Hi Ladies! What comes to mind when you hear the word “stress?” I know for myself and most people, stress is negative. I think stress definitely can be positive though. Without it, humanity wouldn’t be motivated to do just about anything. So thankfully we do have it. But it has gotten out of balance in an unhealthy way for people in general. When you stop and actually think how stress in the negative can be and then add diabetes in addition to the complicated nature of stress, it’s insane what we all deal with on a daily and/or weekly basis. It also is a testament to the resilient nature of the human spirit and heart and how we can overcome so much. When you actually think about how much we as diabetics have to deal with, it is an insane amount of stress as well. For example, on a daily basis alone, diabetics need to check our blood sugar multiple times a day, carb counting,medication(either pills or insulin) exercise, checking our feet etc. Then on a monthly basis, I check to make sure I have enough blood testing supplies and if not order some the pharmacy. There is also monthly stress of the financial burden of paying for supplies and meds. Which can be quite overwhelming especially at different times in our diabetes journey. Since we all are woman here let’s not forget the stress of adding our menstrual cycles to the mix. Then the stress of doctors appointments either every 3 or 6 months. Whichever you choose for you. In addition to doctor visits there are the dreaded lab work. Not only getting it done but waiting for the test results can be stressful. It’s a lot of pressure for someone to take on. Let’s not forget the affect our blood sugars have on our emotions. I know for me that when my blood sugar is high, my emotions are all over the place and very irritable. For example one minute I will be happy and then sad and crying all the span of a few minutes. On the contrary, when my blood sugar is low it affects my emotions but in a different way by being really happy almost an euphoric feeling. It’s good to be aware of how our blood sugars affect our stress level and emotions since every person with diabetes is different and has different emotional triggers. It’s also very stressful to have blood sugars that aren’t within range and given your personality you may internalize it or blow up! But either reaction is ok! Knowing your own body can help you take better of yourself. The day to day stresses of diabetes can also stress the individual’s support system, because even if they think they understand, they never will until they actually experience it. I wish the stress of this disease, or anything for that matter, would just be limited to the person with the disease. But life doesn’t work like that. I have a difficult time asking for help even though I have gotten a lot better at it out of necessity. In the next blog I will talk about stress busting tips to help get rid of all this unhealthy, emotional garbage. If stress and emotions aren’t dealt with in healthy ways, it can certainly do a number on your mind and body. I also think that we need to know our emotional limits and adhere to our own personal boundaries. Believe me, I know this can be really hard for some people but it does reap great health benefits. Personally, I know that because I always feel exhausted, I bite everyone’s heads off! Another stressor: feeling like I can’t catch up with life's demands!