Movement Matters: Body, Mind, Advocacy
Welcome to 2021, Warriors! This year Miles for Migraine is running with the theme Movement Matters: Body, Mind, and Advocacy. But what do those terms mean exactly and how do they fit into the life of those living with migraine? Let’s break it down.
Movement can sound like a challenging or even impossible task for those of us living with migraine. Many people hear the word movement and think of marathons or lifting weights in a gym. While those are great ways to move one’s body, they are not always accessible to us. We must expand our idea of what movement looks like.
You have probably heard about the walk/run/relax events that Miles for Migraine has in cities across America each year. You may have thought to yourself “I could never do that.” But at our events there are people of all abilities. You will see people running, walking, using a wheelchair, pushing strollers, and even dancing along the course! There isn’t a push to “win.” You’ve already won by showing up and meeting other members of the community. Worried you might get to the event and not feel well enough to participate? We’ve got you covered with our relaxing quiet tent! Some of our walk/run/relax events are virtual this year so you can choose when, where, and how to participate. This is a great year to find a creative way to get involved with Miles for Migraine.
If you’d prefer something shorter that can be done inside, we have a virtual weekly mindfulness series that includes gentle movement through practices like yoga and tai chi. These sessions are geared specifically toward people living with migraine and may be different from other classes you’ve taken. You can go at your own pace and take breaks when needed as well as being able to interact with others using the chat function. The Mindfulness for Migraine series takes place on Thursday nights. Check out our website and social media to find out what is being offered each week as well as a bio of the facilitator leading the class. We hope to see you there!
Now that we’ve covered movement, let’s move onto the mind! Many people living with migraine are also living with anxiety and depression. These are often referred to as comorbidities. Our education days are an excellent resource for you to learn about mental health and wellness in addition to migraine. If you find yourself wanting more support, we also offer support groups where you can talk with other people who understand what it is like to live with migraine and its comorbid disorders. Another option is our Mindfulness for Migraine series. It is a great place to start learning about guided meditation and incorporating it into your life. Mindfulness is a great tool to add to your migraine toolkit because it can help with pain, breathing, anxiety, and more.
Last but certainly not least is advocacy! For some, advocacy can be an intimidating idea. People often tend to think of advocacy in several ways: attending Headache on the Hill, writing articles, planning events and fundraisers, and working with organizations. While these are all great ways to advocate, they are not the only ways to do so. Each time you share your story with someone else, you are being an advocate. Maybe you share a piece of your story with a friend and that friend feels less alone. Perhaps you ask your doctor about a new treatment you’ve heard about and that doctor learns more about it which benefits you and their other patients. You might see a friend’s post on social media and share it and it may reach someone in your life who needed that piece of wisdom or support. You could even wear a Miles for Migraine t-shirt to the store and find that the clerk who is ringing up your groceries has migraine and feels just a little less alone seeing someone like you who understands life with migraine.
Advocacy does not have to be public or in the spotlight. It can be in the small moments of each day that advocacy takes place. At Miles for Migraine, all of our programs bring people together in a safe and supportive community where people can practice speaking to employers/friends/family. We hope to empower you to advocate when and where you feel most comfortable so that you can tell your story. Your story is important and it shows others that they are not alone.
2021 presents you with a unique opportunity to get involved. Many of our events are virtual this year which means that you can customize your participation. Let’s get connected and creative as we discover all the ways in which movement matters.
I suffered from migraines in silence for so many years at home, at work, afraid I would mess up others’ schedules or lives, be discriminated against or even lose my job. I felt bad about disrupting their activities so I pushed through and put up with the stress. That is what you did in the…
How did you get involved with Miles for Migraine? After watching an interview with Miles for Migraine founder, Eileen Jones, I attended a planning meeting for an upcoming local race, but spiking migraine symptoms restricted my ability to further volunteer and I was unable to attend the race that year. Since then, I have enjoyed…