Summer, as we know, can get hot. And I mean VERY hot. Many people tend to suffer from seasonal headaches, especially during the summer time months. Headaches are annoying, and debilitating for some. The classic “ice cream” headache is most likely the least annoying type, given that ice cream is involved. But what about those other headaches? Cluster headaches, sinus headaches, and tension headaches all seem to have correlations to summer.
Causes of headaches:
- Dehydration – Once the body becomes dehydrated, it loses sodium through sweat, which causes headaches. This can be remedied by staying extra hydrated. So chug that coconut water or better yet, put some lime or lemon slices in a glass of water to give your body a boost of vitamins.
- Bright lights– Being out in the sun too long can cause strain on the body, especially the eyes. When the sun is at its highest it can cause our eye muscles to strain, which leads to headaches. To avoid this, wear sunglasses and hats during peak sun hours.
- Summer storms– Storms create changes in the barometric pressure. People who are more sensitive to this shift in pressure can get headaches right before a storm. Since we can’t control the weather, embrace the storm and gear up for more self care.
- Humidity– High humidity can create a whole host of allergens, thus causing allergies. Sinus headaches can be taxing, so make sure to use a neti pot, and sniff some essential oils to open up the sinuses.
- Sleep disruption– Summers equate to more vacation time. When sleep gets disrupted due to travel, changing time zones, and new accommodations, our circadian rhythms get jolted out of whack. Try your best to stick to the same sleeping and waking time so that you don’t deal with these headaches.
- Foods– Some foods, especially those with preservatives and nitrates, can cause headaches in certain individuals. Avoid typical camping food (even the processed vegan versions) and stick to whole plant based foods as much as possible. Double up on your fruit consumption since so many fruits are readily available during this time of the year.
If you tried those suggestions and your headache still isn’t alleviated, then try these holistic remedies.
- Take a detox bath with Epsom salt. Epsom salt will help relax the muscles in your body and can alleviate tension headaches.
- Get some acupuncture. Acupuncture and acupressure have been well researched in regards to relieving headaches. Even if you can’t afford acupuncture, there are acupressure points you can do on yourself. Take the thumb and pointer finger of one hand and pinch the webbed part between the thumb and pointer finger on your other hand. Feel around to find the spot that’s tender. Press and hold for 30 seconds and then switch sides. Breathe deeply and repeat a couple times. Notice if the severity of your headache diminishes.
- Utilize cold therapy. Cold compresses can be very beneficial to those suffering from headaches. Use a moldable ice pack (or even a bag of frozen veggies) in a place on the back of your neck, or on your forehead. Lie down in a quiet area and leave the ice pack for a couple of minutes. If cold isn’t your thing, you can also try warm compresses.
- Drink more tea. Peppermint tea can also help alleviate headaches. If drinking hot tea in 100°F weather doesn’t sound appealing, then just steep 2–3 bags of peppermint tea in hot water to brew. After a couple of minutes remove the tea bags and place the water in the refrigerator. When you want to drink it, just pour some in a glass and dilute it with cold water or ice.
Some holistic remedies utilize essential oils, which have been around for a long time. They can be used topically, aromatically, and internally. Make sure to use a carrier oil (like coconut or almond oil) when using essential oils on your body. They are in their most potent form when encapsulated in bottles, so dilute them first.
Using essential oils aromatically, like with a diffuser, activates certain areas of our brain through the olfactory system. Another great way to use essential oils is by pouring a couple drops on a cotton ball and placing it in your car’s air conditioning vents. It will not only keep your car smelling divine, but provide you with some health benefits while driving.
Here are some of the most popular essential oils for curing headaches…
- Lavender – for tension headaches and migraines
- Chamomile- for tension headaches
- Rosemary- for tension headaches
- Peppermint- for tension headaches
- Frankincense- for cluster headaches
- Eucalyptus- for sinus headaches
Be thankful that Mother Nature decided to give us a medicine cabinet of herbs and flowers for when those pesky headaches strike. Essential oils not only smell amazing, but also have such amazing benefits. So don’t let headaches hold you back from enjoying summer time. Life is short, and so can headaches be.
Get more like this—Sign up for our daily inspirational newsletter for exclusive content!
Photo: Jopeel Quimpo & Christin Hume on Unsplash