We all have the power to influence our diabetes management in a major way. And it is a double-edged sword. If we want to, we can really focus on taking care of our condition and thrive through the right motivation! And if our strength has waned and diabetes has fallen low in our list of priorities, the back edge of the sword cuts deep too. A poorly managed diabetes is truly not a benevolent force.
We often talk about the role of our endo and the diabetes nurses in getting to a good A1C. But the reality is that about 99,9 % of our diabetes-related decisions come not from our endo, but from us. We make the decisions, we count the carbs and administer the insulin. For sure, the outside eye of our doctors and other care staff can have life-changing effects for our diabetes balance, but the rest is up to us.
Building blocks of motivation
And what do we need to make the best of our condition? We need information, skill and most importantly, motivation to manage diabetes properly. When your know how of diabetes self care increases, you usually gain motivation to treat yourself better. It is just good to keep in mind that it’s normal that there will be fluctuations in your self care motivation. We have so many things going on in life, that it is very hard to keep on going at 100% with diabetes management. Sometimes our life throws an unexpected punch or two and suddenly you might find yourself not caring for your diabetes. It’s good to try and stay aware of the mental resources you have at your disposal. When it’s hard, give yourself a bit of mercy and try better tomorrow, or maybe next week.
An important part of long-term self care motivation is the feeling that your efforts pay off. If you are struggling to keep your diabetes in check and nothing you do seems to have any effect whatsoever, it will be hard to stay motivated. When your actions lead to better BG levels, it is easier to stay motivated.
If you feel that your motivation needs some boosting, you can try these things:
1. Hone your diabetes self care skills
Contact your nurse or doctor and talk to them about the things on your mind. If your treatment is off, discuss it with them and try something new to regain control. It’s also good to refresh on carb amounts of different foods.
2. Get support
Just talking can help you stay motivated. Talk with your friends and other people close to you. Or if you feel you don’t have anyone who you can talk to, maybe look up a nearby diabetes peer support group or go online. Sharing your feelings and troubles can lift your spirits! With Dottli, you can chat up with other diabetics and share your values instantly with them.
3. Set suitable goals
You can feel that you have enough knowledge, skills and knowledge, but taking diabetes management a part of everyday life is still hard. Maybe you are focusing too much in self care? Try setting goals that do not require too much work. What is the maximum amount of effort you can put in without tiring yourself? Set your goals at a lower, realistical level at first and build up from there. If your goals are too high, you might get diabetes burn-out and then your self care really takes a hit.
4. Focus on things that build your well-being
It can be useful to build awareness about what makes you feel better and what causes stress. Focusing on the things that build your well-being and leaving the stress factors behind you, can help a lot. Of course there are situations when you just can’t leave the stressful things behind. In those moments, maybe it’s just best to endure the stressful situation and maybe look around for those little rays of sunshine.
5. Make room for diabetes self care
Work can be hectic and sometimes it can be hard to find a suitable moment to measure your BG or take insulin. Sometimes it’s impossible to avoid those moments, but trying to make room for bg measuring, insulin injections and carb counting really makes a difference in managing diabetes. Health always first.
Are you thinking about gift ideas for a type 1 diabetic friend? Coming up with gift ideas for our loved ones is always hard! But for us type 1 diabetics, there is hope! We made a list of five + one gift ideas that can delight or be of use to a fellow type 1 diabetic.
1. All things Withings & Fitbit
The first item is actually a bunch of items that all work with our free Dottli app. Just about every Withings and Fitbit product will sync with Dottli and help us to automate our daily value logging. Their selection includes a blood pressure meter, a weight scale, activity trackers/smart watches, thermometers and so on. A blood pressure meter in particular is an important item for every diabetic to have, because long term high BP is damaging for our veins, kidneys and eyes. Steady monitoring can alert us in time if the pressure levels have climbed too high. These benefits make them very good gift ideas for a type 1 diabetic friend.
Next up are some affordable accessories and other goods that make for great gift ideas.
2. The cookbook for diabetics
Of course there is no longer a need for “diabetic diet”. But having a cookbook full of delicious and healthy recipes with calculated at-a-glance nutritional information is very helpful. It means that you don’t have to estimate the carbs in your meals. You know it exactly and just like that your diabetes management gets easier! Get it from Diabetes UK!
3. The Spibelt
This elastic belt goes with me on every jog. It feels good against my skin, doesn’t cause chafing and I can fit my insulin pump and carb gels in it. When you don’t have suitable pockets, spibelt works great.
4. Keeping your insulins cool
When you need to keep your insulins chilled, Frio helps. The manufacturer promises Frio will keep your insulin cool for a minimum of 45 hours. So for those hot days, this product will help. A lot of users are also reporting that when exposed to warm water instead of cold, the Frio can prevent your insulins from freezing. It works both ways!
5. Myabetic diabetes cases and purses
Nothing beats a good case for diabetic supplies! A lot of diabetics like to craft their own diabetic supply purses, but Myabetic makes great cases for diabetic supplies too! Their main target audience seems to be female, but their assortment has some options for manlier taste too!
+1. Diabetes Wall Calendar for 2017
And the plus one! A Finnish non profit diabetes community called “Diabetesseura Plasma” made a wall calendar for next year. The calendar is in Finnish and the weeks start from Monday, but other than that, it is very usable for all languages. The calendar was made for raising awareness of what it’s like to live with t1d, what are the differences of type 1 and type 2 diabetes and proper first aid for unconscious diabetics. Oh and all the calendar models are nude and type 1 diabetics, much like the t1dexposed project which inspired the calendar. All proceeds go to the non profit association behind the calendar. Find it here.
That’s it! If you’d like, leave a comment with your own recommendations of gift ideas for a type 1 diabetic friend!
Dottli is a digital health company based in Finland and improving life with diabetes is our first focus. As a hub for connected health apps and devices and with cloud-based intelligence, Dottli can also provide real-time support on your personal health goals.