Pain and tension can come from a lot of different causes. Sometimes there are serious problems, and sometimes excess tension is just excess tension. Here are some self-care things you can try. I make no guarantees about any of these working for you, and as in all self-care, take care of yourself. None of these should hurt, and if they make anything worse, they're not the right thing for you. These are things I would personally do for mild-to-moderate tension in my own body that aren't too hard to explain in writing over the internet.
A lot of headaches have tension as a contributing factor, especially tension in the neck.
- Try the mad scientist thing: Gently but firmly grab your hair by a handful on either side of your head and gently pull it in a direction that feels good. Mad scientists do this because they know that their skull is covered by muscles and fascia that can hold tension and that melting/stretching that tension away can help them think clearer and relax. Make sure that your breathing is relaxed when you do this. It should feel good, and you should have hair like Rod Stewart when you are done.
- Using a heat pack can be really helpful. For headaches, the best places to put it include around the back of your neck or on your jaw.
- Maybe you don't have hair to do the mad scientist thing with, in which case you can do the thing Bugs Bunny does to Elmer Fudd in "The Rabbit of Seville" at the beginning of this clip, right before the mid-century fruit salad thing happens. For added bonus relaxation, soak a big washcloth or small hand towel in warm or hot water and ring it out and then put it on your head and massage your scalp and forehead through it. Work down into your jaw muscles if that feels good too!