To say that life with diabetes can be a challenge is something of an understatement. Realistically, diabetes is exhausting. It’s demanding. It never sleeps, and it never takes a break. It can be lonely, and it can be painful. And because there isn’t currently a cure for the condition, it can also feel incredibly overwhelming.

You might be thinking something along the lines of, “Thanks for telling me something I already knew.” And, well, that’s fair. Whether you’re newly diagnosed, have had the condition for years, or are here because you know and love someone who has diabetes, you likely already know how hard it can be. You already know it’s time-consuming and emotionally taxing. So, we’re not here to tell you that.

What we are here for, however, is to do our best to help.

How are we going to try to do that? By offering you some (hopefully) helpful tips to make your management just a little bit easier. If you’re already employing some, or even all, of these life hacks, that’s awesome! If that’s the case, we’d guess you probably have a few of your own that aren’t on the list below. Take a look and let us know if we missed any by sharing them in the comments!!

 

1. GET ORGANIZED

Depending on your personal habits, this might seem like a no-brainer or an over-simplification. Organization definitely doesn’t come naturally to all of us. However, making even slight improvements in the organization department can yield huge results! Managing diabetes is complicated. Keeping track of appointments, medication, insulin, carbs, equipment… well, it can be a lot.

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Try focusing on a few areas you’re struggling to keep straight. Have a hard time keeping your paperwork organized? Consider getting a designated binder to store all of your important documents. Difficulty keeping track of your devices? Establish a designated storage location, and find a way to make them stand out (i.e. a brightly colored case). Use more than one insulin pen and occasionally forget which is which? Use washi tape or a permanent marker to distinguish between the two.

2. KEEP A JOURNAL

Journaling is not only an excellent way to process some of the feelings you’re having about your condition, it can also be vital to tracking your health. As you know, everyone’s diabetes is different. Making a note of how you feel and what your numbers look like after eating, exercise, or even a stressful day, can help tell you what’s going to affect your numbers in the future.

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Journaling can also offer a big-picture view of your management. You might find that you’re snacking on junk food more often than you think and it’s affecting your numbers. Or you might be pleasantly surprised by how well you’ve been sticking to your management plan. Either way, that information can help inform your future decisions.

3. LEARN TO ACCEPT ADJUSTMENTS

Sometimes diabetes can be unpredictable. So can life. Maybe work has been extra stressful or you’ve been preparing for a big event. Or perhaps you’ve been grappling with a personal issue, like an argument with a loved one. You might find that stress makes it harder to control your levels. When establishing your schedule, don’t hesitate to make a plan B, so that if you find you’re feeling too overwhelmed there’s already a backup in place.

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Maybe you already have plans. It’s been a tough day, but you have plans to meet a friend for dinner after work. Don’t be afraid to pivot. Cancel. Reschedule. Get the rest you need to feel great the next day. Be okay with your decision. Your health deserves to be a priority. You deserve to be a priority.