Helpful Strategies for Coping With Diabetes

Helpful Strategies for Coping With Diabetes

Discovering you have diabetes can be overwhelming. After a lifetime of habits, it can be difficult to make the permanent lifestyle changes necessary to successfully manage the disease. If you're having difficulty coping with your condition, you might consider seeing a psychologist for professional support. In addition, try implementing these self-help strategies so you can feel better faster.

1. Educate yourself

The more you know about diabetes, the better you'll be able to cope with the condition. Start by making a list of questions to ask your physician. These questions might include:

  • How often should I test my blood sugar?
  • What should I do if my blood sugar is too high or too low?
  • What are the risks of not controlling my blood sugar?
  • Are there any medications that could help control my diabetes?
  • Should I try to lose weight? How much?
  • What foods are best for controlling my diabetes naturally?
  • Do I need to see other healthcare providers, such as an eye doctor or a nutritionist?

2. Make a plan

Once you know what you need to do to control your diabetes, you can begin making the necessary lifestyle changes to stay as healthy as possible. Talk with your family and ask for their support in following your diabetes diet at home.

3. Be realistic

Changing your diet and exercise habits can be tough. Accept that occasional mistakes will happen and don't feel guilty about it - just be sure to get back on track as soon as possible.

4. Keep a diary

Your doctor might ask you to keep a diary that logs what you eat, your blood-sugar measurements and when you take your medications. It's a good idea to also record your feelings so you can spot early signs of stress or depression. If you notice yourself feeling sad or anxious more frequently, consider visiting a psychologist or therapist for help.

5. Think positively

Try to look at your diabetes diagnosis as an opportunity for a new start, rather than a burden. It's a great excuse to try new foods and experiment with healthy recipes the whole family will love. In addition to getting creative in the kitchen, why not take up a new activity, such as dancing or walking? Exercise can help you manage your weight, which is key to controlling Type 2 diabetes. (Bonus: It's also a lot of fun!)

6. It takes a village

A diabetes diagnosis can be shocking, but it's also an opportunity to turn your life around. By staying positive, educating yourself on your condition and making a plan for managing it, you can reduce stress and worry. Lean on friends and family (as well as your doctor) for support; as managing diabetes is a full-time job, there's no shame in asking for help.

Sources:

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/diabetes.aspx

http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/questions-doctor-diabetes