7 Self-Care Strategies for Managing Diabetes This Summer
1. Healthy Coping
On days when you’re stuck indoors—and going stir-crazy as a result—try a meditation app such as Smiling Mind or Insight Timer to help you re-center yourself. Both are free and available on Apple and Android devices.
2. Healthy Eating
To boost your intake of nonstarchy vegetables and stay hydrated during hot summer months, load up on water-rich veggies. Celery, cucumbers, bell peppers, and tomatoes are all around 95 percent water. Add them to a salad, use them as sandwich toppers, or dip them in hummus.
3. Reducing Risks
Get rid of your flip-flops so you aren’t tempted to slip them on once the weather gets warm. Open sandals leave skin exposed and could lead to cuts and scrapes. That’s a concern because wounds tend to heal more slowly for people with diabetes.
4. Taking Medication
Review the side effects of your daily meds so you’re aware of any that are summer-specific. Some drugs—such as sulfonylureas and certain blood pressure medications—can increase your chances of getting a sunburn or becoming dehydrated.
5. Being Active
Cotton may be cool for everyday wear, but it’s not ideal for bouts of physical activity. Invest in workout wear that’s made of sweat-wicking fabrics that pull moisture away from your body. They’ll keep you cool and dry.
If more than one person in your household uses insulin pens, label each with the user’s name to avoid medication mix-ups. It’s also a smart idea to mark the date you first start using the pen or insulin cartridge; most last for 28 days, but check the usage instructions on your device.
Heat can damage your glucose-monitoring supplies. Don’t leave your meter, test strips, or continuous glucose monitor (CGM) sensors in a hot car, by the pool, or on the beach.
Sources: Heba Ismail, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis; Marianne McAndrew, DNP, RN, CDCES, clinical nurse specialist and insulin pump specialist at CCS Medical in Downingtown, Pennsylvania; Kellie Rodriguez, RN, MSN, CDCES, director of the Global Diabetes Program at Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas