It is day three of Diabetes Blog Week and we are taking the Wildcard for today's post! The topic is "Let's Get Physical" – Wildcard Link List. Prompt: Managing diabetes during exercise can be tricky, so share what works for you or your loved one with diabetes and maybe it can help someone else. What to do when you want to work out, but your blood sugar is lower or higher than you want? How do you cope with this? Or how do you manage gym days at school for your child with diabetes? How do you stay motivated to work out? Or how do you encourage your loved on with diabetes to get active? What is your favorite kind of exercise – conventional or non-conventional? (Let's see how many types of exercise we can find!
Yesterday we talked about the emotional side of diabetes and shared some posts written by our loved ones. For today's post, we invite you to read this re-purposed blog post by one of our sister student bloggers, Hope Almeida. In this post, Hope talks about treating yourself during the hard times. Her tip? Set aside time for yourself to do whatever it is that truly makes you happy. For her, activity helps. Way to go, Hope!
Treat yourself, and do what you love
By Hope Almeida
Wow. Does life get crazy. My first few semesters in college I was always busy going to meetings for organizations and throwing myself in everything possible on campus. I considered those “busy” days. Now I kind of chuckle at those times (while missing them terribly!). With the responsibilities and chaos of life and growing up, I’m starting to find it challenging to find time for the things I really enjoy. Among a job, internship, classes, essays for awards, family matters, and preparing to hopefully start a business post-graduation, I forget to allow myself to sit back and enjoy something simple. I wouldn’t say I neglect myself, because I definitely try to prioritize my diabetes and never forget to check my sugar or give insulin, but I could certainly try and make more time for things I love and enjoy that further enhance my managing of my diabetes.
As a health and fitness enthusiast, decreasing the amount I exercise has been the hardest thing for me. Although I still workout, it is a lot less than I was doing just a month ago when I didn’t have my internship yet and exams weren’t among me. As most people know (and just might not act upon that knowledge), exercise aids in keeping blood sugar levels under control. While that is one reason I exercise, I truly love doing it. Although I try to keep my eating habits under control, especially during my times of less activity, I hate this period of time. I know that not everyone enjoys physical activity to the extent that I do, but do not worry, I know that there may be something that you are not enjoying as much as you would like to thanks to life, school, and the many elements of chaos. Maybe you aren’t able to spend as much time with friends as you would like. Or to enjoy the outdoors. Or sit down and read a good book, FOR FUN (none of that reading for class nonsense). Or watch your favorite tv show. Or go shopping. The list is never ending. Which is great news because it shows how many options we have to enjoy the life we are given—even with our diabetes! That’s the best news yet.
Engaging in the activities we love when we’re running through the motions of everyday life decreases stress and in return, helps keep our diabetes under control (remember, we control it, it does not control us). Managing stress is hard work on our bodies, in so many aspects, so we need to make sure we reduce that as much as possible – for our diabetes as well as for us to enjoy our college life and experience! College only comes around once and you really don’t want to remember it as being full of stress and exhausting moments. So go and exercise: do a fun 5k with friends, go to the gym, do a fun run, OR like me, be crazy and sign up for a Spartan Race—it is implied that I am terrified, yet excited all at the same time. Or read a book that you know you love, or open up a new one. Set aside some time to go grab dinner with friends or block out a night where you just have some girl time. Block out time to catch up on your favorite show. Just do it. Promise me, you’ll do it. I hope you’re filled with relief and good feelings, ready to conquer the world…and your diabetes!