Successful self-management is a vital part of living with a chronic condition and emotional well-being has a big impact on your ability for self-care. There are constant demands and concerns about the future that factor into your ability to cope. Healthy coping means having a positive attitude towards managing your condition and positive relationships with others. It’s the first step on the road to reaching your health goals.
It’s important to find healthy ways to cope so you don’t turn to harmful habits such as smoking, overeating, drinking or alcohol. This is especially true if you have diabetes. Having a lot of stress can increase your blood glucose (sugar) levels, make you feel more negative and may lead to less healthy choices.
There are many healthy ways to cope with stress. A diabetes care and education specialist will help you find healthy ways to cope that work with your lifestyle, including:
Everyone has good days and bad days. It’s normal to feel discouraged from time to time. Sometimes, however, the stress or overwhelming feelings you’re having are a sign of something bigger. It is helpful to talk to your diabetes care and education specialist or mental health expert. Tell them about your feelings, especially if you:
- Lack interest or pleasure in activities
- Sleep most of the day or not able to sleep
- Don’t see the value in taking care of yourself
- Feel as though diabetes is defeating you or that you can’t take care of yourself
The most important thing is to realize that help is available. Your diabetes care and education specialist, your provider, and your support systems such as your family and friends are there for you. They can help you problem solve any self-care issues you are having in order to lower your stress and improve your ability to cope.
Download a tip sheet on healthy coping here that includes tips for finding support networks, suggests healthier ways of coping and explains how to start a conversation with your healthcare team about your concerns.