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Diabetes Health Center

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6 Ways to Tame Stress When You Have Diabetes

Stress can hamper your diabetes care. For instance, if you have so much on your mind that you skip meals or forget to take your medicines, that will affect your blood sugar level.

Life will always have challenges and setbacks, but you have the power to choose how you respond to it. Use these six tips as a start.

Recommended Related to Diabetes

Diabetes Care: Managing Your Time When You Have Diabetes

Sometimes, living with diabetes can seem like a full-time job -- trying to keep up with everything you need to do for proper diabetes care. "Diabetes is a very time-consuming disease to manage well," says Karmeen Kulkarni, MS, RD, CDE, and former president of health care and education for the American Diabetes Association. "The medication, the food, the physical activity -- you add life in general to that whole picture and it ends up being quite challenging."

Read the Diabetes Care: Managing Your Time When You Have Diabetes article > >

1. Keep a positive attitude. When things seem to be going wrong, it's easier to see the bad instead of the good. Find something to appreciate in each important area of your life, such as your family, friends, work, and health. That perspective can help you get through tough times.

2. Be kind to yourself. Do you expect too much from yourself? It's OK to say "no" to things that you don't really want or need to do.

3. Accept what you can't change. Ask yourself these three questions:

  1. "Will this be important 2 years from now?"
  2. "Do I have control over these circumstances?"
  3. "Can I change my situation?"

If you can make things better, go for it. If not, is there a different way to handle it that would be better for you?

4. Talk to someone. You could confide in a trusted family member or close friend. There are also professionals who can listen and help you find solutions. Ask your doctor for recommendations if you'd like to see a psychologist or counselor.

5. Tap the power of exercise. You can blow off steam with hard exercise, recharge on a hike, or do a relaxing mind-body activity like yoga or tai chi. You'll feel better.

6. Take time to unwind. Practice muscle relaxation, deep breathing, meditation, or visualization. Your doctor may know of classes or programs that teach these skills. You can also check for apps that do that.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on February 12, 2015

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