7 Self-Care Strategies for Managing Your Diabetes
1. Healthy Eating
In a food rut? Vow to try a new fruit or veggie each trip to the grocery store or your local farmer’s market. Better yet, let a new recipe guide your choices. Check out diabetesfoodhub.org for ideas.
If you use an insulin pump, be sure to adjust the time and date on your device when you spring forward for daylight saving time on March 8. Otherwise, you run the risk of dosing errors.
3. Reducing Risks
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, there’s no need to shy away from over-the-counter nasal sprays that contain steroids, but be aware that they may have a small effect on blood glucose, especially at the higher recommended doses.
4. Healthy Coping
When you feel overwhelmed by your diabetes to-do list, pick one thing you can do right now—whether it’s taking a moment for some deep breathing or slipping on your sneakers for a 10-minute walk—and go for it!
5. Taking Medication
Do a spring-cleaning of your medicine cabinet by checking the expiration dates on your over-the-counter meds and tossing anything that’s expired. To do so safely, first mix the meds with something inedible, such as used coffee grounds or dirt, and place in a plastic zip-close bag.
When you’re pinched for time, it’s easy for healthy habits to go by the wayside. To stay on track, use Sunday to plan for the week ahead. Mark exercise dates on your calendar and stock your fridge or freezer with ready-made meals.
7. Being Active
Exercise safely: Carry your phone and store your medical information on it so first responders can view important information (such as the type of meds you take) without your password. Set up a Medical ID using the Health app on your iPhone or fill out the Emergency Information in your Android phone’s settings.
Sources: Marianne McAndrew, DNP, RN, CDE, certified diabetes educator, clinical nurse specialist, and insulin pump specialist at CCS Medical in Downingtown, Pennsylvania; Kellie Rodriguez, RN, MSN, CDE, director of the Global Diabetes Program at Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas; Donna Stevens, DNP, CRNP, CDE, BC-ADM, nurse practitioner at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital; Craig Williams, PharmD, professor of pharmacy at Oregon Health and Science University Medical Center in Portland, Oregon