Five Ways to Tackle Diabetes Distress
Managing diabetes can take a toll on your mental and emotional health. If you find yourself overwhelmed, stressed, worried about finances, or unable to nurture meaningful relationships, you might be suffering from diabetes distress. Here are five things you can do to care for yourself while managing diabetes.
Address Your Feelings
This can be hard work because a lot of us don’t know how to articulate what we’re going through. Talking to a doctor, nurse, or therapist can allow you to put what you’re feeling into words and come up with ways to cope. You could also speak with a diabetes educator who has experience working with people who have gone through the same thing. Some of your feelings may have to do with stress or being overwhelmed but you can also talk about how the people in your life have been responding to your condition. Many diabetes patients speak of feeling judged or misunderstood, causing them to feel like they need to hide their illness.
Look for Financial Aid
Managing diabetes also comes with a financial burden. Go over your health care policy and review whether you can afford the cost of medication and supplies. Talk to your pharmacist and health care provider about your concerns. They may be able to point you in the direction of government programs that offer assistance or aid. Community health centers also have resources you can use to find help with expenses.
Involve Your Family and Loved Ones in Your Care
Family members can be a big source of emotional support and can also encourage you when you feel demotivated. They can remind you to take medication, join an exercise class with you, or help you prepare diabetes-friendly food.
Take It Slow
Don’t try to do too much at once when it comes to meeting your fitness and nutrition goals. Pace yourself and build up to a routine of diet and exercise. This will help you stay motivated and on track.
Find Time for Yourself
Take some time out of the day to do an activity you like such as spending time with friends or working on a project. Not only do you deserve it, but it will help manage your stress.