This is Milo, my newly adopted dog, hiding under his bed.
Hmmm, is he already emulating me?
Have you ever felt like just hiding from the world? There are many days when it is frankly easier to stay in bed than to get up and function with pain and the emotions associated with it. I know intellectually that this is not a positive coping mechanism. However, sometimes it seems that staying in bed is all that I can handle. When I am hurting or feeling down, I tend to hibernate rather than to even try to use the things in my "migraine toolkit."
While there are certainly days and times when it may be appropriate to stay in bed, my experience has been that many of us deal with our feelings and our pain by sleeping - by seeking some kind of psychological or physical reprieve from sleep. While sleep does make the day go by faster and protects us from dealing with our feelings, it is also something which can actually make our depression and pain worse. It increases our loneliness and our sense of having no purpose.
Most migraine specialists will talk with you about the importance of good sleep hygiene. When we think about this, it is usually associated with having a regular sleep and wake time and getting enough sleep. It's easy to wonder what the harm is in getting "too much" sleep. This article on WebMD shares some of the effects of too much sleep. Click Here
Here are some of the things I try to do when all I want to do is hibernate:
1. Reach out to other migraineurs through on-line forums, phone or Facebook. Two great sources are Helpforheadaches.com and Migraine.com.
2. Reach out to my local friends and plan a low key activity. I regularly hold a "movie night" at my house where my friends are invited to come (fragrance free) to sit in the dark and watch a good movie together.
3. Do something I enjoy such as playing with or training my dogs, beading, listening to a good book on the Ipod (reading is difficult for me with my migraines), watch a good movie or listen to music.
4. Take a short walk outside.
5. Stretch or use a yoga/tai chi video.
7. Send cards to encourage friends.
8. Give myself a good (but positive) talking to!