A number is just that — a number.

When you’re living with diabetes, there are so many numbers to pay attention to.

You have to keep track of your A1C, fasting glucose, postprandial glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol, and more.

Sometimes when your numbers don’t go exactly the way you expected, it can make you feel emotional or discouraged about your diabetes management.

I know when my numbers aren’t in range, I tend to feel sad and burned out by trying to make things better and get things back in range.

But your numbers don’t have to ruin your day. Here are some tips that help me cope with feeling disappointment or shame about my numbers.

I always try to remember that my numbers aren’t a pass/fail grade.

Watching your numbers can tell you both what needs to change and what’s going right with your diabetes management.

If you’re looking at a high A1C or elevated blood sugars, it’s a signal that something in your management can be improved, and an excellent touchpoint for you and your doctor.

When it comes to diabetes, remember that a number is just that — a number.

It may seem like because you did something to cause that number, it’s a reflection on you. But it doesn’t have anything to do with your worth as a person.

Our chronic illness does not define us. The numbers that we see each day are a guide for what to do next.

It’s not just you. Everyone has a bad day!

Sometimes things don’t go according to plan. Maybe you ordered a diet soda but the restaurant gave you a regular one instead.

Maybe you had to skip your planned workout because something came up with your family, or you weren’t feeling well.

It happens to the best of us. Try to remember it doesn’t make you a bad person.

Maybe it’s listening to music, dancing, or painting.

One way to get the heavy feelings out of your mind is to do something you love, and treat yourself a bit.

If you notice that your numbers still aren’t on track, it’s great to push the pause button and have a chat with your doctor.

Sometimes it can be scary to chat with your doctor. You might feel judged or like the conversation will be harsh.

Just remember that your doctor is there to help you. Be as honest as you can, and they’ll help you get better!

You don’t have to go through managing diabetes alone.

Sometimes it helps me to ask my fellow “diabuddies” how they stay inspired when they see a number that stresses them out.

That’s why I love the T2D Healthline app. I can always find inspiration and encouragement when I feel like I’ve failed.

The free app is available on the App Store and Google Play. Download here.

It’s easy to feel like it’s the end of the world when we see a number we don’t like.

Just take a deep breath and remember that it’s going to be OK.

Even if your numbers don’t look as you planned, remember that you can always start over again.

Commit to trying again, and do the best you can the next day.

Mila Clarke Buckley is a type 2 diabetes advocate and digital storyteller who started her food blog, The Hangry Woman, after she struggled to find approachable resources to help her manage her chronic condition. She’s the Guide in the T2D Healthline app and would love to meet you there.