lou blogHoliday stresses can result in splitting headaches; hosting dinners, running from store to store for gifts, frequent traveling and holiday parties can trigger tension headaches. Which couldn’t be more inconvenient to deal with under all the additional pressures and can interfere with you getting the most enjoyment out of the holiday season this year. By being aware of common triggers, you can take preventative measures to avoid and prevent the onset of a tension headache.

Triggers, such as stress, can stimulate pre existing chemical imbalances in your brain resulting in discomfort. During the holidays this is especially prevalent as we have additional pressures to combat along with our everyday tasks, leaving us vulnerable to tension headaches. The simplest and most effective way to neutralize this threat is to incorporate some kind of stress relieving exercise into your daily routine; this can range from a walk to just a day alone unwinding on the couch. Over stimulation and being pulled in a million different directions can literally result in pain, so take some time to relieve yourself from these factors to keep you feeling your best.

Next time you know of cold weather coming take the proper precautions, as experts have found that radical changes in weather can influence the chemicals in the brain. When travelling through time zones, be sure to account for jet lag and get some extra rest as overworking yourself can cause headaches.

Another factor to consider is your holiday dietary habits. Holiday parties and dinners present the temptation of alcohol consumption, which can cause headaches. Certain foods also have the presence of chemicals which are known to trigger headaches, when you’re heading for that cheese platter think twice because aged cheese is one of those problem foods. Other foods to watch for are those that are high in sugar content and chocolate, sugar crashes can result in headaches and caffeine in chocolate can also cause headaches.

Despite efforts to prevent headaches, for some this holiday season they will be inevitable, but there are simple ways to combat them when they rear their ugly heads. Take a relaxing shower, apply a hot towel or ice pack, or just simply rest and relieve stress. Exercise is also a great fix to relieve painful headaches as well as keeping them at bay. If you find that you are having chronic headaches that are interfering with your daily life, talk to your doctor about starting a headache therapy program.