Diabetes: 5 Self-Care Practices to Improve Your Health
When you have diabetes, chances are pretty good you spend a lot of time thinking about your blood sugar levels, foods you eat, and your lifestyle habits.
You know…How many carbs are you eating? Are you getting enough exercise? Is it time to test your glucose levels…again?
These are important daily self-care practices to help you manage diabetes. But they’re not the only actions that impact your health.
In fact, there’s at least FIVE things you can do that have a positive impact on your mental and physical health, like:
1. Forgive yourself
Nobody’s perfect. If your blood sugar levels aren’t always ideal, it’s easy to beat yourself up about it, entertain negative thoughts, and even swear off trying to follow a Diabetes-Friendly diet.
Don’t do that, OK. Instead, give yourself some grace. Look at your blood sugar levels as data that can help you improve your eating habits, make better food choices, and follow a Diabetic-Friendly diet.
2. Make positive changes
Change doesn’t happen easily. In fact, most of us are resistant to change. But if you’re willing to look at your blood sugar levels, diet, and lifestyle habits, you can change by answering two simple questions:
- What am I doing well?
- How can I improve?
Answer these questions honestly about living with diabetes and then take action. Doing this will keep you on the path to progress and protect your health.
3. Be grateful
What’s so “great” about diabetes? Nothing really, if you approach the question with a negative mindset. It’s a chronic disease that can lead to serious health problems, right?
But what if you change the way you think about diabetes?
Try this: I’m grateful diabetes has helped me:
- Learn to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other healthy foods
- Be more active
- Lose weight or maintain a healthy weight
- Make better lifestyle choices about sleep, stress management, and other things
- Improve my overall health
4. Encourage others and take care of yourself
When you’re diagnosed with diabetes, chances are pretty good you have to make some changes to your diet and learn more about how blood sugar levels can fluctuate.
There’s doctor’s appointments. There’s meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking (or these Diabetic-Friendly meals. And you may need to learn how to monitor your blood sugar levels.
Guess what? Once you start to get the hang of things, you can encourage others and show them how to manage diabetes, and still take care of yourself.
5. Practice mindfulness
How are you feeling? That’s a good question to ask yourself multiple times throughout the day.
Why? It’s a smart way to practice mindfulness, pay attention to your body, and observe your thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Feeling hungry, tired, and depressed? Or maybe you’re satiated, full of energy, and happy.
Being mindful and taking a closer look at what you’re doing can help you make good choices to protect your health and keep diabetes in check.
Tracking carbs, blood sugar levels, and your diet, can help you manage diabetes. But these five healthy self-care habits can improve your wellbeing and happiness, too.