I’ve always had to know how to manage headaches because I’ve always been a pretty headachey person. From my teens all the way until now, I’m very sensitive to things that give you a headache. Which is a bit annoying – but I’ve definitely learned to deal with it. From stress headaches to sinus headaches, there are tons of ways to manage these irritating ailments.

how to manage headaches

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Funny story, I’m SO sensitive to headaches that even an EX-BOYFRIEND would trigger them!

At around the age of 17, I was in a really uncomfortable and unhealthy relationship and I was finding I was having a headache more or less every single day. As soon as we broke up…

The headaches stopped.

So yes, boys give you headaches too. I’d avoid them at all costs.

All jokes aside, headaches really do suck and knowing how to manage headaches can help ease it a bit, especially on days where you’re busy and can’t really afford to be suffering with a headache in the first place.

But of course before we get into these tips that have helped me, please see your GP if you’re struggling with headaches and don’t just take the advice of someone on the internet.

If you’re looking for some relief, here are some tips on how to manage headaches which have worked for me:

how to manage headaches

Manage headaches with medication

This is without a doubt the easiest and laziest option but it’s effective. So if you’re able to take tablets such as paracetamol or something like these asprin and Coedine Phosphate tablets then you totally should as it will help ease that headache and allow you to get on with your day.

I wanted to start with this point because everything else on this list is a more natural remedy. If you can’t take paracetamol for whatever reason, then the rest of the points will be better for you.

Drink plenty of water

I drink a LOT of water. I’m taking Citalopram for anxiety and those tablets make me super thirsty. So I’m rarely dehydrated. But I can almost instantly tell when I’ve not drank enough water – because it more often than not brings on a headache. Dehydration is a very common cause of headaches, so ensure you’re drinking enough water.

Massage your face

This sounds daft but when I have a headache (especially a sinus / stress headache which congregates around my eyes and the front of my head) I always knead my cheek bones and my brow bone with my hand or massaging my temples with my fingers.

It feels absolutely amazing and is really helpful in headache relief. You might need to do it a couple of times an hour to relax the muscles in your face but it’s worth it. You can even extend down to your neck and shoulders too, where a lot of tension builds up and can cause headaches too.

Do Yoga

Literally my answer to everything these days. Headache? Yoga! Stressed? Yoga! Just broke up with your boyfriend? Yoga! Seriously, Yoga can aid almost anything. I use Yoga With Adriene and she has a great video which is specifically for the release of headaches, which I’ve used regularly.

But even just a gentle and stretchy practice can help iron out the creases, lengthen your body and release tension which can seriously help aid with headaches.

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Sleep

Another thing that helps almost everything is sleep. And when you’ve got a headache, sometimes sleeping it off can really help. Or at the very least, you’re clocking out for an hour so you don’t have to deal with the rotten thing!

A little nap can really aid a headache and give yourself a break! I love taking naps in the day if I have a headache. I usually wake up with a relief from it – even if it hasn’t gone away completely.

Stay away from screens

This is really hard for me to do when I have a headache because I work from home – on my laptop. Literally everything I do is either on my phone or my laptop and requires looking at a screen but I know it doesn’t help.

So if you can, stay away from screens for a while and give your eyes and head a break. You might want to read a book instead or listen to a podcast.

Have a bath

I think when you’ve got a headache – whatever type of headache – relaxing is key. When you’re relaxed, you’re obviously not tense therefore not making your headache worse so whatever you can do to relax when you have a headache, try and do it!

For me, that’s usually having a warm bath, in dim lighting with a book. However when I had a bath for a headache, I tend to avoid using anything smelly as strong scents can sometimes set it off again. So that’s something to keep in mind!

Do you have any of your own tips for how to manage headaches? Let me know in the comments!

65 Comments

  1. I always find if I read (rather than be on my laptop) and drink water and have some fruit, my headaches start to go. I tend to get really bad headaches when I’m tired, so sleep is one of my best friends!

  2. Oh I share these remedies too! If I have a bad headache a bath always helps. And I get a pint of water to sip on. I also yawn, which sounds odd, but it gets oxygen to the brain x x x

  3. I get absolutely crippling migraines from time to time but they’re all light-triggered. So flashing lights, very bright grey/white light (so when the sky changes from blue to white/grey), light flickering through the trees or on the water. They come on really fast too, literally within minutes.I get flickering in the corner of my eyes which develops into a kaleidoscope effect. Sometimes I get a numb tongue and hands. And my nose starts buzzing. Unfortunately meds don’t help, all I can do is lie down and close my eyes until my vision restores – sometimes within an hour, sometimes nearer four hours. And the next day I have the headache where I feel like my brain is crashing around inside my skull. BUT…. the one thing I’ve never tried is massaging my temples so thank you, Jenny, I will try that next time and let you know – fingers crossed!

    Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com

  4. i am seriously struggling with tension headaches since my surgery last week. my face and jaw is so swollen and bruised that i can’t massage my face at all! i am praying it’ll ease off soon!

  5. I do suffer from headaches too, especially from stress and the heat. I’ve had some awful ones lately when I had a cold/bug. I find sleep and staying away from screens is a must when it comes to headaches, for me anyways.

  6. I suffer terribly with migraines – although they are better controlled with drugs, I find co-codamol, hot baths, reading (so as to avoid screens) and sleeping really help!

  7. I wish I read this sooner because I just came out of a three-day headache. Some tips I did try because I knew them already but they didn’t help. I think tension headaches are the hardest to get rid of. I’m going to try the massage the next time.

