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Are the Holidays Giving You a Headache?

By Vonnie Kennedy
 
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Photo: Getty Images

During the holiday season, everything from buying the perfect gift, to overspending, to way too much partying can give you a headache that will put you right out of the holiday mood.

Why not try something different this year? Be proactive instead of reactive.

Try these 10 tips to stop headaches before they start.

1. Tight muscles in neck area between head and shoulders can cause pain. At the first sign of tension apply a cold or warm compress behind the neck to loosen muscles.

2. Feeling overwhelmed with work, party planning or other stressors? Stop a minute and breath (inhale for five counts, hold five counts, exhale for eight). Do it several times or until you feel stress melting away.

3. The tender point between your thumb and index finger is an acupressure point for head and face pain. Applying pressure for 10 minutes can ease tense muscles in the places that cause a headache.

4. When you’re working or shopping online, make sure to sit with your eyes directly ahead at the computer monitor. Looking too high or low on the screen strains the neck. Stave off pain before it starts.

5. Believe it or not, drinking at least eight cups of water a day will keep you keep you from becoming dehydrated, which can cause tension headaches.

6. The holidays always include enjoying the food and beverages you love, but nothing is worth getting a headache in mid-party mode. Tyramine is the culprit -- avoiding red wine, beer, avocados, nuts, seeds, and chocolate will make you happier in the long run.

7. A cup of herbal tea will calm your nervous system and relax away tension. One of the best blends contains linden flower, chamomile, and lemon balm.

8. Expecting your period? If you experience headache during your hormonal cycle, start taking an over-the counter drug such as naproxen or ibuprofen two days ahead of time to help ease the pain from hormonal fluctuation.

9. Regular exercise increases blood flow and produces beta-endorphins, natural stress relievers that help keep headaches at bay. Even a quick walk can help loosen muscles and bring on a brighter mood.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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