You can’t control everything - but you do have control of a few things.
I’ve shared my experiences with having diabetes and how it’s affected my life. To get a different perspective, I talked to Diabetes Educators, Nurses, Doctors and a Health Coach. The one word that kept coming up was “unpredictable.” That’s because there are many things that affect blood sugar levels. What kept coming up was that sticking to a routine can help with managing diabetes. Especially after the summertime picnics, family gatherings, and vacations. These things are fun, but they can cause your blood sugar levels to go up. Now that fall is coming, it’s time to get back to a routine. Here are some tips.
Routine is a good way to find success when it comes to diabetes management
Habits can help with routines
Make caring for your diabetes an everyday habit. Put your blood sugar meter in your kitchen, where you can easily see it. That makes it easy to remember to do your blood sugar checks. Choosing to only buy healthy foods makes eating better simple. And take a walk daily, whether it’s in the morning or evening. Doing these three things can help you make healthy habits into a daily routine.
Get a handle on stress
You can’t control everything. But you do have control of a few things. Watching what you eat and staying active may help you avoid stress. If you’re feeling stress, your blood sugar can go up. Healthy habits may help protect you from feeling too much stress. Remember practicing mindfulness may help you deal with the stresses that can't be avoided.
Talk to your healthcare team
No two people are the same, so what works for one person may not work for you. That’s why it’s a good idea to figure out your diabetes routine with your healthcare team. Look at the medicines you take and your lifestyle. Do you take insulin? If so, you may have to test your blood sugar before and after meals as well as in the morning. Sticking to your routine can help you stay on track with your diabetes care. Be sure to include your medicines, activity level, diet, and sleep habits when you’re figuring out your routine.
Go to sleep
Your bedtime routine is also important. Your body has its own rhythm. If your sleep is irregular, you may have a tough time getting to sleep and staying asleep. That's why it's a good idea to keep a regular bedtime and get up at the same time each morning. This schedule can make a difference.
Life being what it is, there will be times when your routine is off. That’s okay. Be sure to stay in contact with your diabetes management team. Come up with some ideas for when you’re feeling sick, or away from home for a period of time. Having someone you can talk to if you’re feeling stressed is important, too. If your routine is off for a few days, don’t worry about it. Try to get back to your routine when you can. This can help you manage your diabetes and get back to living your life.
Jessica Apple is the co-founder and editor in chief of the online diabetes lifestyle magazine A Sweet Life. Her writing has appeared in many publications, including The New York Times Magazine, The Financial Times Magazine, The Southern Review, The Bellevue Literary Review and Tablet Magazine. Apple is a paid contributor for TeamingUp. All opinions contained in this article reflect those of the contributor and interviewees, and not of Sanofi US, its employees, agencies or affiliates.