Keys to Staying Positive
Diabetes requires commitment and hard work – but it’s important to stay positive in the face of these everyday challenges.
If you’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes, you may be feeling a range of emotions. Why me? Is this really happening? What does this all mean? Anger, fear, confusion – these are all normal feelings after a diagnosis. If you’ve been living with diabetes for a while, it’s still challenging. There will be up days, and down days. So how can you stay positive?
The key to living well with diabetes is balance. Diabetes is a part of you, but it’s not all of you. Here are some strategies to help you stay positive:
1. Accept it
This may sound hard to do – but welcome diabetes into your life. Accept it unconditionally, no matter how much you dislike it! Facing that you live with diabetes makes it easier to focus on living well with it.
2. Get in the know
Knowledge is power. Learn everything you can about your diabetes. Talk to your healthcare professional, take a diabetes education class, or join a support group.
3. Have a plan
Work with a diabetes educator to set a realistic plan for managing your diabetes, from lifestyle changes to testing and monitoring your blood glucose. Your plan may change as your needs evolve.
4. Build a support network
Everyone needs people to lean on. Tell friends, family and coworkers about your condition so they can be there or lend a hand when you need them.
5. Master the numbers game
Blood glucose readings, A1C results – know what your numbers mean and what your goals are as they shift over time.
Feeling low may be a sign of something more serious. Watch for signs like sadness, changes in appetite or sleep, loss of energy and nervousness. Talk to your healthcare professional if you notice patterns.
7. Find the good in every day
As you face everyday challenges, try not to focus on the negatives or “mistakes” you made, like missing a workout or having dessert. Instead, catch yourself being good and reward yourself. Over time, this will become a habit.
It’s not easy to stay positive every day – but having strategies in place will make it easier to overcome obstacles.
1 Canada.com. Diabetes: Staying positive. Available at: http://bodyandhealth.canada.com/channel_section_details.asp?text_id=5079&channel_id=1013&relation_id=105961. Accessed May 25th, 2017.