Managing Diabetes One Day at a Time | Cornerstones4Care®

One Day at a Time

Managing diabetes is an ongoing process. It’s natural to feel discouraged sometimes. That’s why it’s important to manage your diabetes one day at a time. Small steps can lead to daily successes, and they really add up. Here are some things you can do to better cope with the stress, fear, or guilt you may be feeling.

Three key factors to coping well with diabetes:

Knowledge. Learn all you can about diabetes. Find out what you can do on a daily basis to manage it for the rest of your life

Skill. Developing good coping and self-care skills helps you put your knowledge to good use. Give yourself time to learn

Support. Coping is often easier with the support of family, friends, and members of your diabetes care team, so don’t be afraid to reach out

If managing diabetes is causing stress, the American Diabetes Association recommends that you:

  • Speak with someone who will listen to you when you are having trouble
  • Consider joining a diabetes support group. A diabetes educator can suggest one close to you. Or, you can create your own discussion group to talk about the issues that matter to you
  • Keep busy. Start a hobby or take up a sport, begin learning an instrument, take a dance class, or volunteer in your community
  • Do something that relaxes you, like read a book, get a massage, take a bubble bath, or watch a movie
  • Take time to connect with friends or spend time alone, whatever works for you
  • Consider prayer or meditation. Some churches have special support for people living with diabetes
  • Go on a short vacation, even if just for a night by getting a babysitter so you can spend time alone with your spouse
  • Get enough sleep each night to help prevent the negative effects of stress 

Fact sheet also available in Spanish

If you’re feeling fear:

  • One of the best things you can do to fight your fears is to take care of yourself. Try to identify exactly why you feel afraid and cope with your fear in a healthy way
  • Understand the facts and risks of long-term health problems from diabetes
  • Remind yourself of the facts whenever your fear becomes overwhelming
  • Stick to your diabetes care plan because it may benefit you in many ways
  • Don’t hesitate to speak with people close to you: family, friends, or diabetes care team members

If you’re having guilt or depression:

Depression is common among people with diabetes because taking care of diabetes is often complex, demanding, and frustrating. It’s important to handle any guilt or depression you may be feeling in a positive way. A good first step is to reach out and talk with your diabetes care team and your loved ones about how you’re feeling.

Sharing what you’re going through is one way to get help with negative emotions about having diabetes and the stress of dealing with it every day. Try to recognize the symptoms of depression and anxiety, such as losing interest in activities you once enjoyed or having trouble falling asleep. Depression is serious and needs to be treated. If you think you are depressed, seek help from your diabetes care team. 


NEXT:  It all starts with the 4 cornerstones of diabetes care.

Have you signed up for the Diabetes Health Coach?

Emotional Side of Diabetes

Watch a video where sociologist Mark Peyrot explores the less-talked-about emotional side of living with diabetes and how to handle diabetes distress.