Everyday Diabetes Care: Coping Skills & More | 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 help cope with your feelings.

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 help manage it as you move forward in your diabetes care

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 thing you can do to help fight your fear is to take care of yourself. Try to figure out why you feel afraid and cope with your fear in a healthy way
  • Understand the facts and risks of diabetes-related health problems
  • Remind yourself of the facts whenever your fear becomes too much
  • Stick to your diabetes care plan because it may help you in many ways
  • Talk with people close to you: family, friends, or diabetes care team members

If you’re having guilt or depression:

Depression is common in people with diabetes. 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. Get to know 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, talk with 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.