Oh, no! Maybe you woke up with a headache, maybe it started after you got to work. As much as you’d like to stay in bed or go home, you know you’re needed on the job. What can you do?
According to Dr. Niranjan Singh, a neurologist at University of Missouri, taking care of headaches begins outside your workplace. Look back to the evening before: Did you sleep well? Drink too much wine and too little water? How about this morning: Did you eat breakfast? Maybe a co-worker wore strong perfume?
Here are five ways to feel better fast:
1. Take a pain medication as soon as possible. USA Today reports that most pharmacists recommend acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
2. Drink more water. Most people wake up dehydrated and hurry to work. Find time to have a glass of water all day, and when you get home. Don’t go to bed thirsty.
3. Gently massage your head, neck, and shoulders. Sometimes stress can cause these muscles to become tense, leading to a headache. You can also sit down, close your eyes, and take ten slow, deep breaths from the abdomen.
4. Step outside for 5-10 minutes. Fresh air and a quick walk can be enough to make that headache disappear. If you can’t get outside, try doing a vigorous activity, such as walking up and down some stairs. That gives you a few minutes away from your normal routine.
5. Have a quick snack to raise your blood sugar. If you haven’t eaten in awhile, you may be hungry. A handful of almonds is a good choice because the fiber will fill you up and they also contain salicin, which works the same as aspirin.
If you are having frequent headaches, you may want to look at your diet; you may have a food allergy or discover there are some foods that trigger your headaches. Pay attention to your headaches and what you ate before they developed.
Are you the only one at work with headaches? When co-workers are complaining together, start to check for possible causes, such as poor lighting, too much noise, or odors from cleaning solutions. If stress seems to be the common factor, bring it to your supervisor’s attention. Job stress can never be completely eliminated, but sometimes a few adjustments to the daily routine can be enough to relieve tension.
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