If you have been newly diagnosed with diabetes, you may be struggling to cope with the news of your diagnosis. This is absolutely understandable, as diabetes is a life-altering condition. As you begin to work through establishing your new daily norm, it is incredibly important to know that there is hope. Even though you are in the process of learning how to manage this stressful condition, and learning how this condition will fit into your life, there are steps that you can take to make the transition easier. To get you started, here are four strategies to help you stay positive when you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes.
1. Create a support system
Whether you reach out to friends, family, or a support group, having others to talk with is of great value. Build a support system of individuals that you trust and who will be there when you need someone to listen. People who have diabetes (including diabetes support groups and online groups like ours) can be the most supportive, as they have first-hand insight into what you are going through. Even if your support system consists of only two people, it is crucial to establish who you can go to when you are struggling and need to talk.
2. Keep your whole body healthy
Maintaining a holistic perspective on health (rather than just focusing on diabetic health) can also help you adjust. Focus on practicing habits that will keep both your body and mind healthy. Eat meals that are not only designed for controlling diabetes, but that are also delicious and loaded with nutrients. Exercise regularly with a workout or sport that you enjoy. Seek counselling from a mental health professional to manage depression and anxiety symptoms. By treating your whole body well, you will begin to look at managing your health and condition in a new way.
3. Education is power
You’ve likely heard this sentiment as it applies to other areas of life. However, it is also 100% applicable to a diabetes diagnosis. Learn as much as you can about the condition from day one. Empower yourself with the tools to overcome your condition, and to live life as uninterrupted as possible.
4. Stay realistic and give yourself time to adjust
As with any change or diagnosis, there is an adjustment period. How long that period will last is determined by numerous variables, including your mindset. Expect from the start that you will have setbacks. You will have days that are more of a struggle than others. This realistic perspective will help you be far more gentle on yourself when those days arrive. Additionally, when you do experience challenges, you will have prepared yourself in advance rather than be taken by surprise.
Staying positive as you enter this new chapter of your life:
While nothing can quite take away the full impact of your diabetes diagnosis, the four tips listed above can be a start to helping you transition to this new chapter of your life. Over time, you will have gained the strength and tools needed to manage your diabetes on a daily basis. Until then, reach out to others when you need it, stay realistic about your progress, keep your body and mind healthy, and stay positive.
Words: Jane Sandwood