Looking back on the last three months, and the blood, sweat and tears I have poured into becoming educated and informed about diabetes, there are some things I wish I had known before I was diagnosed, or at least at the outset. If I had known these things I may have had a very different journey. Perhaps by sharing them here I can spare someone else the same battle….
Stress is a killer in more ways than one. It can take your life but it can also kill the life you knew. Take care of your mental health and your total wellbeing. There is no shame in asking for help. YOU are worth it. (If you would like some tips on reducing stress, read this post, or if you’re interested in finding out what I have learnt about happiness then you might like this post. For some quick and easy to implement stress reducers – here is a place to start.)
Do your homework. Ask questions, research, seek a second opinion; these are all legitimate things to do when you are trying to manage a diagnosis and make decisions about treatment plans, medications, etc. that are right for you.
Adopt wellness practices. Practice meditation, practice purposeful gratitude. Be present. Be mindful. Implement the Five Ways to Wellbeing. Practice forgiveness. Your life will be a better, happier place for it and your health will be better too. (If you want to find out more about practicing purposeful gratitude, check this out, or about the benefits of forgiveness, here it is.)
Listen to your body. It’s trying to tell you something, so be open to hearing what it has to say. Don’t sweep mental or physical health under the rug. Act on your body’s messages. Be serious about being the healthiest version of you that you can be.
There is no shame in being diagnosed with any mental or physical illness. Don’t succumb to the haters and hurters. Focus on taking care of yourself and winning your battle.
Rally the troops. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to tell people about your diagnosis. You need your friends, family and colleagues to be on your team. It takes a village….
Join a Support Group. Better yet join several! The more the merrier. There are so many options, both online and face-to-face to meet and connect with people who are sharing a similar journey to you. Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with these people. They represent years of hard won knowledge, information, testing, seeking and finding. Get connected! (If you’d like to find out about some of the amazing online diabetes groups that I have found, read this.)
Many things happening in our bodies are silent. They are hidden from our knowledge. Get youself an annual check-up including a blood work up, blood pressure check, and cholesterol screening. What you don’t know CAN and will hurt you, so get informed.
Advocate. Give back. Pay it forward. Care. Stand up for others. Participate in random acts of kindness. All of these are wonderful for you and the beneficiaries of the action.
Lead with your heart. Do everything in life with heart. Stay true to your beliefs and don’t be afraid to defend them, but whatever you do or say – do it with heart, with empathy and with authenticity.
If you like to read my diagnosis story and learn about the journey I am on….you will find it here and in all of the other posts I have made so far. Each of our journeys is unique, but we do share lots of things in common. I hope that by sharing my journey with you it has helped you on yours.
If you’d like to share your journey or some things you’ve learned from it…please let share them with me in the comments.