Sticking with your treatment plan takes effort. But there are strategies you can use:
- Maintain an early warning system. If your headaches change in frequency or worsen, or if your medication doesn't work as well as it did, it's time to move into action. Track your symptoms, speak with your doctor, and look for new triggers. Staying on top of your symptoms rather than ignoring them makes it easier to stick with your treatment plan in the long run.
- Think positively. Avoid negative self-talk. Feeling ashamed, embarrassed, or blaming yourself for your headaches won't help you manage them. A positive attitude will.
- Accept where you are now, in this moment. You know your headaches can change. You also know you can learn more about managing them over time. But for now, you need to tell yourself you're doing the best you can with the tools you have. Accept where things are right now and then move forward.
- Maintain a supportive environment. Join a group of people who are working on managing their headaches. You can also ask the people closest to you for the exact type of support you need when you have headaches. For instance, if you need your spouse to take over the kids when a headache strikes, say so.
- Learn to talk about your condition. When you know the names of the medications you take, when you can describe the techniques that work to relieve your headache pain, and when you can name your triggers, you are on your way to getting control over your headaches. Those are all important skills that let you work with your healthcare team to get relief for your headaches.
- Keep your goal in mind. You need to want to keep your headaches under control enough so that you avoid situations or foods you know are triggers. You need to want to avoid headaches enough to take your medications as directed.