Sometimes we all have a sense that we’re stuck. It’s natural, especially when you’re dealing with a chronic condition like diabetes. So here are some tips that may help you take things to another level.
People living with diabetes are at a greater risk of developing depression. If you’re feeling it, it may be harder to achieve your health goals. You might also have diabetes-related distress, which is a strong negative response to the challenges of living with diabetes, a chronic disease that is with you every moment of your life. For example, if you have diabetes-related distress, you might spend time worrying that your blood sugar levels will go too low. If you believe you are depressed or have diabetes-related distress, meet with your primary healthcare provider or a mental health professional. They can help you see your diabetes challenges in a new, more positive way.
It can be helpful for people with diabetes to meet with a mental health practitioner. This expert can help you deal with the negative impact that having diabetes may have on your life, relationships, and goals. Even if you feel fine, introduce yourself to a therapist so you can keep phone numbers handy if anything challenging arises.
Once your sugar level begins to stay in a healthier range, you are likely to feel more energized
If your blood sugar levels swing up and down or tend to stay outside of your target range, you may feel fatigued. It takes energy to explore new ways to care for your diabetes. Speak with your healthcare team members. They can help you learn ways to control your blood sugar level more effectively. They can also teach you how to interpret your blood sugar monitoring at home, so you can use this information to make better eating and activity decisions. Once your blood sugar level begins to stay in a healthier range, you are likely to feel more energized.
A great way to get out of a rut is to interact with others who are living with diabetes and hear some of their experiences. Contact your local hospital or American Diabetes Association office to see if they have a diabetes support group you can attend.
There are also groups that interact online. If you participate in an online forum, you are likely to hear great information mixed with some that may be unreliable or even dangerous. Speak to a member of your healthcare team before trying any suggestions you learn from the Internet. Remember, the people who offer their advice don’t know you or your medical needs. Also be wary of anything that sounds too good to be true. Discuss any advice you’d like to use with your healthcare team before you try it.
When was the last time you had a diabetes “tune-up”? Much has changed over the past few years. For instance, some people living with type 2 diabetes now wear continuous sugar monitors that can help them stay on top of blood sugar changes as they occur. New treatment options may also be available since you last discussed the topic with your care team. At the very least, you may find it helpful to learn how to use your smartphone to count carbohydrates and monitor your progress. Your healthcare team can share information about these tools.
Jot down questions and concerns that come up as you go through your day, and discuss them with your healthcare team. You can also make a note of activities you’d like to do more often. For example, if you feel great after a walk, remind yourself to search for more walking opportunities. When you have a moment, look back on those entries and inspire yourself!
Remember that living with diabetes is more of a marathon than a sprint. So watching out for plateaus or ruts is so important. They can leave you feeling defeated. And “noticing” you’re in one is a huge first step. So always, always give yourself props for self-awareness.