7 Self-Care Strategies for Managing Diabetes
The leaves may be falling, but don’t let your spirits follow. Challenge any negative thoughts so that you can better manage your self-care. Instead of beating yourself up for not reaching your blood glucose targets, for example, remind yourself: “Nobody has perfect blood glucose all the time. I’ll start small by improving my morning readings.”
With fewer daylight hours, look for ways to take your workout indoors. Head to the mall for a brisk walk, meet friends at the gym for a game of indoor basketball, or march in place while you watch TV.
Enlist others who’ve been there and experienced that to help you solve your diabetes dilemmas. Ask your diabetes educator to recommend support groups near you, or join an online group.
Enroll in a medication refill program with your pharmacy (it’s free!) to make sure you never run low on your meds. You can receive a call or text when your prescriptions are ready for pickup.
Create a family plan to decide how you’re going to deal with Halloween candy. One approach: Leave candy in a clear jar on the kitchen counter so you can keep tabs on when and how much has been eaten and can check to be sure insulin was dosed appropriately.
Always wash and dry your hands before checking blood glucose. Fragrance-free hand sanitizer is fine in a pinch, but keep in mind it might not remove sugars from foods (like that apple you just ate) the way soap and water can.
Fall is the time to get your annual flu vaccine. It’s especially important for adults and children with diabetes, who are at risk for flu-related complications, such as pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, and ear infections.
Sources: Donna Stevens, DNP, CRNP, CDE, BC-ADM, nurse practitioner at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital; Marianne McAndrew, DNP, RN, CDE, clinical nurse specialist and insulin pump specialist at CCS Medical; Beverly Adler, PhD, CDE, clinical psychologist in private practice in Baldwin, New York