How to stay motivated when managing diabetes

Dealing with diabetes is not easy, but neither is it impossible. Commitment, consistency, and communication are the three keys to manage diabetes well. This means a commitment to a healthy way of life, including a diet for diabetes, regular exercise and a diabetes-friendly lifestyle.

Consistency means cultivating these habits as sustainable ways to control diabetes. Communication involves getting the right and ongoing support and information for diabetes treatment including periodic meetings with your diabetes healthcare team.

To make these three happen day in and day out can prove too much of an effort. It is not uncommon for diabetics to kick-start diabetes management measures with great enthusiasm, only for it to fizzle out in a few days.

Starting a healthy diet routine only to binge on that fried burger meal a week later…

Preferring to snuggle up cosily in the bed rather than wake up early to hit the gym…

Other “priorities” eating up into doctor-appointment time…

Most of us go through these “phases” letting our perseverance and dedication take a toss for the worse and ransacking all our healthy-living plans. But hey, that’s what it is- just a phase. And so,it’s something you can get over with the right attitude and motivation, and maybe the right help. Read on to know how to be on-the-mill on how to control diabetes.

1. Delighting up the Diet Menu:

Diabetes and nutrition go hand in hand.So,encourage the right eating habits with this:
a. Designate a family-fun-culinary day: Designate a “cooking day” as “family-time” day and have fun trying out your culinary skills, the healthy way. Join a diabetic culinary group if possible and keep sharing yummy ways to eat healthy.
b. Browse through a diabetes food guide: The mouth-watering pictures in a diabetes food guide can really motivate you to eat healthy!

2. Encouraging the exerciser in you:

Enthuse and energize yourself through goal-based training
a. Record your activity: Use an activity tracker app to record your physical activity in time or kilometres or calories. Set up a daily or weekly goal, and go for it. With an end outcome in sight, chances are you will stick to your plan and “rough it out.”
b. Mix it up: Pumping it up at the gym every single day may lead you into a rut of routine. Design an exercise plan that’s varied and you find fun. Try from a variety of activities like cardio, weights, cross-training, andyoga (even dancing can work wonders) while cheering you up!
c. Share the fun: Buddy up with an exercise-buddy who never lets you miss a single fit-day!
d. Go social: Going public with your goals ups the chances of you adhering to them. Why not use the social-media hype to our advantage? Post and check-in your exercise activities and get egged on by the likes and comments you receive!

3. Managing the mind:

a. Think of blood sugar as positive: Rather than focusing on the possible complications of diabetes, train your mind to think of how healthy blood sugar levels help you. Practicing yoga, meditation and other mindful measures go a long way in developing a positive-thought cycle, thereby alleviating stress and keeping you on top of your game!
b. Cultivate a hobby: Dedicating time daily to something you love doing not only eases stress, but helps you keep the larger perspective in mind. It also means you will be naturally drawn to relaxing, and need not push yourself forcefully.
c. Listen and share: Sometimes, discussing in a group that has gone through the same tribulations helps a lot. Join a diabetes support group (in person or online) and express your thoughts and listen to positive stories of change.

4. Seeking support:

Whether it is your healthcare team or loved ones at home, ask for support when you need it. Develop a family-exercise regimen that’s fun and spend quality time together, or indulge in weekly family-cooking sessions with everyone playing a role.

The key to staying motivated to think “delight” rather than “damage control.” Correlate all the above areas with what you truly enjoy doing, and you will find yourself automatically imbibing habits for the long and healthy life!