Menu

Getting Migraine Support During Social Distancing

Medically Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH on July 16, 2020

When your head is throbbing with a migraine, it’s hard to do more than lie down and wait for it to stop. Simple tasks become difficult. Sometimes you need support. 

That’s tricky when you’re social distancing. But it's not impossible. With a little technology and creativity, you can safely get the help you need.

Tap Into Technology

Changes in sleep habits and mealtimes trigger migraines for some people. So stick to your normal routines as much as possible. Some apps and devices make that easier.

Have groceries delivered. It's easier than ever to shop online and get groceries delivered to your door. If your favorite grocery doesn’t have that option, use an app like Instacart or Amazon Grocery. Stock up on items you use frequently, if your budget allows. Then you'll have backup for times when you don’t feel well.

You don’t need to sanitize your groceries. Just wash your hands after you put everything away.

Order food online. Many restaurants deliver or use a delivery service. Order food online through local channels or apps like Postmates and Uber Eats. Don't forget to avoid any foods that trigger your migraines, like processed meats or artificial sweeteners.

If possible, use the notes field in your app or order form to tell the driver to leave the food by your door. If you need to see the delivery person face to face, stay 6 feet away.

Voice-activated assistance. Ever relied on a robot? Amazon’s Alexa has a voice-activated Migraine Buddy skill that tracks many aspects of your migraine, including when it begins and ends, the symptoms, and your pain levels. This information may help your doctor make treatment decisions. You can also access the Migraine Buddy app on your smartphone.

There’s also an Alexa for caregiving called Constant Companion. It helps you make and receive calls, including emergency calls.

Connect With Others

Migraines are often isolating. Social distancing due to a pandemic like COVID-19 can make that worse. To avoid loneliness and stay mentally stimulated, it's important to keep in touch.

Reach out to family and friends. If you’re up to it, connect with others via phone, text, or email. Screen time makes migraines worse for some people. But if it doesn’t bother you, use FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom to see a friendly face, talk, and listen.

If you need in-person help, ask someone you trust. If possible, open the windows in your home to create air flow. Stay 6 feet apart at all times. Wear masks to keep each other safe, and wash or sanitize your hands after the visit.

Connect with online support groups. When you're social distancing, support groups like Move Against Migraine on Facebook and Miles for Migraine on the web can help. They give you the chance to ask questions, get information, and learn how other people deal with migraines. Your doctor or neurologist may have suggestions as well.

WebMD Medical Reference

Sources

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Migraine.”

American Migraine Foundation: “7 COVID-19 Considerations for People Living with Migraine.”

UC Davis Health: “How to safely grocery shop during coronavirus (COVID-19).”

CDC: “Running Essential Errands.”

The Migraine Trust: “Concern about high numbers of people left isolated because of migraine.”

Harvard Health Publishing: “Apps to help keep us connected in a time of social distancing.”

Migraine Research Foundation: “Migraine Facts.”

Miles for Migraine: “About Migraine Support and Community Groups.”

News release, Business Wire.

Cision: "A New Personal Assistant for Older Adults."

© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.