It’s normal to feel overwhelmed about managing type 1 diabetes, especially when life gets busy. After all, dealing with diabetes isn’t always convenient. While each day is different, adding some simple strategies into your daily routine can help you to stay on track and live well with type 1 diabetes.
Rise, shine, and check your blood sugar
Check your blood sugar as soon as possible after you wake up. This will give you an idea of what your blood sugar was like overnight. You can correct it right away with food or insulin if you find that it’s too high or too low. You may also consider recording your blood sugar levels and other important information in a diabetes journal. This can help you can keep of track of how well your diabetes is controlled from day to day.
Start your day with a healthy breakfast
Eating well is an important part of managing type 1 diabetes. Start your day off right with a nutritious breakfast that follows your healthy eating plan. A healthy plan for type 1 diabetes typically includes foods from each food group, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats.
Since you’re taking insulin, you should also include a moderate amount of healthy carbohydrates at each meal. This will prevent your blood sugar from dropping too low. Make sure to keep track of your carbs and match your intake with your insulin dosage, if needed. You can record this information in your diabetes journal.
Some quick and easy breakfast ideas for people with type 1 diabetes include scrambled eggs, oatmeal with low-fat milk, or a fruit and yogurt parfait. Don’t forget to test your blood sugar before and after each meal, including breakfast.
Take your medications
Remember to take your insulin and any other medications. For busy mornings, it can be helpful to make a diabetes kit with a glucose monitor, insulin, syringes, and any other supplies you need. Being organized will save you time. If you have trouble remembering to take medications, try using a pill box or keeping medications in the bathroom by your toothbrush.
Whether you’re headed to work, school, or running errands, make sure that you get there safely. Check your blood sugar before you get behind the wheel, and never drive if your blood sugar is too low. You should also keep some snacks in your car, including a source of glucose like juice.
Have a snack
You may need to have a mid-morning snack to keep your energy and your blood sugar up. Healthy snack ideas for people with type 1 diabetes include a handful of almonds, a piece of string cheese, or an apple.
Eat a healthy lunch
Check your blood sugar again, and then have a healthy lunch. It may be easiest to eat well if you plan ahead and pack your lunch. Good options include a salad topped with cottage cheese and nuts, hummus and veggies, or a cup of chili. And of course, check your blood sugar again after you eat.
Get some exercise
Staying active is an important part of managing your type 1 diabetes. It can also boost your mood and reduce your stress levels. Some activities you might enjoy include going for a jog, taking your dog for a long walk, or dancing.
You should get 30 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week. Make sure to check your blood sugar before and after you work out. You should also bring a source of glucose with you.
Eat a nutritious dinner, and don’t forget to check your blood sugar again before and after you eat. If you’re often too tired to make a healthy meal at the end of the day, try planning ahead. Keep your kitchen well-stocked with good food choices. You can also try preparing some parts of your meal when you have more time, like on the weekends.
Make some time at the end of the day to relax and enjoy yourself. Read a book, watch a movie, or visit a friend. Taking time out every day for yourself is an important part of managing stress and staying healthy.
Get some sleep
Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Getting enough sleep is especially important for people with type 1 diabetes because lack of sleep makes it harder to control your blood sugar.
Let your doctor know if you’re having trouble sleeping at night. Sleep problems could be caused by blood sugar that’s too high or too low. Make a habit of checking your blood sugar before you go to bed. If your blood sugar tends to drop at night, it may help to have a snack before bed.
When you have type 1 diabetes, staying healthy can add extra stress to your already busy day. Planning ahead is the key to managing your diabetes. Follow your daily diabetes schedule to make living well with type 1 diabetes a little easier.