So how are you coping in the heat? Are you a lover or a hater? I love the warmer, drier months, BUT… I much prefer 26* and above poolside on holiday, not at home in the UK in hot houses! Especially when I am a migraine sufferer, along with the fact that my hot flushes have returned with a vengeance. So in this post, I’m sharing some things I use to help keep me cool and ease pain in the heatwave.
So if any of you live with migraines like me, you will know how difficult it is to actually do anything, due to the pain. I have suffered with them since I was about 9 years old and tried all the treatments in the book, bar botox. Many of my tension headaches from Fibromyalgia also turn into migraines, so trying to manage them as soon as they start is something I am a bit of an ‘old hat’ at doing!
There are different forms and strengths of migraine which I won’t go into now, but sometimes painkillers just take the edge off and you need some self-care products. Combine a bad headache/migraine, with post-menopausal hot flushes and this heatwave of a summer we are experiencing. Not good!
I have lost many days in my life to migraines, and lately, I am experiencing a lot more in the heat. As my hot flushes have returned big time (HRT oestrogen cut by GP), which doesn’t help. I experience a tropical moment every 15-20 minutes, which with a bad headache, and in this heat, makes it throb even more. It is quite frankly…bloody unbearable!
So, here are a few things I use when I am feeling, well, like an unexploded bomb waiting to go off!
Firstly, I make sure I drink plenty of water to keep hydrated (this can involve a lot of peeing at times, lol), but we NEED water to function. I use filtered water from the fridge and fill up my ION water bottle, which is BPA free. They are easy to drink from and are lockable, so you don’t press the lid open when taking it on the go.
Also, I spray myself, when each hot flush starts, with Avene Eau Thermale water. I can’t tell you how many of these I have in my house, they are everywhere! I use all sizes, and always take one out with me and, also on holiday to use by the pool or, on the beach. You can find more about the history of this amazing pure spring water, in my an older post here. It is cooling, refreshing, and beneficial to the skin. I couldn’t be without it.
When it comes to showering whilst enduring a kick-arse migraine, I can’t use many of my usual favourite shower products. Most of my senses are heightened during an attack, especially with sensitivity to light, noise and smell. Some scents I just cannot go near, but I find herbal type scents are actually fine.
Clarins Relax bath and shower, plus REN Atlantic Kelp, are the two I tend to to go for every time I have a migraine. They are refreshing but not overly powerful, the essential oils and herb/ozonic scents of these seem to help calm, as well as soothing muscle pain.
A fragrance I love to use during extremely hot weather, is 4711, and I actually enjoy the scent during a headache. This eau de cologne blend is over 200 years old (not mine personally), retails at a really reasonable price, and is unisex so he can pinch it too. By dabbing this on pulse points; sides of the neck, inner wrists and elbows, or backs of knees, this not only helps cool but its ozonic/herbal scent is lovely for summer. This has been a regular repurchase of several generations of women in my family, as I am sure it may have in yours, and this year, I have fallen back in love with it!
Sadly, I am also adverse to some of my candles at the time of an attack. One I have been enjoying for the last few months is the Inner Peace natural soy wax candle from Corinne Taylor. It is just very spa like, serene, and I find it it enjoyable when I am poorly as the scent helps to soothe and relax.
For muscle tension headaches and migraines, I find the Muscle Therapy roll-on from This Works really handy. I use it on tense trapezius muscles and up into the back of the neck. I cannot stand massage at the best of times anymore due to my fibroid muscles, but with the roller ball it is made easier. The essential oils in this are beneficial in helping to relieve tension pain. It does what it says on the tin, basically being a masseur with a pre-made oil for use whenever and wherever needed!
My best friend for headaches/migraines, plus when I’m experiencing too much heat in my head from flushes, is 4HEAD. A solid stick with Levomenthol that when swiped across the forehead, and for me, into the nape of the neck, instantly provides an icy cold feeling on the skin. I have recommended it to so many people who now also can’t be without them! They will not get rid of a migraine, but they help cool the head and take the edge of the pain. It can make eyes smart a little if you’re not used to it, I’m okay with it, but others might need to be aware.
Another handy on-the-go product for pain, comes from one of my favourite brands, Aveda. Their Blue Oil rollerball contains blue chamomile which, is known in the aromatherapy world as a fabulous oil to treat pain. I use this on different parts of the body, including areas of arthritis na d tendonitis. During my bad headaches, I often have extremely tense shoulders, and neck (where I also have arthritis), so I use this by rolling into knotty areas of muscle, then gently rub in with my fingers to help the oil get to where I need it. You will need to wash your hands after touching this oil as it is very strong, so no fingers in eyes okay?!
An age old, cost-free way of reducing heat and soothing headaches, is to run a flannel under the cold tap. Wring it out, fold and apply across the forehead, to help cool and soothe. I even apply 4HEAD, then add the cold flannel over the top..it beats spending £££’s on those migraine strips!
If you find you cannot sleep during the heatwave, or run out of water spray during a hot flush, use this on the back of the neck at night to cool down. It is free at the end of the day, and a simple method to help lower body temperature.
I hope that some of these products may help you too, especially if you are struggling with hot moments or headaches during this amazing summer. Please don’t think I don’t hate this weather, my illness does, so I suffer quite a bit. If I am on holiday, I can just take a swim to keep cool. Overheating indoors (or anywhere lately in the UK), and going without sleep, all helps to bring on migraines, so it’s a case of living through them using some self-care, knowing you will come out the other side!
*post includes own purchases only