Five Coping Strategies to Help You Live Life Happier and Healthier with Diabetes

When you or someone you love is living with diabetes, coming up with coping strategies that help promote happy and healthy living is top priority.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) has this to say about coping with diabetes, “It is common to feel overwhelmed, sad, or angry when you are living with diabetes. You may know the steps you should take to stay healthy but have trouble sticking with your plan over time.” The article goes on to say that “Stress can raise your blood sugar. Learn ways to lower your stress.”

In honor of National Diabetes Month, take time to learn how the following five coping strategies can help lower stress so that you can live a happier and healthier life.

Deep Breathing

Try the 5-5-7 Breathing Technique. Sit down with your feet on the floor. Breathe in for a count of 5.  Hold your breath for a count of five. Exhale for a count of 7. Repeat this several times or until you feel a sense of calm. While breathing in and out, relax your jaw, hands, and mind. Send your brain the message that you are relaxed so your brain will share the news with the rest of your body that it’s time to relax!

Take A Walk with a Friend

Getting out of the house and going for a walk is another great way to reduce stress but doing it with a friend is a huge bonus. Clinical psychologist Alice Boyes, PhD says, “Making social connections is very important for relieving stress. What you are doing is signaling to your brain that you are safe.”

Listen to Music

Download a “Stress, Stress, Go Away” playlist of songs to your phone or computer. Slip on a set of earphones and tune into your playlist. Choose songs that help you to relax, make you happy, or energize you.

Work on a Hobby

What is something you enjoy doing but rarely take the time to do? Gardening? Riding Bikes? Attending Book Club? Playing Pickleball?  Weekend Adventures? 

Add a hobby to your schedule. If you set aside time for your hobby, chances are you are more likely to follow through. Don’t get tempted to reschedule or skip your hobby time all together. Hobbies are an essential part of healthy coping skills. Jaime L. Kurtz, Ph.D. of Psychology Today reports that hobbies help you cope with stress by “reminding you that there are many facets to your self-concept.” You are more than your diabetes. You are a person with gifts and talents and as you put them into action, you are also learning to live happier and healthier.

Build and Stay Connected to a Support Network

It is important to continuously build and stay connected to a support network. This can include friends and family but don’t forget to reach outside of your personal network and invite others who can speak joy, peace or comfort into your life.

  • Find and join a local or online support group.
  • Reach out to your local clergy or minister by phone or with an email.
  • Make an appointment with a mental health counselor.

Don’t let your feelings of stress and anxiety go unchecked. Apply the coping strategies shared here today so that you can continue to nurture a happier and healthier life.

Want to show your employees just how much you care? Reach Out to an AmeriLife Benefits Counselor and discover how AmeriLife Benefits can help you provide an affordable benefits plan to your employees.

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