Coping with Stress

When you become diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important for you to know that you’re not alone. There are many resources and support systems to help you. The most important thing for you to focus on is taking care of yourself—physically and mentally.

What is Stress?

Stress is how your brain deals with all the things that you have to think about and do. For many, diabetes can become a challenge that brings stress. Stress can put a strain on your mental health, but it can also bring physical harm. Stress is dangerous because it:

  • Increases blood sugar levels
  • Creates negative emotions
  • Makes it hard to think clearly and make decisions
  • Can cause bad eating
  • Can have a negative impact on your immune, digestive, renal and reproductive systems
  • Can increase risk for depression

It is important to remember that stress does not have to control the way you live your life. Although diabetes can cause stress and it is normal to feel grouchy, upset, depressed, anxious or nervous, you can learn ways to cope (deal) with them. Here are some ways you can cope with stress:

  • Avoid drugs and alcohol. Drugs and alcohol may seem to help with stress, but they are very dangerous to a person, especially when combined with diabetes.
  • Take care of yourself. Eat well-balanced, healthy meals. They will give you a natural energy boost that will help with poor moods.
  • Talk to others. You don’t have to go at it alone. Share your problems and concerns with a parent, friend, counselor, doctor or anyone you feel comfortable with. Sometimes just talking it out can lead to less stress.
  • Get plenty of sleep. A full, uninterrupted night’s rest can improve your mood.
  • Take a break to breathe: Stop what you are doing for a few seconds and just focus on your breathing. As you take deep breaths, release all the tension in your body and mind. After a few breaths, you should feel more relaxed.

If you had feelings of stress about managing your diabetes, you should talk to your doctor about managing your stress.