How to Adjust to Life With Diabetes

How to Maintain a Positive Outlook With Diabetes

Successful diabetes control requires a positive outlook. That's a simple statement, but it's a significant point. You must think that controlling diabetes is a worthwhile endeavor, or you won't do it. And if you don't believe you will ever succeed, you probably won't. How do you forge a positive attitude? Start by recognizing that you can take steps to alter your health.

  • Decide to make the best of it. You can't change the fact you have diabetes, so your choices are either to deny and ignore it or accept it and deal with it.
  • Find something bigger than yourself to believe in. Free yourself from focusing on and constantly worrying about your own problems and concerns. Join a charitable organization, church group, or advocacy group. Become a hospital volunteer or a Big Brother or Sister.
  • Practice visualization. Close your eyes and see yourself as healthy, active, and in good control of diabetes.
  • Make an effort to find the positives both in life and in diabetes. Managing diabetes may give you more of a sense of control of your fate. Quitting smoking can help you feel more disciplined. Weight loss can boost your self-esteem. Joining an exercise program can lead to new friends. Make a list of positive elements, and review it on down days.
  • Enlist the help of family and friends to keep you motivated. Avoid negative people who make you feel sad or bad about yourself. Surround yourself with people who care about you and will help you with the many tasks that are part of diabetes control.
  • Reward yourself for jobs well done, such as when you lose five pounds or keep excellent records for a week.
  • Understand that you will experience ups and downs. You will follow your regimen better at some times than you will at others. Don't be too hard on yourself or make excuses when you fall off your program. Admit you slipped, then try to determine why so you can prevent another fall.

Jean Betschart Roemer, MN., MSN., CRNP., CPNP., CDE., is a pediatric nurse practitioner and diabetes educator in the Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. She is a past president of the American Association of Diabetes Educators and a recipient of the American Diabetes Association Outstanding Health Professional Educator Award. She has worked with children with diabetes and their families since 1980.  Ms. Roemer, mother of three, and now a Grandma, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1968. information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.