Motivation for diabetes management

How to maintain motivation to take good care of your diabetes?

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.