When the going gets tough 4 November 2019 Think about how many times people have said: “I couldn’t do that” when you tell them you have diabetes and inject insulin, or that you have to calculate the carbohydrate content of your meals. Of course it can be annoying to hear such a comment when the fact is you don’t have a choice, but it is good to remember that looking after diabetes is hard, and you do it. You manage fingerpricks, medication and diet, as well as everything else in your life. Look at what you do – you are amazing! Diabetes can be frustrating. What works one day may not work the next. No matter what you do, keeping to targets can be challenging especially during times of stress and illness. You’d think that if you do what you know is right then your glucose levels will be perfect, right? Wrong! Sometimes diabetes seems to have a life of its own. Some days it’s far easier to live with the ups and downs than others. Every now and again it can all feel too difficult. So, what can you do during challenging times? If you had a friend who was struggling, how would you best support them? Think about what you would say to them. Those words are just as valid said to yourself. Sometimes you might feel that you need permission to look after yourself and that you are being selfish. But putting yourself first is exactly what you need to do to build resilience to help you manage. If you care for yourself, you will be better placed to care for the people around you. Talk a walk in the sun, read a good book or enjoy a long bath – make sure you do something relaxing every day. Research shows regular exercise can improve your mood and mental health and getting enough sleep is very important. It’s amazing what a good night’s sleep can do for you. Just like everyone else, to stay healthy you need to take care of yourself, but that doesn’t mean being perfect. Allow yourself to have the occasional treat. Be kind to yourself when things don’t go to plan. Diabetes is only one part of your life, not your life. Remember that there are people to support you. It may be a friend, a support group, your diabetes educator, your local area health team, your doctor or a psychologist. If you would like to access our psychologist on call service, ring 1300 342 238 to make an appointment, or talk to your GP about a mental health care plan to see a psychologist in the community.