Ways to stay motivated as you manage diabetes well

Ways to stay motivated as you manage diabetes well

Okay, I'm tired! I quit this whole Diabetes thing! 

Have you ever said that? You certainly have, especially on those days when you just want to throw your hands in the air and give up.

Diabetes requires managing something that's invisible (blood sugar) without getting a break. It’s 24 hours a day, seven days a week..... You’re supposed to check your diet, exercise, take medications, frequently test your blood sugar, go for your doctor's appointments without fail, trying to live a normal life, and it’s a lot for anyone to cope with.

Despite these challenges, there are so many reasons why you need to work towards good diabetes management!
Here are five tips to remember on those days when you feel demotivated and nothing seems to be going right:

1. Set small goals and commit yourself
Pledging yourself to do something can boost your motivation. Put an end to those habits and lifestyle choices that are putting you at risk. Yes Habits are hard to break. Sometimes, even when we are trying hard to make change, we default back into our previous ways. Even if things don't turn out as planned,the truth is, something is always better than nothing. 
Set small, realistic and achievable goals and build on them Example: not “I want to exercise for 30mins everyday this week”, Instead “I want to walk for 30mins on Monday afternoon” and then build up the frequency of walks per week) Finally, Be patient with your self
2. Foster Internal motivation
Focus on internal motivation by celebrating small wins and gradual improvement over time e.g. testing your blood glucose more often than last week, eating more fruits and vegetables than yesterday, etc. And to keep you going, always remember all the people in your life that will benefit from you managing your diabetes better.
3. Think about how better blood sugars can benefit you Instead of “avoiding complications,”  
Diabetes complications like blindness, amputation, and kidney  disease are scary,and are not good motivators as to why you should manage your blood sugar.  Instead, think about what makes you happy in the present and how better diabetes management impact those activities. For example, things like beign out with friends and family........ When your blood sugar is out of range, It makes all the activities you love so much harder and less enjoyable.
You deserve better and so do the people around you!
4. Remember that blood glucose numbers are for information and not a grade on how well you're doing. 
There's that moment when your meter gives a high reading. It can feel like you’re getting a bad grade and this is very demotivating, when you feel like you’re trying soo hard and doing your best. Instead of blaming yourself, use this information to be solutions-oriented and proactive. For example say“okay, so I’m at 12 mmol/L. I can go for a walk” or “okay, 3 mmol/L it's best to to sit down and eat something.” When your blood sugar readings are in target, take credit and when they are out of range, blame the diabetes and vow to make better choices tomorrow
5. Remember how lucky you are. 
When you feel down, remember you have so much to be thankful for: life, access to insulin, strips, healthy food, friends and family to support you and with all these, it would be selfish NOT to manage my diabetes well.

 Cultivate a positive mindset by focusing on the benefits of good diabetes management for your overall health and well-beign


Written by: Hannah Ndichu

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