How do we know if we are progressing, getting worse and digging ourselves deeper into the chronic illness hole OR healing ourselves and climbing up and out into the light of health and wellness?
Well, tracking of course.
Tracking is essential for not only yourself, but also for your healthcare provider so that they can see the dots and make connections between them that you otherwise wouldn’t know how to make.
Tracking can give us clues into dietary triggers, environmental triggers like mold, family stress triggers, physical triggers and occupational triggers.
It can also show us what is raising our threshold. Our threshold is everything. As migraineurs, if we can get it low enough long enough and support our bodies, they can heal and overcome many triggers.
For instance, there is a very common cycle that will drain our resources and plunge us deeper into chronic disease if we don’t recognize it objectively.
It goes something like this:
-Wake up tired and skip breakfast because we are in a rush
– On the way to work grab a coffee that starts off our insulin and adrenaline spike which taxes our body and shuts off our repair systems.
– At work get tired and grab a snack, something like a bagel or a muffin ( this spikes your insulin again and perpetuates the roller coaster)
– At lunch you’re usually in a rush and didn’t pre pack a healthy/sustaining meal so you grab a quick meal and a coffee to keep you going
– After lunch you’re drained and because of a lack of nutrition from your food you get cravings which usually ends in something sweet or chocolatey
– After work you rush home and deal with the house not wanting to eat because it will make you tired
– End up late at night getting cravings and eating empty foods to satisfy you
Theres many different instances in how this can play out but at the end of the day, your adrenaline and cortisol are shot because of the caffeine and sugar spikes causing chronic fatigue. You haven’t actually had any proper meals and are malnourished even though you are over-caloried. Your sleep wont be restful because its just trying to stabilize from the day and so much more just because of not seeing the pattern.
When we can become objectively aware of our patterns of action and thought we can become conscious of how to fix them. More importantly they give us the insight to fix ourselves and save thousands of hours and dollars of wasted time trying to fix our health.
So how do we track?
It depends on how sick we are, how much we can handle and how much we want to know.
You can go ahead and record every action and thought each and everyday until you crash and burn because of your lack of health to sustain it. Or you can begin with just recording a few essentials of what we call The Foundation Principles to Migraine Health.
– Foods eaten and proportions (Eating real food makes this so much easier)
– Sleep times and quality
– Liquids drank, amounts and times
– Stress periods and emotional reason
– Exercise time and type
It’s as simple as that, just keep a little diary next to your toothbrush.
If you want to take it a step further, find out your ideal goals for each of these activities.
– Find out the types of foods and proportions you work optimally at
– Find out the amount and quality of sleep that wakes you up feeling refreshed
– Find the amount and quality of liquids you need to be at peak energy and go to the washroom every 2-3 hours
– Find who and what environments support your best and optimal mental and emotional health in the pursuit of your dreams
– Find the exercise that makes you feel good and gives you energy but doesn’t burn you out and drain your resources
Then commit to achieving these situations on a daily basis and work towards them each day.
Track what helps you towards them and what takes you away from them.
At the end of the day just try and improve a little bit every day. Before you know it your life and health will be transformed and your migraines will be a thing of the past.