Migraine and Hobbies
5 October 2010
Do you have a hobby? Does it help you cope with migraine, or chronic daily headache?
I decided to do something drastic this month, and actually write, on topic, for the Headache & Migraine Disease Blog Carnival. You can guess what this month’s topic is — How do your hobbies help you cope with your headache disorder?
My hobby of putting on pyrotechnical laser light shows for my heavy metal band while I play the drums has always helped me cope with migraine. Just kidding.
All right, so not every hobby is exactly conducive to someone with migraine. There’s no doubt that my lifestyle is influenced by migraine.
But seriously, how can hobbies help? For one thing, hobbies are simply a source of enjoyment (in theory). And perhaps they can help you feel a sense of accomplishment, when you don’t feel like you’re accomplishing a lot of other things in life.
I certainly have enjoyed various hobbies, and here are some things I’ve learned when it comes to having a hobby with migraine — let’s put them in the form of questions you can ask when choosing a hobby:
- Is it migraine/headache inducing? All right, so that’s an obvious one. But believe it or not, many of us do end up doing things that simply make our condition worse.
- Will I be able to do this while I already have nasty symptoms? Don’t get me wrong – I realize there are times when you can do nothing – not even sit up. I’ve been there many times. But if you have many hours in a week or month when you can still do something, even though you can’t carry on with normal activities, maybe there’s something you can still do (read, write, listen to music, listen to a podcast…).
- Is it therapeutic? Some hobbies not only aren’t migraine-inducing, they can help. All right, many hobbies can help just because they’re hobbies. But some people find something like gardening therapeutic. Or perhaps learning to cook healthier meals. Think about it.
- Will this enrich my life? It’s nice to have some kind of a sense of accomplishment, especially for someone struggling with chronic symptoms. Will I learn something useful? Create something beautiful?
- Can I help someone else with my hobby? Another great therapy – helping someone. If you can bake, start finding someone to bake for. Make it a surprise, of course – no deadlines!
- Do I enjoy this? Obviously important.
- Is this an expensive hobby over time? That’s all right if you can afford it, but if you’re already struggling with medical expenses you might want to think of something more economical.
- Is there someone else I can enjoy this hobby with? Again, the idea here is not to put pressure on you (I’ll never play the piano as well as Michelle. Once again I can’t get together with Tim to work on the hot rod.). The idea is just to share. So maybe there’s a family member who understands, or a best friend. Maybe you can find someone online, or even sell your creations online. Or maybe you can even forge a friendship with someone else who has a chronic illness.
Hey, that last one is a great idea. Why don’t we start talking now?
Do you have headache or migraine, and a hobby? How has it helped you? Leave a comment and tell us about it! 🙂