For diabetes care that will help you thrive, the right meds and habits can go a long way. But a truly holistic plan doesn’t stop there – it also includes a strong support system. You may be doing great on your own for some things, but everyone struggles in some areas. Maybe you’re overwhelmed by all the information, or maybe you’re nervous about the future. It can often be stressful to manage everything.
We all need a little help and encouragement sometimes. With a support system to cheer you on, you’ll get the boosts you need to stay motivated and positive.
Build your network
For support, you can look to people you know and trust or even expand your circles to include new friends. Everyone needs a shoulder to lean on and you might be surprised by how many people are willing to help. Some people who might be good partners on your journey:
- Family or friends who can make lifestyle changes with you.
- Friends or family who you can talk to, walk with and depend on when the going gets tough.
- A therapist who specializes in coping with health concerns or patient empowerment.
- Your doctor, or a specialist like a dietician or endocrinologist.
- A coach from a Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support service. Ask your doctor for a referral, sessions may be covered by insurance.
- Diabetes support communities are available for you at supportnetwork.heart.org or community.diabetes.org.
HEALTHY LIFESTYLE GOALS
Some ways to build a healthy lifestyle with diabetes:
- Stay on top of your medications, appointments any other parts of your doctor-prescribed health plan.
- Eat smart with a diet full of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats.
- Move more with consistent daily exercise, aim for about 20-25 minutes per day.
- Keep a positive attitude – strive to have a healthy body with diabetes and make changes that can help get you there.
- Talk with others experiencing type 2 diabetes. You’re not alone and many people experience the same struggles and difficulties.
With your support network in mind, start with just one area that you’d like to improve. The others will soon follow. Rallying support can help you stay focused so you can make it happen. Find answers to your questions and sign up to receive our monthly email with science-backed tips, recipes and more at: knowdiabetesbyheart.org/join.