Because managing your diabetes can be challenging, you can’t expect to do it alone. Getting support and encouragement from friends, family, your doctor and other people with diabetes can be really helpful. And you’ll call on them for different types of support at different times.
Take a few minutes to think about the kinds of support you need, then consider who might be able to give it to you. List as many people or sources as you can think of.
Emotional support: People who can listen when you need someone to talk to, encourage you to keep going when you’re feeling frustrated and celebrate your successes. Possible sources: your spouse, relatives, friends, coworkers, other people with diabetes.
Practical support: People to walk with and/or shop for healthy foods with, swap cooking ideas and recipes with, or even help with home chores so that you can find time to take care of yourself despite other time obligations. Possible sources: your spouse, relatives, friends, coworkers, other people with diabetes, friends from the gym or a walking club, others.
Information: Sources for answers about choosing healthy foods, exercising, staying emotionally healthy, general problem-solving. Possible sources: your doctor, health organization websites (e.g., the American Diabetes Association, diabetes.org), organized diabetes support groups, reputable books and magazines.
Once you’ve realized what you need and who can help you, start connecting the dots. Ask your designated supporter(s) if they’re willing to help—and if so, talk about how they can support you—and be sure to thank them in advance. If they’re not willing or able to help, go back to the list of “possible sources” and think about how you can expand the list. You deserve to have a champion (or ten) in your corner!