In this weeks episode I share some tips and ideas as a diabetic to try and help you whilst you are social distancing or in isolation during the Coronavirus lockdown.

Being diabetic is hard enough sometimes, now throw in social distancing and isolation during the Coronavirus lockdown, it can get even harder. 

This is the first in a number of podcasts where I look at tips and techniques to try and help with the mental aspect of being diabetic. I’m honest and confess I do find it tough, so in this episode I look at the techniques I use to ensure I remain positive and healthy in the process.

Including:

  • The affect of running your blood sugar levels high
  • Understanding it’s ok to feel anxious at times
  • Listening to the facts, and only the facts
  • Having a social media detox!
  • Learning to relax
  • Talking to someone
  • Planning your meals for the next week
  • Plan activities in advance and schedule them
  • Daily exercise

Listen to todays Diabetic and Healthy podcast to learn even more.

Missed anything in todays diabetic and healthy podcast? View the podcast transcript below to get the full show notes.

Life with diabetes has some highs and lows, but just like in a normal life, you can make choices which help to make your life easier, improve your health and wellbeing. In the Diabetic and Healthy Podcast, we show you how to do just that. We're here to help you put your diabetes worries behind so that you can start enjoying life with a sky high smile on your face. So let's meet our host for today's show. Here's Charlotte.

Charlotte:
Welcome back to The Diabetic and Healthy Podcast. I really hope everyone's doing well and enjoying the podcasts so far. Today, I just wanted to share some tips and ideas to try and help you whilst you are social distancing or in isolation. I'd also really love to hear your stories of how you're finding it in isolation and if you feel like it has impacted your blood sugar levels. So please do get in touch. I will remind you of my email address at the end of today's episode.

Charlotte:
If you watch my YouTube channel, you probably will have heard some of these tips on there, but I just thought I would put them all together in one place for you. So it's early April and we are now in lockdown in the UK. Even as I say it, it still seems really surreal. Does anyone else get that? Feels a bit like being in a really weird dream that you can't wake up from.

Charlotte:
So I've personally been in isolation for a couple of weeks now. I'm going to be honest, I have definitely struggled with it. I think one of my biggest challenges is trying to keep my son entertained constantly. So he is not two until the summer, but he is definitely hitting the terrible twos early. So that's interesting in isolation. But I knew of a total change of routine combined with not being able to go to the gym, not being able to work as much, not being able to get out and about would lead to an inevitable increase in stress levels. And with that comes an increase in blood sugar levels.

Charlotte:
So I knew I had to start putting some positive things in place. For one thing more than ever, we as diabetics need to keep our blood sugar control as tight as we can right now. Running your blood sugars high can compromise your immune system, and that's obviously the last thing we need when there's a potentially very nasty virus going around.

Charlotte:
So I want to share with you just some tips and ideas, but I really hope can help you both physically and with your health and diabetes and mentally whilst in isolation. First of all, I want to say it is okay to feel anxious or even a bit scared at the moment. That's totally natural. But if you feel that your anxiety is really getting on top of you, then these are some things I'd suggest.

Charlotte:
First of all, only listen to the facts. There is a lot of rubbish being shared around on social media at the moment where it's just not helpful, is it? If keeping up to date with everything that's going on helps your anxiety, then just make sure you're getting your information from reliable sources. So watch for news for example, or look at official news websites. Just don't believe everything you read on social media.

Charlotte:
I've actually had a few friends that have given themselves a little social media detox whilst all this is going on. As you know, constantly seeing people sharing stories and articles was just making it hard to know what to believe and what not to. And it certainly wasn't helping with stress or anxiety levels. So if you feel the same and you can feel yourself getting more anxious while scrolling through social media, then take a break from it. You are not going to miss anything crucial. All the official updates that you need will be on the news, not Facebook.

Charlotte:
Another thing you can try and do is take some time to relax every day. So you may think you are relaxing as you're probably not going to be doing as much as you normally do, but I mean actually have some proper you time. So whether it's a nice long soak in the bath or if you're into meditation, you could take some time to meditate, reading a book or whatever else you'd normally do if you needed a bit of time out.

Charlotte:
At the moment, we are actually encouraged to get out of the house for some exercise once a day. So as long as you follow the guidelines and respect social distancing, then it is safe to go outside, get some fresh air and take a walk. Again, this is really important for not only your physical health but your mental health as well. It's also going to help with managing your diabetes as exercise helps regulate your blood sugar control.

Charlotte:
The last tip I would give on anxiety is just to make sure you talk to someone. So whether it's a family member or a friend, just because you can't physically go and see someone right now doesn't mean you can't pick up the phone and talk to somebody. So if you are struggling with anxiety, it really can help you to feel so much better if you just talk to someone about it.

Charlotte:
Okay. So now some more kind of practical tips to help you. This is one just to make sure you stay active. So set yourself a daily step goal. The easiest way to do this is if you already use a fitness tracker or you can get just a step tracker app on your phone. But obviously if you do that, you do have to make sure that you keep your phone with you all the time.

