Diabetes Self-Management Articles

Dealing with diabetes 24 hours a day, seven days a week, can take its toll on your emotional well-being, while stress and negative emotions can take their toll on blood glucose control. Check out the articles in this section for tips on managing stress, dealing with depression, communicating with your loved ones, and finding support groups and other kinds of help.


Beating the Winter Blues by Lynne Spevack, LCSW

Managing diabetes can be tough in any season. As winter approaches, though, some people with diabetes find that staying on top of a management routine — and everything else — gets even harder. Do any of these scenarios sound familiar to you?

Also inside: Winter Blues Resources

Coping With Diabetes Over Time Laura Hieronymus, MSEd, BC-ADM, CDE, and Kristina Humphries, MD

When you are diagnosed with a chronic illness such as diabetes, you must face the fact that there is no cure. It is therefore no surprise that taking care of yourself may feel difficult or challenging at times. That’s why dealing with diabetes over the long term requires developing a range of coping skills and techniques, from learning to carry out the daily tasks of diabetes control, to finding ways to deal with the emotions that having diabetes and having to care for it are bound to bring up at times…

Also inside: Controlling Your Stress Level, Your Diabetes Care Team

Creating New Holiday Traditions by Robert Taibbi, LCSW

Ah, the holiday season: The delicious aromas from the kitchen, the wonder in the eyes of children on Christmas morning, the joyous bustle of friends and family gathered together around a crackling fire. It’s a time of enchantment, of magical moments and memories — undoubtedly the best of times.

Well, maybe not…


Demystifying Motivation by Rita Milios, LCSW

How many times have you said to yourself, “I’d really like to [lose a few pounds…exercise more… change my diet], but I just can’t find the motivation.”? When you have diabetes, committing to healthier habits is a big deal. But with so much at stake, why is it still so hard to find the motivation to do the things you know you should?


Depression by Paula M. Trief, PhD

Depression is a serious concern for anyone, and no less so when a person has diabetes. Studies have shown that if you have both diabetes and depression, you are more likely to have high blood glucose, diabetes-related complications, and a shortened life span. While this may be because seriously depressed people typically don’t take as good care of themselves, researchers think that the link may go beyond that. Fueling their suspicions are the facts that the incidence of depression is higher among people with diabetes than in the general population and that being depressed raises the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes…


Diabetes and Your Marriage by Paula M. Trief, PhD

It’s hard to have a chronic illness like diabetes. You have to watch your weight, make healthy food choices, exercise, take insulin or oral medicines in many cases, and see several health-care providers on a regular basis. But there’s more…


Diabetes Blogs by Allison Blass

Blog. It sounds like something you would say when you are feeling under the weather (“I’m feeling so blog today…”), but it is actually short for Web log, a regularly updated online journal. Blogs were originally used by people who…

Also inside: Getting Started With Blogs

Eight Tips For Managing Diabetes Distress by Lawrence Fisher, PhD

Many people experience considerable distress about having diabetes and the amount of hands-on management that diabetes requires. This often includes frustration with the ongoing obligations of diet, physical activity, blood glucose monitoring, and taking…


Handling Holiday Stress by Linda Wasmer Andrews

‘Tis the season to be jolly? Jolly well sick of the holidays, perhaps. After decking the halls, braving the malls, and baking 12 dozen cookies she shouldn’t even eat, Marcia, for one, is always too tired and cranky to enjoy the big day much. To make matters worse, the combination of too little rest and too much stress often sends her blood glucose soaring out of control. It’s enough to turn a sweet-tempered lady into a first-class Scrooge…


Learning Self-Compassion by Nicola J. Davies, PhD

The fact that you are reading Diabetes Self-Management suggests that you are eager to learn new ways of dealing with this demanding condition. It is important to consider how you care for your mental and psychological health…


Navigating Mental Health Care by Joseph B. Nelson, MA, LP

Navigating the process of seeking mental health care and then getting it is a daunting task for many. Even if it feels like you are adrift and have reached the point where you need therapy, making that final decision can still be uncomfortable. A range…


Relaxation Techniques for Stressful Times by Linda Wasmer Andrews

Stress is a natural part of life, but when it becomes chronic, it can wear you down, both mentally and physically. If you have diabetes, stress can make it harder to control your blood glucose level. It also may increase the odds of developing certain complications

Also inside: Relaxation Resources

Stress: Finding Peace Amid the Storm by Laura Hieronymus, MSEd, APRN, BC-ADM, CDE, and Patti Geil, MS, RD, CDE

Everyone experiences stress in life, and people with diabetes are no exception. In fact, diabetes itself can be a source of much stress. The challenge is not to seek a life with no stress but to learn to deal with the stresses life hands us…

Also inside: Symptoms of Depression

Taking a Zen Approach to Diabetes by Glenn M. Callaghan, PhD

Stop. Breathe in. Breathe out. Be aware. Do.

This process may be a key ingredient to help you manage stress and even help you successfully manage your diabetes


The Importance of Role Models by Amy Mercer

A diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes was a wake-up call for Susan Ito. In her words, this working mom was “an overweight, rice-loving, couch potato” who loved food but hated her body. Determined to become a better role model for her daughters than she had been up to that point, Ito joined Weight Watchers, started [...]


The Secret to Solving Relationship Problems by Robert Taibbi, LCSW

Problems are bound to arise in any intimate relationship, and each couple finds its own way of handling them. Research has shown that successful relationships are not necessarily those that have fewer problems, but those that have found effective means of solving the problems that come up…


Updating Your Coping Skills by Reji Mathew, PhD

The journey of managing a chronic illness often follows a bumpy road with unexpected twists and turns. Successfully taking charge of any chronic condition requires good medical care, access to resources, and social support. Often, however, it’s a…


When Diabetes Hits Home by Patti Geil, MS, RD, FADA, CDE, and Rachel Geil

Living with diabetes is a challenge. Far from being “just a touch of sugar,” diabetes affects all aspects of your physical and emotional health. Fortunately, though, when members of a family work together to understand each other’s feelings, they can support each other through good times and bad…

Also inside: How One Family Coped Together, Take-Away Coping Tips

Whose Diabetes Is It, Anyway? by Scott Coulter, LSW

People are instinctual problem-solvers. When we hear that someone we know is facing a hardship, we want to solve it, partly out of genuine care for the other person, and partly because most people just can’t stand the idea of an unsolved problem. When the problem is a chronic health condition such as diabetes, however, all sorts of short circuits can occur in our problem-solving brains..


Yoga by Susan Shaw

I gathered my legs underneath me to get off the floor, like a minute-old foal finding out what her body is for. Emotionally, I was flying. And, unexpectedly, I had been crying. I had discovered how to live inside my body with gentleness.

How did…

Also inside: Yoga Resources

Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information provided on this Web site should not be construed as medical instruction. Consult appropriate health-care professionals before taking action based on this information.

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Diabetic Cooking: The Summer Issue

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