjusting your schedule.

          By incorporating these strategies into your daily routine, you can better manage your stress and migraine symptoms at work, leading to a more productive and fulfilling work experience. Remember to listen to your body and take care of yourself, both physically and mentally.




          Coping with migraines at work can be challenging, but with the right strategies and mindset, you can manage your condition and be a productive and successful employee. By being open with your employer, taking regular breaks, creating a migraine management plan, using technology to your advantage, and managing your stress levels, you can take control of your migraines and improve your quality of life.

          Remember, everyone's situation is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. It's important to experiment with different strategies and find what works best for you and your specific situation. If you are struggling with migraines at work, don't hesitate to seek the help of a healthcare professional. They can provide guidance and support to help you manage your migraines and improve your overall health and well-being. For more information about migraines, check out our article How to Manage Migraine Triggers: Tips and Strategies.


          About the Author

          Angelica Castillo is a communications student in the mornings, an actress in the afternoons, and a passionate diary writer by night.

          She is the creative copywriter at Magnify Media Agency and is currently working on audiovisual projects. She is also interested in psychology, constantly informing herself about human conduct and looking for ways to improve mental health to help others live a fulfilling life.

          Find her on Instagram here: @aange.cas


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