Do These Factors Keep You From Sticking to Healthy Diabetes Behaviors?
We have all heard of time-suckers, but what about energy suckers? Those are the things that tend to just drain your batteries.
Importance of energy management for type 2 diabetes
Energy management is just as valuable as time management. You could potentially manage your time down to the minute in order to fit in all the activities you need to accomplish for your goals, only to find yourself too drained to fulfill them or to perform them well.
It’s important for people with diabetes to consider energy management because, believe it or not, your energy level is going to impact your diabetes control. I’ve seen this time and time again in hundreds of individuals I have worked with.
Why? Your energy can impact your diabetes control in two ways:
Energy level impacts your behaviors
- Effective diabetes self-management requires healthy behaviors like healthy eating habits, activity, taking medications, etc.
- Healthy behaviors require time and energy to tackle.
- Low energy takes a toll on your willpower. It makes you more vulnerable to poor self-care behaviors such as lack of exercise, forgetting medications, skipping doctor appointments, and eating processed and packaged foods.
- Low energy also makes you more likely to turn to caffeine, sugary beverages, and sweet treats in an effort to boost energy. These sugary and sweet energy fixes are going to increase your blood glucose. And, this sugar rush or caffeine buzz is likely going to cause a crash later and/or interfere with sleep, leading to low energy again later.
Low energy causes stress
- Feeling drained and low on energy makes it more difficult to get through your day.
- Low energy and forcing yourself through daily activities increases stress.
- Stress can increase blood glucose.1
- Stress makes you more vulnerable to unhealthy behaviors and can cause cravings for processed foods and make you indulge in stress eating.2
Things to consider for managing your energy
Below are a few things to keep in mind for energy management:
Your natural rhythm
Are you a morning person or a night owl? Neither? Both? Planning daily tasks that complement your natural times of high energy and lower energy will make you more efficient and reduce stress.
Your personality style
Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert? A loner or a social butterfly? Depending on your personality, social interaction will either charge or drain your energy. Being mindful of this can help you to think ahead and plan downtime or social time to help you bounce back.
Are there people in your life that seem to suck the energy out of the room or their intensity leave you drained? Maybe a coworker or family member? Recognizing this can help you to limit interactions with these people or arrange interaction that avoids your naturally low energy times. Are there people who seem to invigorate and motivate you? Think about this when you could use a boost.
What tasks or chores do you simply loath? Combining these tasks can help you to reduce the number of encounters you have with these energy suckers. Running errands, grocery shopping, and phone calls are big ones for many folks. Knocking these things out at once on one or two days per week gets it out of the way.
Personal energy boosters
What is it that gives you a burst of energy? These are unique to you and maybe something like a brisk walk or listening to music. It will help to keep this in mind for low energy times or to try and implement in your regular activities.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your diabetes?