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As the holidays approach, our schedules often fill up with parties, parades, and pageants. Our to-do lists also tend to get longer as we shop for gifts, clean the house, put up decorations, and cook family meals. And to top it all off, many people end up working long hours to finish their tasks before taking vacation time.

All of this can quickly add up and lead to painful stress headaches, which can put a damper on holiday celebrations. With that in mind, below are some helpful tips for avoiding holiday headaches.

Get Organized

If holiday stress is causing your headaches, try to eliminate it from the equation as much as possible. This often entails planning ahead: Get your shopping done early to avoid last-minute crowds, make a to-do list of everything that needs to be completed before your relatives arrive, and allow yourself extra time to drive to the airport. And if you’re going to be out of the house all day running errands, be sure to pack a water bottle and some healthy snacks like fruit and protein bars.

Stick to Healthy Habits

For many people, one of the best parts of the holidays is enjoying goodies that appear only at this time of the year. You can still partake in the holiday treats you love, but try not to overindulge, especially in foods and drinks that can trigger headaches (for example, alcohol, caffeine, cheese, cured meats, and chocolate). You should also make it a point to eat regular, nutritious meals, drink plenty of water, and get at least seven hours of sleep each night.

Stock Up on Medication

If you normally take medication to prevent or treat stress headaches, make sure that you have an adequate supply on hand. Many doctors take time off during the holiday season, so it could be harder than usual to get your prescription refilled. And if you’ll be traveling over the holidays, be sure to pack enough medication to last throughout your trip.

Be Careful With Scented Items

Do strong scents tend to trigger headaches for you? If so, the holidays can be an especially trying time of year. Stay out of overly perfumy department stores, consider buying an artificial wreath rather than a natural pine one, and resist the temptation to purchase holiday-themed candles.

Don’t Forget to Relax

Even if your holiday to-do list seems endless, it’s important to set aside time each day to relax. Doing so could go a long way toward helping you avoid holiday stress headaches. You can even get festive with your relaxation—attend a holiday yoga class, listen to seasonal music while you take a walk, massage your hands with peppermint-scented lotion, or watch a holiday movie.

A Trusted Urgent Care Provider Near You

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to avoid them, headaches still pop up. If you get hit with a stress headache in the midst of holiday activities, turn to Jovive Health. We have numerous clinics—including ones in Cameron Park, CA; Chicago, IL; Lombard, IL; and Henderson, NV—all of which are open seven days per week with extended hours. You can book a same-day reservation or stop in whenever we’re open to receive urgent care treatment for a headache.