You may be doing heaps to fix your diet and fitness regimen to battle diabetes or related problems, but stress could undo the good work. On the other hand, having to cope with diabetes might put you on edge and leave your stressed out (and prone to further problems). It’s time to break that vicious cycle. And it’s easier than you’d think.
Your Body And Stress: The Faceoff
When you stress out, your body produces certain hormones that also raise blood sugar levels. To top it off, if you forget to take your meds or are negligent about your diet or fitness because you are stressed, that’s going to add up too. The spike in glucose levels can be a constant affair if your stress lingers and is chronic.
From migraines to weight gain, your body also begins to show cracks in more ways than one. If you’re living with constant stress you’re more likely to develop one or more of these health niggles aside from issues keeping that blood sugar in the normal range.
Stress-Related Health Problems You’d Want To Avoid
Break The Link: 10 Quick Tips To Control Stress
“Relaxing” and “not stressing out” is easier said than done. That’s why we’re here to help you figure out simple practical ways to do that. The good thing is these coping techniques and tips will help whether your stress is the result of diabetes or other diabetes-linked complications.
- Stick with your diet but plan ahead. Planning a menu after a long day can be stressful. If you use your weekends to chalk out menus and stock up on the right supplies, it can take the pressure off things during the week. Rope in family to help.
- Identify your triggers for stress and see what you can do to fix the problem. Ask yourself questions like:
- Are late-night work emails leaving you frustrated? Make a rule to avoid checking mail after a certain cut-off time or plan some de-stressor for after.
- Is mealtime stressful because you can’t have your favorite foods? Ask your nutritionist about cheat meals or indulging in some foods once in a way, in moderation. Find alternatives that work.
- Sleep well. Getting adequate rest is critical if you want to beat stress. Have a bedtime schedule that works for you. It could involve a warm bath, some gentle music, dim lighting, a little reading.
- Cut caffeine and alcohol intake and cut down or cut out smoking. They’re not doing your body any favors and can worsen diabetes-related issues.
- Exercise! Not only is it good for your body’s ability to regulate sugar levels better, but it is also a great stress-buster. Just pick some form of exercise you enjoy – even dancing or swimming can be great. Do a team sport if that’s more fun.
- Learn relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing, Tai Chi or yoga to help calm your mind.
- Schedule regular spa sessions for massages to relax your body and mind. Use aroma oils at home – they can calm the mind.
- Make time to do the things you love. It will take your mind off your condition and help you unwind and let go of that stress.
- Make time to meet your friends and family. Having someone to talk to makes a world of difference!
- If you feel you need to speak to someone who can understand your problem, join a support group or reach out to a counselor.