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Diabetes is way more than a physical condition – it’s emotional. Managing this condition ourselves in the comfort of home is a benefit for sure, but the never-ending responsibility is also a weight. I’m happy to share some strategies with you for coping with this responsibility from Dr. Harpreet Nagra at diabetesredefined.com. So let’s review five ways to practice Diabetes self-compassion and forget perfection.
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Table of contents
- My Question To You
I don’t think anyone will argue that we have had a tougher year than usual. And having stress-inducing events can certainly mess with our diabetes management. Let’s look at the way you say things or think things through. I promise this will make a difference.
Today’s video’s idea and information are on loan by Dr. Harpreet Nagra, a licensed psychologist, educator, and author. She founded Diabetes Redefined, an online educational platform for people living with diabetes, to increase awareness about the psychological impacts of diabetes.
My Question To You
Do you use perfectionist terms or compassionate terms with yourself? Not sure?
Here are some tips and examples:
1 – Practice forgiveness
A perfectionist may say: I should always have blood sugars or A1C or other lab work in range. A Compassionate way to think is to use those lab numbers (blood sugars and A1C) as a learning tool. I like using the mindset when I’m checking my blood sugar of “hey body, how are you reacting to what I ate for lunch today, or the physical activity I did this evening.” I use this thought with my A1C as well… I “lean in” to see what the lab results say and use that as a learning moment. These labs are not to be used as a punishment – get curious about how your body (blood sugars) is reacting to different life situations. My video, Language Matters, is a great strategy to use as well.
Make Sure To Check Out – Language Matters With Diabetes
2 – Use a growth mindset
A perfectionist statement would be, “darn it, I should have mastered diabetes by now.” Whereas a compassionate way of thinking is looking at diabetes as a chronic condition that is done by trial and error. Honestly, think about this. Every time you check your blood sugar or look at your continuous glucose monitor trends, you are continuing the process of problem-solving. That gives us many learning moments. Think about all the different life events from the perspective of… Do you eat the same exact food every day? Do you get the same physical activity every day? Do you always sleep soundly? Are you never stressed or worry about things? My guess is that you would answer these questions as “no, there are many days that are different for me.” And with that, your blood sugar will change. Use this opportunity to learn and modify to help with your diabetes management.
3 – Express gratitude
If you are thinking that diabetes shouldn’t take this much time or effort. I must not be getting it, and I must be doing something wrong. That would be a perfectionist thought process. I know this can feel hard but focus on things you are grateful for within your diabetes management. I tell people that I’m grateful diabetes is manageable from the comfort of home….I can do it myself: no hospital, no painful surgery, no chemotherapy.
4 – Give back without losing yourself
A perfectionist would say, “I’m a diabetes advocate, so I should be able to manage my own diabetes perfectly.” Dr. Nagra points out that we are all flawed. It is great to be supporting others but at times, be compassionate with yourself… you also need to take care of yourself to help provide energy for the things you want to do, like helping others. Kudos to you for helping others!
Be Sure To Check Out – Keys to Living Well with Diabetes
5 – Be mindful
A perfectionist statement would be, “I need to show no emotion about my diabetes. Emotions aren’t part of this, and it’s a physical condition.” Realistically, diabetes is 24/7, no holiday or vacation days, right? That’s definitely tough, and the overwhelming responsibility can get to each of us. I hear ya. It’s a lot of to-do’s each and every day, but also know it’s absolutely ok to feel frustrated, sad, or angry. By acknowledging these feelings, it enables you to move forward by being able to let those feelings go.
Please know you are not alone. Reach out to a friend, family member, online diabetes community, or a diabetes professional where you will be heard.
Take care and cheers to your health.