Headaches. The terrible, awful, no-good feeling when your head literally aches. Ranging from mildly annoying to Paul Bunyan slamming his ax into your head, headaches can be the bane of existence.
Unfortunately, these seem to be a reoccurring theme of my college life. I've gotten headaches more often in these past four years than in the previous 18 years, and it seems like a commonality with other college-goers as well.
Fortunately, the more you do something, the more likely you're going to be fairly good at it. I've gotten headaches so often that I can now generally figure out what the cause is and therefore how to (hopefully) fix it.
So, here's a list of possible headache causes, and my own tried, tested, and approved methods of kicking them to the curb. Though I'm not a doctor in any sense, I am a college student, which is basically the same.
The most common cause of my headaches by far. My noggin will start pounding, and I'll realize I haven't had water since last Tuesday.
Think of yourself as a plant. Not a cactus. A plant that needs regular watering. Keeping a water bottle with you and setting reminders on your phone to drink it are great ways to make sure you don't kill your plant self.
I know that it's a shocking concept that, as a college student, I feel a considerable amount of stress. Just suspend your disbelief for a second, please.
Seriously, though, post-secondary individuals are constantly under pressure from academia, extracurricular activities, social lives, and futures looming, which produces inevitable stress-headaches. I could suggest doing breathing exercises or taking up origami, but the best way to get rid of stress headaches is to just graduate.
3. Too many smacks on desksGiphy
I get it. Being angry at the world and/or at something stupid you've just done makes you want to slam your head against the table, desk, or whatever flat surface closest to you.
I suggest just stopping. Take up a stress ball or a punching bag routine. Your noodle is too important for it to keep assaulting that flat surface.
4. The sleeps, the wonderful sleepsGiphy
Ah, to sleep. That beautiful, yet ever-slippery concept of unconsciousness. In college, I'm immensely lucky if I can get my eight-hours of suggested sleep. More often than not, I'm working with five to seven, which means more often than not, I'm rocking a lack-of-sleep headache.
The easiest way to fix these is if you, ya know, sleep more. Unfortunately, that isn't always possible at the collegiate level. So, this might be another one that's solved on graduation day.
5. The foodzGiphy
When is the last time you've eaten? More than eight hours ago?
How about a piece of fruit? Was it more than eight weeks ago?
Please. Pick up an apple and just eat it. Your head, stomach, body, and life will thank you.
6. You ran into a poleGiphy
Yes, I did see you just do that. Yes, I am laughing at you just a little bit. However, I've also done that more times than I'd like to admit, so I completely understand that you now have a headache.
I suggest icing the wound, striking "run into a pole" from your daily agenda, and telling your friends that the bruise is from the big fight you won ("Dude, you should see the other guy").
Oddly enough, you can get a headache from having too little OR too much caffeine in your system. Trust me, I definitely know.
Moral of the caffeinated story: balance is key when it comes to caffeine and head health. Try to alternate your coffee drinks with a bottle of water. That will make sure you stay hydrated whilst being alert.
8. The lights. They BURN!Giphy
Have you been sitting in the sun a smidge too long? Or, more likely as college students, have you been studying in a dark hole for six hours and have just walked outside?
Again, I'm no doctor, but I'm sure there's some type of reason either sudden or prolonged sunlight exposure makes it feel like someone has played kickball with my brain. I suggest crawling back into that dark hole posthaste and staying there until further notice.
9. Crying too muchGiphy
Because, let's be honest: college is rough, and many tears are shed. All I can say is, again, good luck.
PSA: While these are some simple reasons your head could be hurting, if you're experiencing extended periods of headaches, please go see a medical professional. Stay safe!