woman meditating with a giant cup of tea behind her

DeStressing Your Diabetes

Stress. Everyone lives with some degree of it. Most stress can be controlled, perhaps not eliminated, but controlled. I try to control mine and most of the time I’m successful. Now add in the everyday stress of living with diabetes. Let’s face it. One of the most difficult things to control is our blood sugar because, despite our best efforts, it manages to outdo us...a lot. Nevertheless, I wanted to share some of the things I do to try to de-stress.

10 stress management tips

1. Meditation

This can be a way to calm the mind. It can be done with no cost, little cost or bigger cost. If you search the internet you can find some good reliable apps for your phone or computer to teach you how to meditate. There are even research-based wearable devices you can purchase that can help you meditate by reading your brain waves; they are sent to an app on your phone as sound. A little on the pricey side but worth it.

2. Warm bath

To me nothing feels better than a good soak. It warms the outside of the body and causes relaxation, and helps us to forget about our stress.1 Remember, care should always be taken if you have a decreased ability to feel due to neuropathy.

3. Cup of tea

I have no words for how I feel about a good cup of tea. It’s even better while having a warm bath.

4. Good book

Books are amazing. They whisk you away to new places and distract our minds from our own lives. There are free books from the library and websites like BookBub. Consider purchasing a book from a used book store.

5. Laughter

There is nothing more relaxing than a good belly laugh! There’s even research behind it’s value.2

6. Walk

A peaceful walk can calm an active mind. A vigorous walk can release pent up energy and free the mind.

7. Take a class

Take any class! Yoga, computer skills, new language or anything else that interests you.

8. Volunteering

sometimes helping others takes us away from our own thoughts and worries.

9. Hobby/crafts

Immersing our minds in something fun can help us to forget for a short time the negatives of diabetes. You might discover you have skills you never knew you had!

10. Make your bed

I heard a story that stuck with me and helps me to look at the positives when stress captures me and I feel like I’m accomplishing nothing. It comes from a speech given by Admiral William H McRaven:4

“If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can't do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.

And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made — and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.

If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”

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