Coping With Diabetes and Stress

Diabetes Tool BoxWhen you have diabetes, stress can significantly affect your ability to control the disease. If you are under stress, you may skip meals or forget to take your medicines, which will affect your blood sugar level. Learning to deal with this stress is especially important if you have diabetes.

Although you can’t completely remove stress from your life, there are several ways you can reduce it. And by learning to better cope with stress, you can help keep your diabetes under control. Here are some tips.

Fight Stress With a Positive Attitude

When things seem to be going wrong, it’s always easier to see the bad instead of the good. Find something good in each important area of your life: work, family, friends, and health. Thinking about the good can help you get through the bad times and the stress.

Be Nice to Yourself

What are your talents, abilities, and goals? Are you expecting too much from yourself? Don’t expect more of yourself than you have or are able to give.

Accept What You Cannot Change

For those stressful situations or problems that cannot be changed, develop a simple plan of action. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • “Will this be important two years from now?”
  • “Do I have control over this situation?”
  • “Can I change my situation?”

Talk to Someone About Your Stress

Don’t keep stress bottled up inside. If you don’t want to talk with a family member or close friend, there are counselors and clergy trained to provide support and insight. Ask your doctor for recommendations if you would like to see a psychologist or counselor.

Exercise to Fight Stress

The benefits of exercise in reducing stress are well known, particularly for someone with diabetes. Exercise gives you a feeling of well-being and may relieve symptoms of stress.

Take Time to Relax

Practice muscle relaxation, deep breathing, meditation, or visualization. Ask your health care provider for information and available programs.

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