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Life with diabetes can be challenging – emotionally, physically, and mentally. Capable of destroying almost every aspect of your life, diabetes with its unpredictable swings in blood glucose levels can leave you feeling tired, moody, and stressed out. Not to mention the life-threatening complications it can cause – such as nerve damage, kidney failure, and even amputation.
With November being Diabetes Awareness Month, this is always a great time to learn more about what people with Diabetes live with on a daily basis. People with Diabetes face challenges such as obtaining life and health insurance policies. Life insurance for type 1 diabetes can be very challenging.
But all is not lost. You still have much to look forward to in life despite having diabetes. From friends and family to hobbies and work, your journey ahead calls for you to embrace life with all its colours and emotions. And to do that, you need to learn how to better manage your diabetes and the emotions that come with it.
Whether it’s your first time learning about diabetes, or you have had it for a while, diabetes with proper, ongoing care can be managed – giving you the freedom to live a full life. And though your journey won’t be without its challenges, it’s not impossible to achieve better emotional health with diabetes. With the right attitude, some planning, and a willingness to change, you can learn how to better manage your diabetes and the emotions that come with it.
Here are our expert tips for better emotional health with diabetes.
Managing Diabetes with Better Emotional Health
1) Confronting the News
Learning that you have diabetes can be a difficult and emotional experience. But what makes the news even more difficult to handle is that you don’t know how your diabetes will affect you in the long run. Will you be able to have a life you so desperately want?
Will you be able to achieve your goals and dreams? How will you be able to handle constant poking and prodding from your doctor? And that’s not even mentioning the physical changes that diabetes can bring.
In essence, the news of diabetes can be hard to take in, and you may feel overwhelmed. From anger, sadness, and confusion to fear, hopelessness, and isolation, the emotions you feel may be too much to handle. And though you can’t change the fact that you have diabetes, you can change how you deal with it.
Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of your diabetes, try to think of all the things you can do to improve your life. Embrace the news of diabetes; accept the fact that has been given to you. Remember that diabetes is not the end of the world, and it’s not your fault. It’s just a part of your body that is not functioning the way it should.
So instead of burying your head in the sand, try to take an objective look at your diabetes and use it as a learning experience to become a better person. Begin with small steps and work your way up to big ones. With the right attitude, you can do it!
2. Learn as Much as Possible
The first step to emotional health is to know everything you can about diabetes. Research your disease, study your symptoms, and learn what factors can affect your glucose levels so that you will be able to better manage them in the future.
This will not only help you become emotionally healthy, but it will also put you in a better position to deal with diabetes once it strikes. And if things are too overwhelming or getting on top of you, don’t forget that there are places where you can get outside help.
Your doctor is one of these places; so are support groups where people who have been through similar situations share their experiences with each other.
Your friends and family are other sources of help, especially if they have experience dealing with diabetes themselves or have knowledge on how to handle complications effectively. Remember your journey doesn’t need to be done alone! Take every help you can get!
3. Maintain A Journal
Writing down all of your emotions and thoughts can help you process them better and get a grasp on how you’re really feeling, which in turn will improve your emotional health.
Your journal is there to serve as a place where you can not only write down everything that’s happening in your life, but also where you can write all of your fears and worries that may be holding you back from moving forward with your plan.
4.Reach Out for Help
Diabetes is nothing to be ashamed of, and that’s why you should never hesitate from seeking outside help when it comes to dealing with your emotions surrounding your disease.
Whether it’s a family member, a friend, or a therapist, there are always people out there who can offer support and help you make sense of all of your thoughts and feelings surrounding diabetes.
In fact, the more support you have, especially early on in your emotional journey, the better chance you have at becoming healthier emotionally!
5. Take It One Day at A Time
You know what they say, about counting chickens before they hatch? It’s true—you will only hurt yourself if you expect too much too soon without working toward reaching those goals first.
Instead of saying, I’m going to change my life in a month, focus on each day as it comes and take one step at a time. Your emotional health won’t turn around overnight, but instead with small steps taken every day until one day you find that all of your efforts have paid off and there is no looking back!
Melissa Thompson is an LA-based content strategist for Diabetes 365. She covers industry developments and helps educate the diabetes community with the advances in technology. In her free time, Melissa enjoys swimming, swing dancing, and sci-fi novels.