How I Stop Headaches From Stopping Me (Plus a DIY Cold Compress Tutorial)

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cold-compress-tutorialSome people look at their days and think “wow, today was such a waste.”  I may have been one of those people a few years ago, but things have changed.  If you’ve been around for awhile, you know that I’ve gone through some major life changes in the last few years.  Each of those changes has affected me in multiple ways, but the one thing they’ve collectively taught me is that every moment of my life is meaningful.  I might not see the meaning immediately, but it’s there.  I’ve learned to make the most of time with my family and friends and soak up all that I can from my experiences.  The last thing I’m going to do is let a headache stop me.

I am a regular headache sufferer and I know just how easy it is for a headache to not only get in the way of everyday life, but to really put a damper on special moments.  There have been times, as recently as a few weeks ago, where things as simple as a grocery trip or dinner with my husband were jeopardized by a headache.  It’s not just the pain that slows me down, it’s the loss of focus and general feeling of poor health.

My headaches are often tension headaches, mostly brought on by stress.  I work a very demanding job, one that often requires long hours.  Add to that my 50 mile each way commute, and you have the perfect recipe for a tension headache.  When I feel one coming on, I reach for Excedrin® Tension Headache (for tension type headaches and aspirin-free).  Excedrin® Tension Headache offers Aspirin-free headache relief and can really help save the day!

excedrin-tensionI know a trip to the grocery store may not seem like one of life’s big moments, but for me it is.  I try to do the bulk of my shopping in one trip each month.  I will make smaller trips as necessary to fill in, but doing most of my shopping in one big trip allows me to spend more of my free time with my family throughout the month.  We all know how long grocery trips can be, so avoiding that as a weekly activity gives me a few extra hours with my family.  A few weeks ago, I had my big trip planned for Sunday afternoon.  We finished lunch, watched a little TV together, and I worked on wrapping up my massive shopping list.  It wasn’t long before I could feel a headache coming on.  I had two options: stop it or let it stop me.  I never chose option 2.

I have a pretty set routine for knocking out a headache.  First, I need to grab the appropriate Excedrin® product (Excedrin® Tension Headache and Excedrin® Extra Strength (for everyday headaches) are my go-to choices).  Next, I grab a cold compress from the freezer to cover my forehead and eyes (directions below on how to make your own!).  Last, I find a quiet place to lay down for 20-30 minutes.  Thankfully, this works for me almost every time.  I was able to get up, get moving and knock out my shopping trip as planned, making it back home in plenty of time for a nice dinner off the grill and to watch our favorite tv shows together before bed.

diy-cold-compressA cold compress is my Excedrin® sidekick.  They are ridiculously easy to make too!  You only need a few supplies (and you probably have them all already):

1 Freezer Bag (I prefer gallon size)

1 Large Bottle of Liquid Dish Soap

Dish Towel

Needle and Thread


  1. Fill your freezer bag with liquid dish soap.  Seal tightly.  Remove as much air as possible.
  2. Cut your dish towel to size.  For height, take the height of your bag and add ½”.  For the width, do the same.
  3. Fold the short edge to short edge and sew along the side and bottom.
  4. Turn right side out.
  5. Fold your bag in half and insert it into the pouch you’ve created.
  6. Roll in the edges of the pouch and sew shut.
  7. Pop your cold pack in the freezer and let it chill.

cold-compress-diy-freezer-packYou could certainly do all of the sewing with a sewing machine, however I think this project is so simple that you’ll spend more time pulling out your sewing machine than you will just taking care of things by hand.  These cold packs are great for headache relief and sore muscles. Liquid dish soap will not freeze solid, so the compress can mold around whatever you place it on.

You can trust Excedrin® products to deliver fast relief for different types of headaches.  Below are the Excedrin® products you can find at your local Walmart:

excedrin-at-walmartExcedrin® Tension Headache is Aspirin-free and the perfect solution for your tension headaches.

Excedrin® Extra Strength is made for fast headache relief.  For some, relief starts in just 15 minutes.

Excedrin® PM Headache gives you nighttime headache relief to help you sleep with its triple action formula, including two pain fighters and a sleep aid.

**Please remember to use all products as directed.

How do you battle headache pain?  Join the conversation by posting a comment below, or on our Facebook page.

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One Response to How I Stop Headaches From Stopping Me (Plus a DIY Cold Compress Tutorial)

  1. Cristi Comes says:

    That is so cool. I have never thought to use dish soap to make a cold compress but it’s a great idea. Thanks for the tutorial! {client}

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