If you were asked to name a few things you like the most in life, headaches probably wouldn’t be on the list. As much as we love blaming our headaches on weather or a bug that’s going around, most of the headaches we get are our own fault. Prevention is a great solution, but before you can prevent a headache, you have to know what’s causing it.

Here are some things a lot of us do that gives our headaches a warm welcome:

Crazy schedule causing your headache?

Don’t have time to rest? Headaches are often a sign that your body needs a break. We know, you’re busy and you don’t really have ten minutes to just lie down, close your eyes, and relax a bit, but you know what? You do. You know you do, but you have other priorities. It’s not just about whether you have time, it’s about whether you’re ready to make time for yourself. If you don’t make yourself a priority every once in a while, the headaches will win. Take a ten-minute break – you’ll be way more effective without a headache, anyway.

The “I forgot to eat” approach to life

One of those things busy people like to say – not just because it sounds cool, but because it’s true. Sometimes, we simply forget to eat, and you know who likes to move in when we do? That’s right, headaches. When you don’t eat, your blood sugar gets low and your head might respond. If you feel like you’re getting a headache, eat something right away to stop it from becoming worse. Foods rich in magnesium, such as spinach, tofu, olive oil, or sunflower or pumpkin seeds, may be especially helpful. If you really are that forgetful, set an alarm to remind yourself – the Bellabeat Leaf works great as a snack reminder!

The Couch Potato Lifestyle

We’re all guilty of skipping our workout from time to time. But what happens when we stop exercising? When you’re active, your brain gets more oxygen. When you’re inactive, your brain gets less oxygen. When your brain doesn’t have enough oxygen, you get a headache. It’s pretty simple, right? Take a walk, go for a run, dance around your house – do whatever makes you feel good and the headaches will come less frequently. If you need some tips on how to get back into an exercise routine, check out our blog here.

Not enough water

Headache is one of the first signs of dehydration. Eight glasses of water a day sounds like a simple enough task, but how often do you forget? Don’t feel bad, most of us forget water and could be more hydrated. Habits die hard, so make a habit of drinking enough water and you’ll be fine. If you struggle with hydration, you can log your water in take using the Bellabeat coach app that comes with the Bellabeat Leaf devices. It’s a good way to keep track and make sure you’re drinking enough.

Stress

You’re under stress? Join the club of the chosen people called EVERYONE. Maybe it’s your boss, maybe it’s your husband/boyfriend/partner/kids, maybe it’s just the fact that the day has 24 hours and you need about 32 to make everything work. Whatever it is, stress has a way of manifesting itself as a headache. If you’re feeling stressed, just remember that you can deal with anything when you’re relaxed. Try some breathing exercises, find your inner peace, and kick the stress, along with the headache, in the butt.

The moral of the story is – look after your self. Self-care should not be a privilege!

This post was reposted with permission and minor edits from Bellabeat.