Picture this: You're lounging on the beach with your back against the warm sand and a refreshing mango smoothie in your hand. You're solidly in vacation mode — and bam: You start to feel a blinding migraine take hold. I'm sorry for being so cruel and ruining your lovely vacay fantasy, but "vacation migraines" are a thing, and according to at least one expert, it's a pretty common, albeit total bummer of a struggle. But the good news is this: If you ever find yourself battling this type of headache, it won't necessarily ruin your entire trip.
So what exactly is a "vacation migraine"? According to Laura Seago, co-founder and head of content at chronic pain app Curable, a bad headache can often come on during a vacation because of a reduction in stress levels. "This phenomenon is especially common on the first or second day of a vacation," Seago tells Elite Daily over email, "but can also occur on a weekend after a stressful week at work." Of course, you'd think a reduction in stress levels would translate to, more or less, total tranquility in the body, right? Or at least some semblance of physical relaxation, and certainly not a full-blown migraine?
Well, according to Seago, when things are really hectic in your life, you might not realize that you aren't properly confronting certain sources of stress, or fully processing things that are bothering you — but that could be happening on a subconscious level. Once you have some downtime, she explains, those buried stressors may resurface as physical pain that you have no other choice but to confront.
Like I said, though, the actual good news is that a vacation migraine isn't something you have to be completely powerless over. Here are Seago's tips for managing the pain when it strikes at the worst possible time.