Get 8 hours sleep a night
Why is sleep so important? Research has shown that sleep deprivation increases your risks of developing diabetes and heart disease, and if you have those conditions already it makes them harder to control. Developing good sleep habits includes establishing a bedtime, not having electronic devices in the bedroom, not going to bed too full or too hungry, having a relaxing bath before bed, drinking calming teas or using aromatherapy oils.
Learning to relax, helps lower stress levels
Relaxation techniques can reduce stress symptoms by reducing the activity of stress hormones which in turn increases blood flow to major muscles, reduces muscle tension and chronic pain and improves concentration and mood. Relaxation techniques include muscle relaxation, visualization, deep breathing, massage, meditation, Biofeedback and music/art therapy.
Your spiritual health, be it through your religion or your native traditions is important in influencing your attempts to prevent or control your diabetes. Spirituality influences your stress levels, be it a connection to god through prayer or taking part in traditional ceremonies, it grounds you and provides a framework to interpret the world. This spiritual grounding helps diffuse stress and improve your health.
Develop a support network
Support networks come in many shapes and sizes, it may be a work colleague who walks with you of a lunchtime, it may be family members who commit to changing their eating habits with you or it maybe the UITCT Diabetes support group where you can play games, try new foods and share stories.