  8. My headaches are mainly hormonal related, but when they come every month they get bad really fast. I find the most effective (natural) remedy for me is doTERRA PastTense essential oil blend topically, and I also use a drop of Frankincense on the roof of my mouth. This combo works great for my family!

  9. I personally donโ€™t get that many headaches, but if I ever do then Iโ€™m coming back to this post for advice!

    Amy | hookedonthemusic.com

  10. I suffer with tension headaches and can hand on my heart say that I wake up with a headache almost every single day, and have done for last 6 months. I went to the doctor recently as I was concerned it could be something serious (my nana passed away a few years ago from a brain tumour). The doctor did some neurological tests and blood tests, and thankfully everything came back clear. So I need to try out some relaxation techniques such as yoga and breathing and go for regular massages to see if that eases things up before taking any next steps! Great post though, especially when someone like myself suffers with what you are talking about. Xx

  11. I suffer quite badly with migraines – to the point where I could barely keep my eyes open and would have to just go to bed. But I got glasses a couple of months ago which I just wear when I’m at work or in front of a computer and the difference is insane! I used to have migraines daily but now I get them once every couple of weeks maybe. So I’d definitely urge anyone who hasn’t done so to go get an eye test! Back to your post though, these are really great tips for coping, I always love to have a bath when I feel a migraine coming on, just to help release the tension and relax xo
    Sian | http://www.siankathrine.co.uk

  12. I’ve suffered from migraines from a teenager and these can be brought on for a multitude of reasons. After having tried the basic types of analgesia I then went on to try many medications from the Dr, none of them helped. I then saw a neurologist that prescribed another type of tablet used for depression and nerve pain which helped immensely for a number of years but then I was in a car accident which induced my migraine with vengeance. I am having up to four a week which is so debilitating. I have tried nerve blocks and am now having botox to my scalp and neck to try to conquer these mighty painful headaches. Up until now these have been very successful but the drawback is you have to have them every 3-4 months. I can totally sympathise with you as this is a horrible condition that affects all aspects of your life.

    1. Sorry to hear of all that that you have to go through but please donโ€™t feel for me because I donโ€™t suffer with migraines, just general headaches. I have no idea how awful migraines can be and I canโ€™t begin to imagine how they feel x

  13. Okay I am saving this post and showing it to my other half later because he seems to get headaches on – at least – a weekly basis. Hopefully some of these tips will help!

  14. Oh! I also love Yoga with Adriene! That’s where I get my yoga fix. ๐Ÿ™‚
    One thing I missed in here though, is that a side effect of headache tablets is headaches. I used to have a lot of headaches as a teen, so I took a lot of paracetamol tablets (no more than allowed), which eventually gave me paracetamol induced headaches. Ugh!

  15. I’ve been having headaches here and there lately. Oh man, glad you’re not with that boy who gave you headaches anymore! Toxic people can go away :’). I totally agree with water and sleep! You need to stay hydrated or else your body will feel super sluggish. Thanks for sharing these tips!!

    exquisitely.me

  16. I suffer from terrible migraines lately and I definitely think itโ€™s to do with staring at screens constantly, I agree drinking plenty of water helps and sometimes just taking medication is the best thing to do. It stops it from getting any worse! Great post, thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. I just got glasses that have the blue light protectors for screens and it has been helping immensely. I’ve suffered from headaches on and off (sadly they are on again) and found out mine have a lot to do with hormone imbalances and medications are one of the only things that work for me. Amazing tips!

  18. This advice comes at the PERFECT time. I’m not normally a head-achy person, but I think the heat of the last few days, plus the fact that I’ve not been drinking enough lately equals HEADACHES FOR JENNY

  19. I generally avoid medication for headache.. i feel the body develops immunity after a while. I prefer the more natural options. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. I donโ€™t use natural health products I mean just not using medication until necessary. So sleeping, going Yoga, meditating, drinking water that sort of thing!

  20. Yesss! I also get really bad headaches (and also migraines but that’s another story) and these tips are pretty much the only things that help me. I tend to have a bath, drink loads and then try and sleep it off. Also that is so funny about the guy who gave you headaches – I’m glad you’re free of that!
    Beth x

  21. Iโ€™m a headachy person too, I can get them from absolutely anything! ๐Ÿ˜ซ my mums the same and she recently had her daiths pierced…since then sheโ€™s had almost no headaches! Iโ€™d get them done myself but piercings donโ€™t like to heal for me and tbf Iโ€™m a wimp when it comes to pain ๐Ÿ˜… but might be something to consider if youโ€™re good with them yourself โ˜บ๏ธ xx

    Jade | jademarie.co.uk

    1. Oh goodness I donโ€™t think I could get that pierced! I have a fair few piercings but I couldnโ€™t have anything like that but thatโ€™s interesting to hear that thatโ€™s helped her!

  22. I suffer with cluster migraines, they are caused by a neurological issue so are treated with medication to prevent them. But i find aside from medication, putting a hot flannel on my neck can help release some of the tension, there are homeopathic rubs you can put on your temples which help to relieve the symptoms… They usually stink but work quite well. I find eating well, avoiding junk food improves my chances of getting and recovering although the old wives tales about cheese don’t seem to make a difference to me. I have a relative who only has to look at chocolate to get a migraine, she hasnt eaten it in decades because of that.

      1. Haha have you not? Literally very time I mention migraines to someone i get told “don’t eat cheese it will make them worse” it makes me laugh now.

    1. True but Iโ€™m not really talking about why we get headaches Iโ€™m talking about how I personally prevent them. I donโ€™t drink caffeine, eat enough cheese or have sugar withdrawals so I know those arenโ€™t my issue.

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