Diabetes affects your life 24/7. That means that you’re constantly making decisions on how to manage it. Finding good support gives you access to continuing support. Not sure what to talk about in your group or with a buddy? Here are a few great topics that’ll help you begin sharing.
Diabetes affects your life 24/7. That means that you’re constantly making decisions on how to manage it.
Working with your diabetes care team helps you meet that challenge. But it’s important to connect with other people who have diabetes, too. In fact, research shows that peer support is linked to improved blood sugar levels and quality of life.
Finding good support, whether it’s from a diabetes support group or by connecting with a diabetes buddy, gives you access to continuing support. Not sure what to talk about in your group or with a buddy? Here are a few great topics that’ll help you begin sharing… and learning from others.
1 - Ups and Downs of Diabetes
Managing diabetes comes with both ups and downs. Sometimes keeping blood sugar levels on target seems fairly easy. Other times trying to hit blood sugar goals seems tougher, no matter what you do.
Honestly discussing the ups and downs of diabetes helps address feelings of guilt. Sharing stories of difficulties and resiliency increases the ability of others to manage their difficult times. Honest discussions on handling good days -as well as the bad days - removes the feeling that you’re the only one that’s dealing with good times and more difficult times.
2 - Diabetes and Emotions
It’s easy to forget that living with diabetes doesn’t just affect you physically — it affects you emotionally. Whether you’re newly diagnosed, or you’ve had diabetes a long time, you need support for the emotions you’re feeling.
Many people with diabetes feel stressed, depressed, or start feeling burnt out from constant diabetes management. Guilt, worry, frustration, and sadness are all normal emotions, too. You may even experience fear of blood sugar levels going too low or too high.
Sharing those emotions often helps. The chance to get those emotions out into the open with other people who understand proves freeing for many people.
3 - Sharing Successes
Every person with diabetes is different. But sharing diabetes management successes gives other people with diabetes ideas to try and, more importantly, hope.
Try sharing any positive events you’ve experienced while having diabetes. Whether that’s a new diabetes management strategy that’s offering results or a good care team member that’s helped you.
Sharing successes along your journey reminds others that they’ll enjoy wins along the way, too.
4 - Diabetes Management Tips
Speaking of sharing successes, sharing diabetes management tips offers a great way to educate and inspire your peers. These could include things like:
- Tips for traveling with diabetes
- Meal planning ideas or recipes for low carb meals
- Enjoyable recreational activities and hobbies that help reduce stress
- Social and emotional coping tips
- Ideas for talking to family about a diabetes diagnosis
5 - Overcoming Isolation
Another topic for sharing at support groups or with a diabetes buddy is overcoming isolation. It’s easy to allow diabetes management to push you into being isolated. Feelings of self-consciousness about checking blood sugar, administering insulin outside the home, or avoiding questions about your condition may also contribute to isolation.
Studies link feelings of loneliness to increased health risks and isolation may even make diabetes worse. Finding ways to overcome isolation proves essential.
Sharing feelings of loneliness allows you to get those emotions into the open. But it’s also important to discuss ideas for overcoming isolation. Being a part of a support group or having a diabetes buddy is an important step. Other things you may want to share include how exercise helps you connect with others or tips for reaching out to your family and friends.