7 Self-Care Strategies for Managing Diabetes This Autumn
Preparing for trick-or-treaters? Rather than stocking up on treats that’ll tempt you, hand out different kinds of Halloween goodies: fun stickers, colorful wristbands, novelty toys, Halloween-themed toothbrushes, or pumpkin-shaped squishy balls.
People with diabetes are at greater risk for cavities and gum disease. To stay healthy, keep up with your regular cleanings, and ask your dentist if you should see a periodontist (a dentist who specializes in gum disease) to have your gums checked.
Find pockets of time throughout your day to squeeze in some physical activity. Go for a 10-minute walk after lunch, and put in time on the stationary bike while you watch your favorite TV show.
Ask your pharmacist to synchronize your refills so that you can cut back on the number of trips you make to the pharmacy. Or ask about home delivery options, which may allow you to get a larger supply of medication in each order.
People with diabetes are at a high risk for complications from the flu. Be sure to get vaccinated early in the fall, before flu season begins. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccinefinder.org makes it easy to find clinics and pharmacies in your area that offer flu shots.
Trying a new physical activity or eating at a different time may cause changes in glucose levels. Each time you check your glucose, take a minute to consider reasons it may have dropped or risen. Record all of that in your logbook or a tracking app. Then discuss trends with your diabetes care team at your next appointment.
When it comes to diabetes self-management, avoid playing the blame game. Instead, practice the golden rule in reverse: Learn to treat yourself as you would treat others in need—with kindness, warmth, and respect. Feeling down? Find support in those around you, or talk to a mental health provider.
Sources: Beverly Adler, PhD, CDE, a certified diabetes educator and clinical psychologist in private practice in Baldwin, New York; Jackie Newgent, RDN, CDN, author of The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook; Kellie Rodriguez, RN, MSN, CDE, director of the Global Diabetes Program at Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas