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Busting the Winter Blues: Managing T2D With Other Chronic Illnesses

Last updated: February 2023

No matter the season, diabetes can be tricky to manage, especially when living with additional health conditions. But in winter especially, keeping your blood sugar levels in the normal range is difficult. Well, at least it's hard for me.

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Leaving the house is hard in winter

The will to leave my house or perform basic chores becomes extra tricky when temperatures drop. Along with type 2 diabetes, I have several other chronic illnesses. I turn into a couch sloth who does not want to leave my snuggly soft blanket and Netflix.

In the past years, I have suffered a lot due to my sluggish habits in winter. But for the past couple of years, I have tried sticking to some specific habits that work out almost perfectly fine for me. Today I will share 4 basic activities which keep me from getting into blood sugar trouble in the winter season.

Staying current on my immunizations

The first habit that I do yearly is to get a flu shot at the beginning of the flu season, usually in the fall. It helps me to stay healthy, as common viruses and bacteria can cause severe issues and weaken my body very quickly. Also, with the current COVID-19 situation and its terrifying outcomes for certain people with diabetes or underlying health conditions, I make sure I'm current with the latest booster shot as well for peace of mind. So, trying to stay healthy from respiratory infections is a top priority for me.

Eating nutrient-dense foods

Secondly, I place importance on eating nutrient-dense foods. It helps in keeping my peaking blood sugars in check. So even if I go out with friends or family, I prefer wholesome food options, especially soups. I love soups in the colder months and make all kinds of soup at home. Vegetable soup is my favorite. Having soup now and then is like heaven to me. It also keeps everything in check for me.

Incorporating regular physical activity

It can be hard for me to stay motivated to get some physical activity on the regular. Staying active is a good habit. Well, this is where I get a bit lagging, but I have a solution for it too. So, when I stay on my couch for too long, I get up and do a stair run. I do 2 to 3 runs up and down my staircase. I try and do this several times a day and it helps.

Also, I try to clean my kitchen and bedroom daily, so I also count household cleaning as a physical activity. It freshens me up, and in return, my house is clean and organized. It's a WIN-WIN for me.

Monitoring my blood sugar regularly

Checking my blood sugar regularly is the most important habit, and with type 2 diabetes, it is a top priority. I prefer making my hands cozy before the finger prick to avoid extra pain. I take my medications on time like a ritual - there is no laziness. It has to be done.

I keep my hands and feet in check too. I make sure that winter is not getting to me, so I keep my body warm and check my fingers every night before going to bed to ensure that nothing needs attention.

Sticking to my habits

Although I am a little lazy at times, I have put all my focus on sticking to these essential habits. It has helped me a lot. I am in my mid-60s, living with T2D, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia, and high blood pressure.

We all need to do what works best for us. I decided to make more positive lifestyle changes a few years ago to improve and maintain my health. The secret I have found out that works for me is sticking to it.

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