Like an archer’s arrow on its target, the force of a mighty headache strikes you. You stare at the computer screen but it seems to have suddenly grown dark. You can barely make out any alphabet. You raise your head and the room seems to be revolving. The pounding is so intense you cannot keep your eyes open. You wish a sofa can appear so napping is easy. But there is none since you are in the office. You cast a quick glance at the clock hissing silently and wishing the hours would fly. How on earth are you supposed to cope with this monstrous headache? Well, here are five ways you can cope.
- Get up and take a walk
Most often when you have a headache at work, it might not be because you are sick. But rather, it might be that you are tired, stressed and overworked. Thus, at that point it would be wise to take a break. Do not be discouraged if you are unable to leave the company premise for long. You can always make do with going up and down the stairs for a couple of minutes. But if you can, a brisk walk in the open allows you some fresh air. Whichever the case, the important thing is that you are moving those muscles and not static.
- Stop sitting for long periods
It would be wise to avoid sitting for long hours as this intensifies the probability of a cervicogenic headache. A cervicogenic headache could result for several reasons. One of these reasons is your posture while sitting or standing at work. If you’re a driver, carpenter, hairstylist, or someone who sits at a desk, you may unknowingly push your chin forward which moves your head out in front of your body. You may even be fond of sitting or standing position for long periods which can put pressure on the neck and base of the skull, triggering a cervicogenic headache.
Yes, we know nobody plans to sit for long periods. It usually happens because we get carried away with deliverables and turnaround time. Hence, it would be wise to set a gentle alarm or reminder on your phone or desktop. Simply break up your work hours into intervals and set your reminder.
- Drink water
Having a jar or glass of good old water nearby works like pure magic. Most people do not drink water at work because they usually do not want to get up. Thus it is easier to just have a fancy jar handy which spurs you to want to take a sip. Some people make it more interesting by adding a slice of lemon and some honey. Whichever you prefer, just try to drink enough water at work.
4. Grab a bite
It is very common to observe that when people have a headache, the first thing they think about is drugs. However, you might actually have forgotten to eat and the pangs you feel might be more from your stomach than your head. Go ahead and fill that stomach so your head can stop pounding. This is why it is good practise to have some handy snacks ready for those times that you cannot get up. Pack some biscuits in your bag.
- Try some desk exercises
There are some gentle exercises that you can do on your desk to relieve you. Get acquainted with these and practise. Some bigger organisations usually have wellness rooms or a private room with some handy equipment for quick massage and gentle exercises. Find out what is available and make use of it. If there is none, take a walk to the rest room and rest.
Above all, it is important to know that your headache might not really mean that you are sick. Therefore, when next you feel the beginnings of that pounding monster, consider it as a sign that means you need to take a break.
Ngozi Ojo is a writer and business consultant.