Migraine Pain Management At Work
Migraines are debilitating and can cause pain that lasts for hours or days. The effects of a migraine can make it difficult to focus on your responsibilities at work, but there are steps you can take to manage your symptoms and find relief from the pain you’re experiencing.
Create a stress-free environment.
- Find a quiet place to work. It will be more difficult to focus on your work if there are distractions around you, so try to find a quiet space where you can get comfortable and focus on the task at hand.
- Turn off all distractions, including your phone or any other electronic devices that may be distracting you from focusing on the task at hand.
- Turn down the lights in your workplace so you don’t feel too exposed or uncomfortable while trying to complete your tasks at work during migraine pain management episodes
Delegate responsibilities or take on a smaller workload.
- Ask your boss to delegate responsibilities to other employees. This can take the pressure off of you, as well as showing your boss that you are committed to getting better.
- Ask your colleagues for help with work-related tasks. You may not want to do this if they’re already overworked, but if they’re willing, it could be the easiest way of making sure things get done while you’re out sick.
- Take on a smaller workload until your migraines improve or go away entirely. You won’t be able to do everything at once anyway—so focusing on one part of your job at a time will help keep you productive and prevent burnout from overextending yourself too much too soon after coming back from being away due to migraines or other health problems related directly (or indirectly) with them
Take regular breaks.
- Take breaks every hour.
- Get up and walk around.
- Try to focus on something else, like a hobby or a movie.
- Don’t let yourself get too tired.
Incorporate movement into your days.
- Incorporate movement into your days.
- Look for ways to add more activity throughout the day, including taking more frequent breaks, walking up and down stairs when possible and even using a standing desk if you can.
- Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week (or an hour of vigorous aerobic exercise). This means anything that gets your heart rate up and makes you sweat — from dancing to running on the treadmill in your basement — but make sure it’s something you enjoy doing so that it doesn’t feel like work!
- Try different activities until you find one or two that really appeal to you; if an exercise is too boring or difficult to do regularly, then it’s not worth doing at all!
Seek help from HR or your supervisor in finding a work-from-home schedule or remote work arrangement during flare-ups.
- Be honest about your condition. While many people with migraine headaches may not be able to perform certain duties because of their symptoms, it’s important to be clear about what these limitations are and how they affect your performance. If you feel comfortable doing so, explain how the pain affects you by providing an example or two that demonstrates your difficulty performing specific tasks. For example: “When I get a migraine, I have difficulty reading anything on my computer screen more than 15 minutes at a time.”
- Ask for a meeting with your manager. The next step is asking for a meeting with your manager to discuss options such as working from home or putting together some kind of remote work arrangement during flare-ups (for example, working remotely one day per week). By explaining this option and its benefits—such as increased productivity when working remotely compared with being in the office because there are fewer distractions—your employer will likely see the value in this option and would be happy to accommodate it whenever possible.* Have equipment ready before leaving work early or taking off sick.* Consider taking courses online through Udemy or other similar platforms if you aren’t sure how long an episode will last.* Take care of yourself outside of work by eating well-balanced meals; getting enough sleep; exercising regularly; avoiding alcohol consumption before bedtime; reducing stress levels through meditation techniques (if possible); seeing doctors regularly for checkups so any underlying conditions can be treated properly
Ask for help and support from colleagues when needed.
Colleagues can be a great source of support when you’re experiencing migraine pain at work. They can help you stay relaxed and distracted by talking with you about topics unrelated to work, or by distracting you through conversation or play.
If your stress levels or workload are causing migraines, ask for help when needed. If the task at hand is overwhelming, ask for assistance with it so that it will not cause additional stress in your life and lead to another migraine headache.
Establish triggers and avoid them as much as possible.
Identifying triggers and working around them is the first step in managing migraines at work. The following are some helpful tips for identifying your triggers:
- Keep a migraine journal. Track when you get a migraine and what you were doing during that time period, such as what you ate or drank, if you took any medication, and how much sleep did you get? By knowing what caused your migraines in the past, it will help identify any patterns that may be causing them now.
- Look for changes in routine or environment that could trigger migraines (like new co-workers). When there’s no opportunity to avoid these changes, consider asking someone else on staff to fill in for your shift when possible so that they can experience first hand what it feels like having their schedule disrupted by something outside their control (such as an overbearing boss).
You can learn to manage your pain at work and live a full, healthy life as well
You are not alone. Migraine is a common problem, affecting 1 in 7 adults in the United States each year. While it can be debilitating and interfere with your ability to work, you can learn how to manage migraine pain at work and live a full, healthy life as well.
Migraine pain management at work is a serious issue that we need to take seriously. This doesn’t mean that you can’t live a full, healthy life and have a job. It means that you need to educate yourself on the impact of migraine pain and work with your employer to create an environment where you can thrive. With so many options available, there should be no reason why any employee can’t successfully manage their condition on the job.