Diabetes and Mental Health

Mental health can affect many aspects of your everyday life. While it is important to prioritize your health in every way, remember how important it is to prioritize your emotional well-being as well. It may seem like an obvious thing to do, but it is easy to sometimes get caught up in situations and lose control. It is important for everyone, and especially diabetics, to take care of their mental health since we know mental health can have a big impact on blood sugar levels. It is harder to stick to a diabetes care plan while also battling with your mental health, and these go hand-in-hand. So, let’s make sure to be checking in with ourselves often! According to the CDC, "Mental health is an important part of overall health and well-being. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood." Making healthy habits on checking in with yourself now can greatly benefit your diabetes routine in the future.

Managing your health

According to the CDC, “People with diabetes are two to three times more likely to have depression.” Untreated mental health issues can greatly affect diabetics because it can make their diabetes worsen. A worsened case of diabetes can also affect one's mental health. This is a cycle no one wants to be caught in, so it’s important that you are managing your health from all angles! Be sure you are taking extra care to do all the things that make you happy!
  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Eat well
  • Get plenty of sunlight
  • Exercise
  • Do something you enjoy
  • Connect with others and be sociable! While this is hard currently, find other ways to keep in touch with your loved ones!

Managing your stress & anxiety

Feeling stressed is part of life. We know that. Everyone gets a bit stressed out here and there, and especially now. And, that makes total sense. What we also know is that we sometimes don’t take the best care of ourselves due to stress - and that can affect blood sugar levels. It is a similar situation with anxiety. According to the CDC “Managing a long-term condition like diabetes is a major source of anxiety for some.” Don’t get overwhelmed with managing the condition. There is always someone to talk to, or something to do, to ease up the process!

Ways to uplift yourself!

  • Get active: a quick walk can be calming, and the effect can last for hours. This can benefit both your mind, and body!
  • Meditation or yoga can help you relax
  • Calling or texting a friend who has been there for you
  • Grabbing some “you” time is so important! Take a break from whatever you’re doing. Go outside, read something fun, do some crafts, or whatever helps you, feel like you!
  • Limiting alcohol and caffeine, eating healthy food, and getting enough sleep.

Supporting your mental health

You are NOT alone. Ever. If you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, stressed out, reach out to your healthcare provider, to your friends, or to a community of like-minded people going through the same thing. There are so many options to help you put your mental health first. When you feel anxious, breathe in deeply and slowly to help calm yourself down. Talk to loved ones, often! Use the technology you have to stay connected to friends and family. It really helps! Our usual routines have changed quite a bit as we stay at home, so it is only normal to feel a bit anxious about settling in with a “new normal.” So, it is important to continue to sleep well, eat healthy, and try exercising. All of these factors are known to have positive effects on mental health! Remember, this new lifestyle is only temporary and it will pass. Staying on top of your mental health is just as important as your physical well-being, so check in with yourself! Talk to others- you are not alone, and always remember you have a friend in the “Winning Type 2 Diabetes Together” group.