Diabetes is hard. Whether you live with the disease or you are the parent of a child with diabetes, diabetes is hard! I know, I said it twice because it is true. It can be exhausting and overwhelming. There is never truly a time when you can relax and say “whatever will be will be.”
There are times when you want to relax. You want to throw in the towel. There are times when you want to simply say “ENOUGH!!!” and hide under the covers for a the day. I am here to tell you to do it! Seriously, take a minute or an hour or a day and just throw in the towel so that you can pick it up again with more strength than you had before.
It’s in your best interest and the interest of those you love to take time for you. Take time to just let it all go. Here are five easy ways to reset yourself so you can continue on your journey with diabetes.
1. Hide out in the shower.
The shower is an amazing place. You can lock the door. The water pouring over your body can be calming and soothing. It washes away your tears gently and without judgement. The sound of the running water also drowns out your anguish.
When things seem bad…When you are tired and just want a break… take 5 minutes and hang out in the shower. Cry or vent. No one needs to know. No one needs to see. You can simply let out all of that pent up anxiety and allow it to flow down the drain.
After you are finished crying and yelling, you can dry off and get on with your day!
2. Go for a walk.
Ideally, go for a walk by yourself but if you can’t take the kids and just go! Power walk at first until you have spent all of that stress and tension out of your body. Let all of your frustrations be released in your strides. Slowly let everything go until you can slow down and enjoy the scenery. Breathe and just let it be.
Your heart will thank-you and so will your psyche.
3. Pass the buck.
Whether you have diabetes or you are the caregiver, let someone else deal with things for an hour or a day. Let them do the testing and the injecting. Give the meter or CGM receiver to a trusted companion or family member for a bit. Allow them to deal with things in their own way. Allow yourself to forget just for a bit.
It can be hard at first. Diabetes is so all consuming but it can happen. Don’t be concerned if the other person is doing things differently than you would. Let go. As long as no one’s life is in danger…let it go.
I have done this for my son before. There would be a day when I would do all of the testing, bolusing and carb counting. He would simply hand me a finger or his pump. Diabetes was not something that he was going to actively concern himself with managing for that time period. He loved the break.
4. Enjoy a date night.
If you are a parent of a child with diabetes, this is super important. Make time for you and your partner. If you are single, then make time for you and your close friends. Take time once a week or at least once a month, to focus on relationships. Leave diabetes in the hands of someone you can trust. Do not spend all of your time looking at your phone or texting home. Focus on enjoying yourself and recharging your batteries.
5. Meet up with other D-peeps.
This one may seem a bit strange. If you are overwhelmed by diabetes, why or why would I suggest that you hang out with other people who are just as stressed as you? Because they get it!
Seriously, meeting another person who lives with diabetes can be so liberating. They truly do understand carb counting and pump problems. They are the ones who understand the A1c report card and so many other aspects of your life.
Go to conferences, events, or socials. Talk to that co-worker who also has diabetes or that Facebook friend you met in a group. Share with each other. You won’t just talk about diabetes but they will understand that diabetes factors into so many other aspects of your life.
These are just a few things that can help to relieve some of the stress of living with diabetes. There are many other things that you can do. If you reach the point of feeling completely overwhelmed, please consider talking to your doctor or a therapist. Diabetes is hard. You need supports. Make sure you find them and use them for the sake of you and all of those who care about you.