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What to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed

Diabetes doesn't stop when other parts of life pull at your time and energy. And diabetes isn't something you can hand off to someone else to manage while you handle the other demands of life. Sometimes it can be pretty overwhelming to keep up; you're only 1 person! Here are some tips on how to reduce feeling overwhelmed.

Medications matter

Not all diabetes actions are created equal. Exercise and eating well are essential. Sleep patterns, stress management, and blood sugar checks are helpful.

However, when it comes to blood sugar management, taking your medication regularly is one of the most powerful actions you can take. In most cases, taking your medications correctly and not skipping or delaying doses should be your top priority.

Tip: Ask your doctor to prescribe 90-day refills on your medications, which can often save you time and money. Request an automatic medication refill, so you're less likely to run out of your medications.

Ask for help in all aspects

Managing type 2 diabetes is a big job. While you are responsible for much of it, in no way should you expect yourself to do it flawlessly and without support. Often, friends and family are willing to support you but don't know how to.

Are you too busy to get to your pharmacy? Ask a family member to pick up your medications for you. Don't have time or energy to prepare a well-balanced meal? Ask a friend to make a veggie-filled meal for you once a week. Facing a challenge you haven't experienced before? Join a diabetes support group and ask others who have handled similar struggles.

Tip: Be direct. State what you're struggling with and ask for exactly what you need. Family and friends will be less likely to nag, and you'll get the support you need to get through a tough time.

Keep your appointments

It's easy to postpone appointments or reschedule when you're struggling with diabetes self-care. You may be nervous about your lab results or your medical team's response to your challenges. It may be hard to find time to go.

Making doctor and specialist appointments a priority can help prevent complications of diabetes. Appointments can also help you connect to resources that may be beneficial.

Tip: Write down the top 3 aspects of diabetes self-care you're struggling with before your appointment. Ask your medical team for help in addressing these challenges. They can provide you with a referral to a new specialist, change your medication regimen, and more.

Be gentle with yourself

Type 2 diabetes can be accompanied by feelings of shame and blame. Social media, friends, family, and even medical professionals can all be a part of this negative cycle, especially if you're struggling to manage your diabetes well.

Too often, I see clients feeling guilty, shameful, or embarrassed that they're not managing their diabetes how they'd like or have been instructed to.

Tip: Be kind to yourself. Be realistic about what you're able to accomplish. Remember that no one is perfect at managing their health.

Be flexible

Diabetes management plans can change over time for several reasons, including experiencing new health conditions, changing family needs, etc.

Narrowing down your diabetes management to-do list to the top 3 most important aspects can help you prioritize and feel less overwhelmed.

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