Managing diabetes can feel like a full time job, but by establishing and building habits, you can make living with this chronic condition easier. Diabetes affects many areas of your life, and can have some surprising health consequences. Habits, or actions that you take without even thinking, can make managing diabetes a far simpler task.
At Family Acupuncture and Wellness, Adam Learner, LAc, and his team seek to help you find and maintain your optimal level of health. We can help you learn to manage diabetes or other chronic conditions through finding the underlying cause and addressing it directly. In this post, we discuss five common, and often overlooked, habits that can help you manage your disease.
1. Eat well
When it comes to diabetes, a discussion of diet is unavoidable. Eating a nutritious, carefully-planned, and delightful diet that you enjoy is essential when you’re managing diabetes. When you have a plan, you’re less likely to eat things that don’t fit with your overall health goals.
In order to stick to your plan, you need to have one. Begin by collecting recipes that appeal to you. Each week, write out a menu. It may be a list of meals you’d like to make that week rather than exactly what on what day. Make sure you account for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
Once you have a menu, make a list of ingredients you need to make each meal. Check to see what you have on hand, and what you need to purchase. Once you have supplies, consider doing some prep to make things easier when you’re busy. You might portion snacks, do some batch cooking, or simply get your vegetables prepped.
Having a plan and everything you need to follow it in place really cuts down on the temptation to eat things that are unlikely to contribute to your health.
2. Begin learning to manage stress
Stress is bad for your health, and if you have diabetes it can affect your blood sugar, and it can impact how you think about your condition. And, while it’s easy to say “lower your stress,” putting that advice into action can be more difficult.
At Family Acupuncture and Wellness, we can offer tools that may be helpful, such as massage therapy, Chinese herbal medicine, and other modalities that can help you lower your stress levels. Using the tools at your disposal along with planning downtime and social activities can make lowering your stress levels a reality.
3. Check your feet
Diabetes can cause neuropathy, or nerve damage, in your lower legs and feet. Neuropathy can make you feel pins and needles, or even make you feel numb. When you have numbness, you may not notice if you have an injury on your feet.
Diabetes also affects your blood flow, and since your feet are the farthest point from your heart, you may find that cuts and wounds don’t heal as well as they should. Make it a daily practice to wash, dry, and carefully inspect your feet.
4. Improve your sleep habits
Adequate quality sleep is crucial for good health. Practice excellent sleep hygiene and you may find your health improves overall.
Go to bed and get up at the same time each day, keep your bedroom cool and dark. Avoid screens for at least an hour before bed, and dim the lights well before bed to signal to your body it’s time to wind down. Establishing a bedtime routine can also help you sleep better.
5. Be active
Exercise is important to manage your diabetes in several ways. For one thing, it helps you maintain a healthy weight, or to lose weight if needed. It’s good for your mental health, is a good way to manage stress, and it can help you sleep better.
If you have questions about managing diabetes, or you need help in building good habits, schedule an appointment at Family Acupuncture and Wellness. We’re always happy to help you reach your optimal health.