Written by Peggy Artman for Chronic Migraine Awareness, Inc.

In my state, we are not officially quarantined, but we might as well be since we are required to follow the federal and state protocols. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of all the worries about paper products and hand and surface sanitizers. We are still going to the grocery store and finding all of these items along with other things sold out. Many stores and other service providers have closed as a precaution for their staff and customers. In my family, we aren’t leaving the house except to pick up food, pick up prescriptions, and go to the grocery store. It has rained a lot where I live, so going outside has not been something any of us have wanted to do. Some doctors have chosen to close their offices but will do virtual visits. Many other business offices have closed so that their employees can work from home.

But what about our migraine disease? Caring for ourselves when we have migraine disease is still a top priority for so many of us. Some doctors are willing to make virtual appointments. My Neurologist is in a clinic attached to a large hospital. My appointment is coming up, and I’m going to have to be at their office to get Botox injections. Hospital staff told me that I will be screened for Covid-19 as I enter the clinic.   

Self-care is different for so many of us. An added complication for me and others is that schools are closed, and parents will need to homeschool their children. Since I’m not much of a teacher, this will be interesting. We will begin this soon, and I’ve already heard from several parents that it is hard. Many times, I use the time my child is in school to rest when I have a bad migraine attack. I am determined to continue resting when I need to, but it will probably be for shorter durations.

For me, self-care is taking breaks to rest. It is also taking breaks to do some gentle stretching. I usually get deep tissue massages when I’m in pain, but that isn’t an option now. I will look online to find some exercise that works for me. Tight muscles in my neck and back seem to accompany my migraine attacks most of the time.

I need to make sure I have enough refills of the medications I take daily and as needed. I take a few supplements too, so I have enough of those for a while. Having a schedule is going to be very helpful for my self-care while homeschooling. There will be breaks for my child and me when needed. The main thing is going to be listening to what my body needs. I can anticipate taking some time to relax and breathe in a room alone to calm down my anxiety. Maybe the laundry doesn’t get done, or the dishes aren’t washed when I’m in pain. That is okay. Adjustments will have to be made to get through this time of isolation.  

All of us have individual needs for self-care during this stressful time. What do you do to take care of yourself?

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