College students already have a pretty full plate with classes, exams and assignment deadlines. The last thing we need to deal with is a pesky headache; a headache can seriously impede your day's performance depending on how severe the pain is. So here are some painkiller-free ways to placate any headache that comes your way so you can live your best life.
Before you go crazy with your espresso shots, hear me out. While drinking large doses of caffeine can actually cause headaches, drinking a small amount of it can soothe your headaches. According to Mayo Clinic, small amounts of caffeine can get rid of pain from headaches or strengthen the effects of painkillers like Tylenol. It turns out that caffeine is not only a nice start to the morning (for those of us who are coffee drinkers), but can come to the rescue in the occasion of a headache! Just remember not to overdo it!
2. Take a walk.
Although physical activity combined with a headache may be the last thing on your pain-stricken mind, a small amount of exercise can actually be beneficial for you. Light exercise can get rid of your headache by stimulating your body's production of pain-reducing neurotransmitters. I recommend you do some low-intensity workouts, such as walking or biking, rather than running or cardio.
You'd be surprised how much water can do for our bodies. When you have a headache, it's usually your body's way of telling you that you're lacking something, which in this case could be water. When you're dehydrated you'll experience fatigue, which is likely to trigger tension headaches. When you're dealing with this type of headache, try chugging down some water and feel your pain subside. As a bonus, drinking more water will also give you a boost in energy while speeding up your metabolism and helping you get clearer skin. Don't forget to keep drinking water throughout the day to stay hydrated and healthy!
4. Use peppermint oil.
Peppermint, which has been a herbal medicine since ancient times, can be used to help your headache in a variety of forms. Brew yourself a nice, hot cup of peppermint tea and stay hydrated while getting in the Christmas spirit. Another way to use peppermint is to dab some peppermint oil on to your temples, jaw, the back of your neck or any other tense areas and let it work its magic and relax your muscles. If you have an essential oil diffuser, put it to good use by adding in peppermint oil! You can also go into full relaxation mode and take a hot bath with a few drops of peppermint oil put into the water.
5. A dash of cinnamon.
Cinnamon isn't only reserved for holiday treats and coffee– it can also treat your headache! If you have cinnamon sticks, grind them up into a powder (unless you already have cinnamon powder on hand) and mix it with a little bit of water to form a thick paste. Spread this paste on your forehead and temples and lie down to relax. Then you can simply rinse it off with some warm water and carry on with your day. If you're in the holiday spirit, put some cinnamon in your hot tea, kick back and relax with a festive movie!
6. Apple cider vinegar.
It's no wonder that the saying goes, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Apple cider vinegar isn't just great for your hair, nails and overall body health, but it can also soothe headaches. This is because it helps restore the acid-alkaline balance in our bodies and has anti-inflammatory properties to help ease our pain. While there are a variety of methods to intake apple cider vinegar, one way is to drink it. Get a glass of water and mix in one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon of honey (to lower the intense flavor of the apple cider vinegar) and drink up! Since apple cider vinegar's intensity can damage your tooth enamel, be sure to rinse your mouth afterwards.
7. Stretch it out.
As students, we don't move around as much as we should because we're usually sitting at our desks or inside a lecture hall for long periods of time. It's important to remember to move around and stretch out your muscles. Since headaches are mainly caused by tension and stress in the mind and body, a good way to relieve this tension is with yoga stretches. Check out these easy yoga poses that you can do from the comfort of your own home or outside in the fresh air. Take this opportunity to get your blood circulating, while working on your breathing and clearing your mind before you go back to those textbooks!
Dealing with headaches while on a busy college student's schedule is definitely not ideal. If you're consistently experiencing headaches, then I suggest seeking advice from a doctor. In the meantime, try out these natural remedies and see which ones work for you!
Lead Image Credit: Carolina Heza via Unsplash