Decluttering your Life into Good Diabetes Management
When we think of diabetes management, we think of the standard things: diet, exercise, medication, education or counseling, and maybe even therapy. But one non-traditional way in which we can help manage our diabetes is by managing our daily clutter.
What does clutter have to do with diabetes, you say?
Well, some time ago, I began to notice that during periods of time when I was less than disciplined in keeping a clean and organized living space (one which was free of excessive clutter) that I was becoming more depressed, frustrated, and ‘burned out’ with my diabetes management.
I noticed that my disposition for positive action was different, or even nonexistent. Everything became “too much trouble” to do. I wouldn’t want to make home-made meals, I wouldn’t want to exercise, I wouldn’t want to have friends over, I wouldn’t want to open windows or decorate, I wouldn’t feel ‘whole’ as a person, or even as a productive human being, etc. The clutter was slowly translating itself into subconscious messages for my mind: “it’s not worth bothering with x, or y;” “you will enjoy the sofa more than going outside;” “it’s more enjoyable to order food than to cook food,” etc. The clutter was programming my mind! Clutter was contributing the persistence of my negative habits.
In past posts, I have discussed how reprogramming our minds away from these bad habits or bad ways of thinking, is one of the most effective weapons we have for permanently changing our lifestyles. Lifestyles can be notoriously hard to change, and habits tend to ingrain themselves because of the subtle ways in which we speak to ourselves in our daily lives, and create ‘reward systems.’ Things like: if we can’t find the glucose meter, we won’t test; if we can’t find a pen, we won’t keep good records for our medical team; if the kitchen isn’t clean, we’ll order take-out, etc.
But it doesn’t stop there. Clutter can even keep us from taking our medications on time – if they are buried under a pile of other things that we don’t want to be bothered with, or it can make it dangerous for us to live in our spaces, if we’re having vision loss concerns.
Last year, Diabetes Forecast published an article on this very topic. It helped me realize that I wasn’t going crazy! That clutter was, indeed, affecting my moods and my disposition for better management.
In it, they give a comprehensive approach as to how to tackle the issue of clutter in baby steps, and the sorts of things we should be prioritizing: things like devising a plan of attack – one in which we consider what we will need, while breaking the tasks down into small piles or steps, such as organizing our medications, supplies, medical records, phone numbers, and even organizing the kitchen.
The important thing to keep in mind is that we don’t have to achieve it all in one day; that organization is a work in progress, and so long as we don’t leave clutter unchecked, we can have small victories that help us be more diligent with our daily management.
To quote from the article: "You can't make your best choices [and] you can't make your healthiest choices in a cluttered home. Good organization is the foundation to good health."
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your diabetes?