With the current state of the world, we are all struggling in some way. Whether you are homeschooling your children, trying to manage a full-time job from the confinements of your makeshift home office, or grieving a recent loss; it is a difficult time for all. We are all adapting to the changes and roll with the punches, but with all the chaos ensuing, our diabetes oftentimes falls to the back burner.
I am trying hard to not let my emotions consume me. I am trying to get through the day and stick to my routine, but being busy and stressed makes me distracted, lack motivation, and not prioritize my diabetes or myself.
Here are five ways to not let stress come in way of your diabetes management:
Start the Day Off Right
I know for me, my emotions change by the day, but a wise diabuddy once told me, “If you put negative thoughts in your head, you’ll have negative emotions.” Try waking up and being grateful for another day. Start the day right by testing your blood sugar, taking any necessary insulin or oral medications, and any vitamins and/or supplements you may take. Eat a protein-rich breakfast that will give you the energy you need to face the day ahead.
This is one I need to start doing myself. When we are busy, or anxious, or both, we are likely to delay our eating or even skip a meal. By setting an alarm for a meal or sneak break, you are also allowing yourself a mental break from whatever it is you are dealing with at the moment. It’s a good time to check in with yourself, plan your meal, and dose insulin accordingly, if necessary.
Stress and worry can consume us, so it is in our best interest to keep ourselves busy and distracted. There is perhaps no better way to distract yourself than doing something good for your mind, body and soul. Exercise will not only make you feel physically better but you will release endorphins that will automatically put you in a better mood. “There’s good epidemiological data to suggest that active people are less depressed than inactive people. And people who were active and stopped tend to be more depressed than those who maintain or initiate an exercise program,” says James Blumenthal, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist at Duke University.
Find a Support System
Whether it be a local mom’s group, a diabetes Facebook group or your family members, it is good to have someone to lean on. Finding people that are also struggling but trying to keep positive will help motivate you and also keep you accountable. The diabetes online community is an amazing resource and can change your outlook for the better. You can also find countless blogs of people dealing with difficult times who discuss coping mechanisms that you may find useful. You may walk away with a few new recipes, a new mindset and a new best friend!
Have Grace with Yourself
We are going through unprecedented times and that compounded with the already existing daily life stressors, it’s a lot for anyone to bear. Add in the around the clock job of playing pancreas and it is a lot to juggle. Remember to breathe and be kind to yourself, you are doing the best you can.
Having some systems in place can help you not only manage your diabetes better but live a more relaxing life during these very stressful times. Have you put any measures in place to help you focus more on your diabetes management during times of stress? Comment and share below!