Charlotte:
The daily recommended step target is 10,000 steps. But if you track your steps and you're only taking say two or 3,000, it's probably a bit too optimistic to set your target at 10,000 steps for the next day. You want to keep it achievable for you. So just up your goal slightly, maybe by 500 to a thousand steps. And then once you're consistently hitting that new target, you can up it again. This is just really going to encourage you to stay active. Again, by keeping yourself moving, you're going to help regulate those blood sugar levels.

Charlotte:
My next tip is a nutrition one. So it'd be a really good idea right now to plan out your meals for the week. This might be something that you already do. If it isn't, then take this as an opportunity to get into a new habit of doing it. So a really practical reason that you should be doing this at the moment is because we're only meant to be going out to a supermarket when it is absolutely essential.

Charlotte:
So you can't be popping out to the shops several times a week because you haven't been organized with your shopping list. If you plan out your meals for the week and then write your shopping lists based on that, you can make sure you get everything in one trip. Most importantly though, it's a way to not only ensure you're working out some good nutritionally balanced meals, but also by planning your meals, it can help you avoid picking.

Charlotte:
It can be really tempting when you're stuck at home to eat just out of boredom sometimes. But if you have your next meal already planned out, it can genuinely make a big difference. It's definitely much easier for us as diabetics to manage our blood sugars if we're eating set meals rather than just kind of grazing our way through the day.

Charlotte:
My next tip is definitely for both your physical and your mental health and that's to start planning some things you can do whilst in isolation and then get them written down in either a diary or calendar or whatever you'd normally use. I literally live by my calendar in my phone, but I also have a wall calendar as well so everyone can see what anyone else in the house is doing and when.

Charlotte:
As I said, we're still allowed and actually encouraged to go out once a day for exercise. So straightaway that's one thing you can set a time for and put it in your diary every day. If you are missing the gym and have decided to try and do some home workouts or maybe you're not even normally a gym goer, but you are going to use this opportunity to get fit, then schedule in your home workout for a certain time each day. Pop it in your diary.

Charlotte:
I suggested meal planning so you can work out which meals you're having and when and add that to your diary. Like I said, a big challenge for me is to keep my toddler entertained. So I'm now planning different activities to do with him and yep, you guessed it, I'm putting them in my diary. The reason I say this can help both your physical and your mental health is that for one thing, if you put something down in a diary or calendar or whatever, then you're making a commitment to yourself to do it.

Charlotte:
It's a good way to encourage yourself to stay physically active. I believe it also helps your mental health as if you're anything like me and normally have a diary crammed full of activities and appointments, then it can be always quite an uncomfortable feeling to look in there and just see nothing for the next few weeks. So hopefully this activity really can help your mind and your body.

Charlotte:
So those are my main top tips for now. But as I find new ideas and ways that are helping me in isolation, I will of course share them with you.

Charlotte:
Now, I know for most of us this really is a worrying time and sometimes just the fact that something's totally out of our control in itself is quite frightening. However, I'm going to share with you what I've been telling myself and I hope that it may at least help a little bit. It might not. It might just prove I've had way too much thinking time on my hands, but who knows?

Charlotte:
So we always complain about time going too fast and how days turn into weeks, weeks into months. And it literally feels like you blink and it's another new year. Well, it doesn't feel like that now. The days feel really long and the weeks are dragging. So why are we still complaining? Has this not in some way given us that time that we've all been wanting? We complain that we're always so busy, we don't have enough time with our family, our partners, our children. We have that now.

Charlotte:
And yeah, this is far from an ideal situation, but instead of continuing to complain, why not try to see the positives in that. You're now already beginning to appreciate the little things. So there's a tree outside my lounge window and it's starting to blossom and oh, it looks beautiful. And if I was rushing around in my usual routine, would I have noticed it? Highly doubt it.

Charlotte:
My little boy has a little nap around mid afternoon if I'm lucky. And for the first time since he was a tiny baby, I've had the opportunity to actually sit and watch him sleep and see all the cute little faces he pulls and how he twitches and he smiles when he's dreaming.

Charlotte:
Have you not made sure you tell all your friends and family how much you love them and maybe wondered why's it's taken something like this for you to want them to know that? Has it not been really refreshing to see your social media suddenly flooded with posts of communities coming together and offering help to each other?

Charlotte:
So yeah, it is a really worrying time and it is out of our control. But what we can control is how we react to this and how we find the positives in a bad situation. And then maybe it can actually have a positive impact on us in the long run. That's what's been happening in my head during isolation, and maybe it might help someone else to see a light and adapt to.

Charlotte:
So that pretty much wraps up this episode, but please do share your stories and let me know how you're doing in isolation. I would love to hear from you and I love to hear your thoughts on the podcasts and how you're finding them so far. So my email address again is charlotte@diabeticandhealthy.com. I really hope you've enjoyed today's podcast. If you have, please do hit subscribe and leave a review. Until next time, stay safe and stay happy.

This episode has ended, but your journey towards a healthy and happy life continues. Head on over to diabeticandhealthy.com and join the conversation with other diabetics and their families. All the information in this episode is not designed to replace the advice from the health professional team looking after you and your diabetes. Before making any significant lifestyle changes, do consult them with your doctor.

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