How My Diabetes Care Changes in Autumn
Last updated: October 2023
In the blink of an eye, temperatures drop 20 degrees. Cloud cover moves in, and the sun rises after my morning alarm goes off. Autumn is here.
Seasonal changes impact type 2 diabetes management
You might not give much thought to how changes in the seasons impact your diabetes management, but I do.
When autumn replaces summer, my routines noticeably change.
Finding enjoyable indoor activities
I could bundle up and take a walk, but bundling up with a warm blanket on the couch is more appealing. So, I look for opportunities to get my exercise indoors once autumn hits.
This could mean mall walking. My local mall welcomes walkers an hour before the shops open. It's warm and well-lit. Groups of friends meet up. And I can easily top my walk off with a hot cup of coffee.
Virtual exercise classes
Autumn is also when I'm more likely to take an exercise class. And since many classes are available online, I can stay in the house to complete my yoga stretches or Zumba steps.
The local parks and recreation department offers exercise classes at the municipal gym. I haven't tried that yet. But who knows? Maybe this autumn.
Heavier meals and holiday treats
Autumn brings fewer salads and more casseroles. Some of that is because so many vegetables go out of season. But the emotional tug of comfort food as the days grow colder and darker also plays a part.
There's something very satisfying in the combined aroma of a hearty beef stew and freshly baked biscuits, even if eating them together drives my glucose reading up.
Autumn marks the beginning of the extended holiday season. Each celebration and observance brings its own menu of special dishes, treats, and baked goods. The challenge is to avoid overindulging while still taking part.
Balancing hearty meals with type 2 diabetes
I'll have the hearty stew and freshly baked bread one night, followed by several nights of lighter meals, usually made up of eggs with green vegetables.
Eating 1 cookie instead of 2 or 6 satisfies my sweet tooth. I take my time and pay attention to deeply enjoy each bite. These are some of the ways I try to balance things out.
Darker days and darker moods
I find myself lingering under the covers when the sun starts coming up later in the morning. The warm comfort of my bed overtakes the less vibrant sunbeams peeking through my window.
I start my days more slowly. Often, I get less done during the day compared to summer days. I simply do not feel as energetic. But once my alarm sounds, I know I need to get my feet on the floor and start my day, however grudgingly.
The most challenging days are those that feel gray and look gray. Depression travels with diabetes. Somehow, in the autumn, depression seems to show up more often and stick around longer.
When I'm feeling the grayness, I do my best to take special care of myself. I keep to my routines as best I can: move my body, eat regularly, quench my thirst, and get to bed on time.
Also, I give myself some grace, especially when I am less productive, my glucose readings go haywire, or I overdo it with comfort foods.
How do you manage diabetes in the autumn?
But what's most helpful is for me to contact friends or family. It's remarkable how a short exchange about seemingly nothing can cheer me up. It doesn't have to be in person or even on the phone. A quick text often does the trick.
But that's just me and how I manage diabetes in the autumn. How do you manage? What changes or adjustments do you make? Please share your experiences in the comments.
How often do you find yourself craving sweet snacks?