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5 Ways to Simplify Life with Diabetes

5 Ways to Simplify Life with Diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association, 29 million people in the United States have diabetes. And with 1.4 million new cases diagnosed each year, it’s a public health problem that has in recent years become an epidemic. For those who live with diabetes on a daily basis, many aspects of their lives can dramatically change. Checking blood sugar levels several times per day, eating a much healthier diet, and taking insulin shots or other medications all become part of the daily routine. However, while this all sounds very complicated, the good news is that there are many ways living with diabetes can be greatly simplified. If you or a family member have diabetes, here are five ways that are guaranteed to make day-to-day living much easier.

Have a Support System

Because diabetes can take a toll on many aspects of one’s life, it’s important to have a strong support network to lean on from time to time. While it’s always good to have in-person support, more and more people are turning to online sites to meet others who share their problems. One site that has become popular this year is UpWell, a one-stop-shop that brings together various services, tools, and education focusing on chronic conditions such as diabetes. Offering such aspects as personalized support from wellness coaches, prescription services to ensure a person’s medications are filled on time, menu guides, fitness routines, and much more, this site is one online resource that helps solve numerous problems.

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Keep a Food Diary

For people who have trouble keeping track of what they eat, a food diary can prove to be very helpful. Along with keeping track of what foods are eaten, the food diary can also show what triggers poor dietary habits. For example, many diabetics may make poor eating choices when they are emotionally upset or tired at the end of the day. By being able to recognize the signs of trouble, they will be able to make much better choices and manage their condition much more effectively.

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Drink More Water

One of the simplest things you can do to make living with diabetes much easier, drinking water can keep you hydrated, which can be a key factor in ensuring your kidneys also stay healthy. If you prefer, you can also include tea, coffee, mineral water, and other low-calorie drinks in your diet. By consuming between 6-8 cups of these fluids daily, you’ll not only stay hydrated, but also have more energy and keep your weight in check.

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Exercise Regularly

Along with eating a balanced diet and drinking plenty of the right fluids, getting enough exercise is also a great way to make living with diabetes much simpler. While this may sound difficult considering people’s busy personal and work schedules, it’s actually easier than you may think. Needing only 20-30 minutes several times per week, this can be achieved in numerous ways. Whether it’s taking a walk on your lunch break, riding a bike around the neighborhood with your kids, or playing golf or tennis with your friends on the weekend, making exercise a priority will pay off in many great ways.

Take Medications as Directed

Whether you’re on insulin, taking other medications, or a combination of these, making sure you follow your doctor’s instructions for taking your medications is vital to your overall health. If you find yourself skipping doses of medication, you are putting your health at risk. Rather than risk dangerous health complications, be sure to talk with your doctor if you have any questions regarding dosages, side effects, or other concerns about your medication regimen. For example, if you’re taking certain vitamins, herbs, or other natural supplements, be sure to let your doctor know so that you won’t risk having any unexpected drug interactions.

By incorporating these and other steps into your day-to-day living, you’ll find it much easier to live with diabetes. While this chronic disease may affect your life in numerous ways, it by no means should keep you from doing virtually anything you wish. Whether it’s properly taking your medications or getting plenty of exercise, taking the necessary steps to simplify your life with diabetes will pay off for many years to come.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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