Work life balance with migraine: has anyone got it right?

Dear all, Since early December I have been experimenting with reducing the amount of travel I do for work from 3 days a week to 2. I am self employed and work from home when not on the road so I can do this, though it does mean turning away jobs. I am definitely getting fewer migraines (down from once every 3 weeks to once every 6 weeks) and the ones I get are less severe but I am lonely, bored and spending more money to make up for it at a time when my income is falling because I have cut back on work. I live on my own whch doesn't help. I know I am lucky that my migraines are as infrequent as they are and to have the option to reduce my working hours but it is not proving to be an easy option. I miss the adrenalin and the human contact and almost want my migraines back. Has anyone else tried this and found a solution? I guess all migraine sufferers must juggle work, family and friendship with health. Anyone got any good ideas?

6 Replies

  • Katya,

    Sounds like work life balance is key for you. I reduced the stress levels in my life by changing to being self employed and noticed a reduction in the number of migraines, about the same as yours. The transition was stressful and for a time migraines were quite common. I enjoy physical exercise so I use additional spare time to pursue my outdoor activities, running, walking and sailing (when the weather permits) this also gets me out and about, provides the adrenalin/endorphin and as long as I don't overdo things has reduced the number and severity of migraines. For a time I went for months without a serious attack.

    Hope you manage to make the adjustments necessary to benefit from your changes.


  • Hi Katia,

    It sounds like you are going through a period of transition with your identity. I don't know how long you have suffered migraines for but I would imagine that they have become part of your identity and you are struggling with this "loss". Have you thought about joining a group or volunteering to replace some of the contact with people that you are craving? I think it's great that you have reduced your attacks so dramatically and it is normal to find it difficult to readjust to new circumstances.

    Hope this helps you to find a solution that works for you,


  • An excellent answer Rebecca!!

    Hope you find it helpful Katia!!

  • Hi Katya

    I have had a similar experience in in that my migraines have been debilitating and affecting my work I have just put a proposal forward to my employer that I work two days a week from home, in the hope that reducing the traveling will alleviate some stress and so reduce the attacks. I'm glad to here that your migraines reduced,

  • Thanks all for thoughtful and considerate replies. I am 57 and have had migraines since I was 30,but lasting longer and more frequent post menopause. I already volunteer 1 afternoon a week and go swimming, walking and cycling. I take the point about a time of transition, not just from migraines but also about getting older and having less stamina and resilience. I think I shall experiment with giving myself a mini excursion on the extra day I would have travelled for work and see if that gives me variety without triggering the migraine. Katya

  • I was going to suggest doing some activity that puts you in contact with others to relieve the boredom but it looks like you're busy already!

    I was recently working 22.5 hours over 4 days but got really worn out. I wouldn't say it effected my migraines, but I'm now doing 22.5 hours ove 3 days and using the days off to relax a bit more (if you call housework relaxing). I had a massive migraine last week, first one in a while, which I think was a sort of come-down migraine as a result of resting after a very difficult time at work. It's difficult to balance things out but I'd rather be at work than not.

You may also like...