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Stress Less: 4 Tips For Helping Diabetes Related Stress

Stress Less: 4 Tips For Helping Diabetes Related Stress | The LOOP Blog

Stress is a very common problem for anyone, especially a person with diabetes. Throughout the day, there may be four or five different things that I am feeling stressed out about. Do I have enough time to meet a client deadline? My daughter, wife, and myself all have an appointment today. The pool needs to be cleaned. My infusion set needs to be changed. My blood glucose (BG) is high. Wait, just stop and take a deep breath.

When I was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2004, I would become stressed over every high BG I would see on my glucose meter, but then I realized that wasn’t helping me deal with the high blood sugar. When I would stress out about the high BG, it would continue to stay at a higher level than my target range.

I started using these four tips to help deal with my diabetes related stress.

1. Take 3 Deep Breaths

I have never read any books or articles about the art of breathing and calming yourself down. For me personally, taking three deep breaths is what it takes to calm myself down and feel the level of anxiety decrease. If I’m still feeling stressed after taking the three deep breathes, then it’s time for a quick walk.

2. Take a Short Walk

Taking a quick walk, whether it is around my house, yard, neighborhood, or work environment, helps take my mind off of whatever was stressing me out in the first place. I am lucky enough to live out in the country where I can take a walk and listen to the birds chirping.

3. Talk it Out

If you feel comfortable talking to someone about what is stressing you out, then talk it out. There are times when talking to my wife or friend, or even venting on Twitter or Facebook, help me lower my stress level.

4. Is it Stress-worthy?

This is a question I ask myself a lot. Is this something I should be stressing out about? 99% of the time, the answer is actually no. Here is how I determine whether it is stress worthy. I ask myself, “Is this something that is out of my control?” If I answer yes, then I can’t allow myself to be stressed about it (because there are plenty of things that I can control that I need to stress about), such as the high BG reading that used to stress me out. I tested my BG, counted the carbs correctly, took the correct amount of insulin (actually, I did this nine other times and my blood glucose level was great!), but this time my BG was high. There is nothing I can do about that situation. Sometimes diabetes has its own mind.

Do not ever hesitate to reach out when you are extremely stressed out. There are plenty of people willing to listen and help.

These four stress-relieving tips work for me, but I am curious to know what works well for you. How do you help manage your diabetes related stress?

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