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Taking Care Of Yourself

The effects of stress are no secret to anyone: the body releases hormones that are directly responsible for a spike in blood glucose. It’s also common knowledge that depression is more common in people living with diabetes. And when you’re tense and tired, you are that much less motivated to manage your blood glucose. This creates a vicious circle that’s hard to escape.

Getting some “me” time

Paradoxically, when you feel time is too tight is when it’s most important for you to wrest some away for your personal use.

Taking a good break renews your energy reserves. And when you’re worn out and too tired to go jogging or practice an intense sport, even light exercise is a breath of fresh air. That’s why tai chi and yoga (for example) are so useful. You can also decide to practice meditation, which has its own set of benefits.

The point is to improve your quality of life, both physically and psychologically.

Living in the now

The immediate benefit of meditation is that it allows you to take a step back from what’s troubling you. Over the long term, this practice reinforces coping strategies and resistance to stress and anxiety.

Someone who meditates regularly will be more likely to keep eating well and managing their blood glucose properly when a stressful situation occurs.

Accordingly, meditation also helps reduce hypertension and the risk of cardiovascular disease, among other things.

Breathe in

Everyone is always singing the praises of sport, but naturally, not everyone wants to be a triathlete or a mountain climber. Choose your activities based on your abilities and interests. For example, try aquafitness or hiking—or just taking a walk in your neighbourhood!

Yoga is a physical and mental discipline that originated in India and adapts well to all body types and abilities. In addition to improving muscle tone and flexibility, yoga involves some meditation through breath control during practice.

Another benefit is that you can practice it at the gym or in a park as part of a group session, or—if you ever need a bit of peace and quiet—on the beach, in your backyard or in your living room.

According to some studies, yoga not only helps alleviate anxiety and depression, but also improves digestion, blood circulation and the effectiveness of your immune system.

As great as that may sound, yoga is still physical activity, and so, it’s best to consult your health professional before dedicating your body and soul to practicing it. Also, remember to measure and record your blood glucose levels before and after each session.

A healthy mind in a healthy body is your best tool for meeting the challenges of everyday life!

References:
Diabetes Canada, “7 things you need to know about exercising with diabetes”: https://www.diabetes.ca/publications-newsletters/diabetes-current-newsletter/diabetes-current-archive/diabetes-current-july-2014/healthy-living/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-exercising-with-di. Accessed July 7, 2017.
Diabetes Canada, “Could meditation be a medication?”: https://www.diabetes.ca/publications-newsletters/diabetes-current-newsletter/diabetes-current-archive/diabetes-current-april-2014/research-in-progress/could-meditation-be-a-medication. Accessed July 7, 2017.
Diabetes Québec, “Stress and diabetes”: https://www.diabete.qc.ca/en/living-with-diabetes/psychology/the-stress/stress-and-diabetes. Accessed July 6, 2017.
Diabetes Québec, “The benefits of physical activity”: http://www.diabete.qc.ca/en/living-with-diabetes/physical-activity/benefits/the-benefits-of-physical-activity. Accessed July 6, 2017.
Diabetes.co.uk, “Diabetes and Yoga”: http://www.diabetes.co.uk/yoga-and-diabetes.html. Accessed July 7, 2017.
Diabetes.co.uk, “Diabetes and Mindfulness”: http://www.diabetes.co.uk/emotions/diabetes-and-mindfulness.html. Accessed July 7, 2017.
Passeportsanté.net, “Méditation”: http://www.passeportsante.net/fr/Therapies/Guide/Fiche.aspx?doc=meditation_th. Accessed July 6, 2017.