"A diamond is a piece of charcoal that handles stress exceptionally well."
As Diabetics we have two options. We can either be the charcoal and crumble under the immense pressure of having a chronic illness, or we can learn to handle our stress and become better because of it.
We've been dealt a certain hand of cards. Do these cards suck? Yes. But the fact of the matter is, we must learn to play with them. Going through life brought down by a hatred of this disease will only make it worse. I am speaking from personal experience in this respect. I let my hatred of T1D bring me down for years.
While obtaining my BS in Psychology there was one reoccurring theme that really stuck with me. Stress. This new awareness of the impact of stress lead to some pretty intense research and lifestyle changes. Below are some quick tips and tricks for reducing stress.
1. Lavender. This may seem weird, but finding a smell that relaxes you can be so beneficial. In my room I have an essential oil diffuser that I fill with different scents depending on my mood. Aromatherapy combined with different breathing techniques is great for falling asleep at night.
2. Exercise. This one is a biggie. Go for a walk, get outside, hit up your gym for an hour-anything. After all, "exercise releases endorphins, endorphins make you happy-and happy people just don't shoot their husbands".
3. Practice mindfulness. Check out the video below of the effects of mindfulness in children!
4. Yoga. This could easily go under exercise, and it probably should, but I feel so strongly about it that I think it needs its own part! Getting into it is difficult at first, but once you begin the effects are awesome! Joining a 30 day yoga challenge can be a great way to get into it.
5. Don't be so hard on yourself! It's easy to look at your blood sugar or something you ate and be like "You suck, self". Some of us are such nice people to others, yet we treat ourselves like crap. If you find yourself being all negative about something diabetes related remind yourself of this: You handle SO much on a daily basis. Not only does regular life happen, but you have a chronic illness to care for as well. You are a bad ass.
6. Keep a journal. Every night, or other night, write. Get it all out on paper. At the end of the day spending 15 min writing can be a great way to wind down. Try this: for each day during one week write down all the things you are thankful for. At the end of the week read through your lists and see how you feel.
Everyone has stress! It's all about how we deal with it.