Problem Solving is when you come up with ways to solve a problem, then try it and see if it works. When you have diabetes, you can follow your treatment plan, check your blood glucose (sugar) often and still find that you don’t always get the results you hope for. Diabetes also changes over time and you may need some new ways to manage it. Using problem-solving techniques can help.
Problem solving involves 3 steps:
Step 1 Identify the problem
- What has changed or is going to change?
- Some common scenarios where you need to problem solve around your food, activity, monitoring and medications are going on vacation, getting sick, eating out or playing a sport
Step 2 Find solutions
- Have you misunderstood anything about your treatment plan?
- Has your life situation changed?
- Are there new tools, resources or medications out there to help you?
- Do you need more information to come up with the right solution for your problem?
Step 3 Take Action
- Which possible solutions do I want to try? Do I need help to make it work?
When you succeed in solving problems you have identified, you will gain confidence in your ability to handle future challenging situations. You can enlist the help of your diabetes care and education specialist by openly sharing your concerns and discussing your limitations in your knowledge or skills. They can guide you in setting realistic goals that can boost your ability to problem solve. You can build on your previous experiences, but also try some new things.
You can also download a tip sheet on problem solving here that includes tips on improving your problem-solving skills: