Ways to Feel Better With Diabetes
Feeling better with diabetes has 2 possible meanings. One is how to physically feel better. We are going to leave that one for another post. This one is about feeling better emotionally. Diabetes is a chronic condition that can be frustrating. It can wear you down day-to-day. When you feel down, you are more likely to skimp on your self-care. And that can lead to problems. So, we want you to feel better, because people with diabetes who feel better are more likely to have extra test strips. It’s true. And so, when you feel better, you are more likely to sell test strips you don’t need.
Feeling Better Day-to-Day
There are many physical aspects to living with diabetes. Monitoring your blood sugar, medications, diet and exercise all add up. Staying motivated and positive about taking care of yourself is the key to long term health. Some days may still be discouraging, but there are ways to minimize those.
Create a Solid Support System
We all need support. Dealing with any chronic condition means support is even more important. It is key to find a variety of sources for your support so you can find different points of view.
The people around you in your life are critical to your success as you manage your diabetes. When they are supportive, making similar healthy choices as you need to make, it is much easier. If you run with a pack that doesn’t keep you on track, it can be incredibly difficult and discouraging. Find a community who also wants to sell test strips that they don’t need anymore, and you are all set. Hang with the healthy set.
A good relationship with your doctor and the rest of your health care team is important, too. Keep communications open, so you choose the lifestyle and treatment options that are best for you.
There are a multitude of support options on social media now. Find where you fit. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. It’s like trying to find the perfect pair of jeans. You may have to try on a whole lot of pairs that don’t fit, before you find the right ones. It doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you (or the support groups or the jeans). Research and patience is required to find exactly the right fit.
Social and emotional support is vital, but consider also looking for a diabetes exercise group. Or maybe just a regular exercise group. Walking and hiking groups, or groups who meet at the gym can be very motivational.
Remind Yourself You Are Not Alone
Feeling of loneliness are common, especially early in the quest to manage your diabetes. Remind yourself that you’re not alone. Almost 26 million Americans have diabetes, and an additional 79 million are prediabetic. A life with diabetes takes a major life adjustment. But remember that other people do it and thrive.
Strive for Quick Results
So much of living with diabetes is about the long term. Health goals can take a long time to achieve. In the big picture it is important to hold onto those long term goals, but it can be hard to focus day-to-day and stay motivated. By striving for quick results, motivation levels soar!
Setting a huge goal that sets you up to fail helps nothing. We commonly hear “I will never eat <insert food item here> ever again”. Or “I will go to the gym every day.” These are not measurable, until you fail.
Quick results are smaller. What can you manage in the next 2 weeks? Walk a few blocks 3 times a week? Maybe eating a healthy breakfast every day for a week. Stay on your healthy course well enough to be able to sell test strips you don’t need. Keep the goals short term, and something you know you could do. When you don’t feel very motivated, keep your eye on a healthy reward for success.
Healthy Rewards for Success
Often one of the shifts you need to make in your thinking to thrive with diabetes is about how you celebrate. So many celebrations include food, especially foods that are a problem for diabetics. Cakes, ice creams or alcohol are not going to help you achieve your health goals, so stay away from them for celebrations.
There are many non-food related ways to celebrate. Find activities you enjoy that boost your mood or that improve your health. Go to the hairdresser, get a manicure pedicure or massage, or buy a bottle of perfume. A bubble bath, a new book, go to the movies or see a comedian. A night out bowling or dancing are active and fun. Give yourself a facial at-home or visit with a friend to catch up. Buy a plant or flowers for yourself. If you sell test strips you don’t need, you will have some extra cash to fund your celebration.
Keep A Diabetes Journal
Many times you may find you set a goal and then lose track of it. Maybe you decided to lose weight, lower your cholesterol or blood pressure. Don’t rely on doctor’s records or your memory. Write down your numbers. Make notes about your mood and sleep. Compare them regularly. See what helps and what doesn’t. Change what you are doing based on what seems to help.
Watching your improvements in a tangible way, is excellent for motivation. If the improvements are not there, you can take action quickly. Making plans and taking action toward a corrective course is motivational, too. Write down how often you are able to sell test strips, so you can see your progress.
Accept Plateaus or Setbacks
Sometimes things just don’t progress the way we want them to. You might experience some setbacks. The key is to quickly get back on track. Don’t let the slip up demotivate you. It’s not an excuse to go backward. Evaluate the barriers analyze what happened. Try again, changing or improving something. Don’t let whatever hit you this time, get you again.
Living well with your diabetes may not always be a smooth, easy ride. But you can feel better with solid support and your positive attitude. The goal to be able to sell test strips is often good motivation for many diabetics. We hope it helps you, too.