Despite living in a health conscious world we never think that one day we are going to wake up and not be able to have the foods and lifestyle that we are used to. Living with diabetes requires most to learn a whole new way to live. Those of us who have read about type 1 or type 2 diabetes are only familiar with the facts and statistical data on the disease. Those immersed in diabetic living know about the struggle it creates.
The subject of diabetic living means a lot to me. During my childhood, I grew up with my grandmother and other family members living with diabetes. I was able to see firsthand how their lives were altered.
The Reality of Diabetic Living:
A disease isn’t biased; it won’t knock on your door and ask you, “may I take up space in your body and mind and change things for you”, “oh and one more thing after I’m done you won’t have the life you had before.” Then we are left with the choice of living a new normal, which means learning to create a new balance between our physical and emotional well-being.
Those living with diabetes mostly see doctors emphasizing on how they need to control their blood sugar, manage their diet, and perform an active lifestyle. One of the important points that are often missed is the individuals’ emotional health. Our emotional well-being can play an important role in participating in a healthy diabetes lifestyle despite the diagnosis. After time, diabetics know that the more stressed they are about their health the more difficult it becomes to manage blood sugar levels.
The increased amount of stress we allow ourselves to take on, the harder it becomes for our bodies to function effectively. A functional body releases the good hormones needed to feel more robust and positive. We are human beings and there are times we will feel angry, frustrated, and possibly not in control of our actual health. It's okay to feel this way from time to time, but it's better to discuss these feelings with a professional or behavioral specialist.
Coping With Diabetes Cannot Be Overlooked
Joe Solowiejczyk is a certified educator that manages diabetic counseling and training at the Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute in Milpitas, California. He discusses the importance of emotional and behavioral competency: "I think it's important to acknowledge that, from time to time, you're going to have a meltdown. Just like with everything there are peaks and valleys, and the question is how can you have more peaks then valleys? “ Creating a unique ability to guide yourself through battles while maximizing positive strides is extremely important.
This is one of the reasons I became a life coach and counselor in Phoenix, Arizona. Diabetic living is difficult in itself and it's imperative that we're able to balance out emotions in order to manage our own behaviors and health.
Here are my 3 Steps to Help Those Living With Diabetes.
1. The first important key point is learning to really listen to yourself, and recognize how you are feeling emotionally. Now for some this will take some practice and learning how to be more vulnerable. This simply means putting one’s guard down just a bit more than usual so you have this space to listen to your inner self. I’m suggesting this because we know ourselves to be our own experts and we also have this grandiose belief that we can handle and fix anything we are going through. To an extent this is not a bad thing, it only weights us down when we are not willing to authentically say to ourselves “Okay, I’m not feeling well what the next step for me to take to feel more uplifted?”
2. The next step to feel more uplifted is to create a genuine support system. Having a support system that understands diabetic living and wants the best for you is key. You can create this in multiple ways, but reaching out to your local diabetes association for support is a good start. You can also talk to family or friends that understand how you're feeling and what you might be going through while living with diabetes. The best approach is to find someone willing to listen and support you. A life coach is also a great option as I specialize in teaching you tools and techniques to become more emotionally fit while disallowing your diagnosis take over your life. This is a great place to create and redefine how one wants their life to look like with emotional empowerment.
3. Self-care is essential, and the most important step when living with diabetes. I cannot emphasize it enough. We are composed of mind, body and spirit. When your car maintenance light goes on you take care of it because you want your car to run. We work the same way. Do things that are exciting and healthy for you. Challenge yourself to laugh more often. Remind yourself how much you are loved and how much you love yourself. Yes I said it - without self-love the things we want to create become harder. It's easier to make excuses for everything that has happened instead of taking initiative to make the most of it.
4. The last step that I always remind my clients is that no matter what you are facing and dealing with, it does not define you. It’s about looking at life from a different angle - an angle in which you are the one who is empowered to continue to live the life that you want. Regardless of the situation you have, never allow anything to take your thunder; without you, life would not be as sweet!