Make Life Happen: Ask Sayeda

Published: March 10, 2013
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I suffer from chronic headaches. Sometimes, they are so bad that I have to stay in bed for a day or two. What could be causing these and how can I improve the situation? PHOTO: REUTERS

Question: I suffer from chronic headaches. Sometimes, they are so bad that I have to stay in bed for a day or two. What could be causing these and how can I improve the situation?

Answer: Chronic pain such as headaches can come from a variety of reasons. The cause could be physical, mental or emotional. Have you had a thorough check-up with your doctor? Headaches could come from any number of causes including anaemia, dental or sinus issues, common colds, eye problems, dehydration or even stress.

First of all, make sure to have a thorough medical check-up. Ask your doctor to test for vitamin and mineral deficiencies as they too can cause inflammation and pain. Another way you can start helping yourself is to identify any patterns that could be the cause.

Make a note each time a headache occurs: record the time of day, what you ate and what was happening around you. You may notice certain types of events triggering the headaches. The wisdom behind recording them is that it helps you identify any patterns and therefore, the cause. Your headaches may be due to something simple such as dehydration which can be fixed easily or something more complex such as stress.

Another thing to do right now is to up your water intake just so you could put that cause to rest. Begin making changes one at a time so you can understand and notice what is working and what isn’t.

Question: I am facing a lot of issues in my marriage; my in-laws are always criticising me. I feel stressed and overwhelmed most of the time and I just don’t know what to do. Please help me otherwise I think I will go crazy!

Answer: I’m very sorry to hear that you’re having such a tough time; these kind of problems can really take it out of you. Firstly, may I suggest that you try to take a break from the whole situation? Go to your mom’s place or away with your husband on a short break if at all possible. It is advisable to remove yourself from a situation that’s likely to erupt if left as-is. Once you’ve had some time to rest, you will be better able to deal with the situation at hand.

The next step is to figure out what’s going on with your relationship with the in-laws; ask your spouse for his opinion. Try to be as objective as possible. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment and try to see how they perceive you. You may be able to see what the issue is.

Then ask yourself,

“Am I willing to put this situation in the past? Am I willing to truly forgive and let go?.”

If you find that the answer is yes, then I suggest the next step.

Ask someone, who all of you trust, to mediate. This is not normally accepted in our culture so first make sure to ask your in-laws if this would be alright. Remember, if the situation is difficult for you, it is very likely that they feel the same way too. If you approach it with the right intention (to improve things at home), and you come from love and respect, they may well agree.

If not, then make an attempt to do it with all the immediate parties involved. Sit down and discuss the situation and look for one or two practical ways to satisfy the needs of each side. Persevere, try something different and you will find a solution that works – good luck!

Drop us an email explaining your problem on [email protected] and read her response next week! All submissions will be edited for clarity and brevity.

Sayeda Habib

Sayeda Habib

Sayeda Habib is a life coach who empowers her clients to create a fulfilling, happier life. To find out more on coaching, or to work with Sayeda, log on to www.makelifehappen.com or email [email protected]

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.