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As a mom of a diabetic child, there is no doubt that the anxiety and worry can be ever-present. Managing diabetes in your child is tough enough without having to do it while also managing your own anxiety.
The constant monitoring of your child’s blood sugar levels and making sure that he/she eats the right foods at the right time. It can be hard on you mentally when you’re always worrying about whether your child will have an episode of low blood sugar, which could cause him/her severe consequences if not treated in time.
This blog post will address 9 ways a parent like you can cope with anxiety while still managing your child’s condition effectively. This way, you don’t feel so overwhelmed by all the things.
1. Deep breathing techniques
You may feel like you can’t breathe when anxious.
It is important to take deep breaths and try not to get worked up about it because this will only make your anxiety worse!
Sometimes just by taking a pause of whatever task we are doing or taking a few moments in an isolated area helps us focus on calming down so that way it’s easier for our body’s systems to process all those stress hormones eventually leading back into being able sensations again after awhile.
If that doesn’t seem to help, you may want to try an actual breathing technique.
Focus on the air and let go of what is causing your anxiety as you do this. Breathe in slowly through your nose. Hold for 4-5 seconds, then exhale slowly through your mouth. After several rounds of this, you should start to feel your anxiety lessening and your heart rate returning to normal.
2. Exercise every day
Physical activity is the key to kicking anxiety’s butt! It helps you deal with stress and anxiety by giving your body something fun to focus on like playing sports or going hiking. It is great for reducing feelings of being overwhelmed because they make us feel less sad while also improving our moods since we’re having so much energy left over after exercising.
Choose something you like to do to be active, it could be jogging with a friend, going for a swim, or just dancing in your living room at home with the music very loud. Even something as simple as a daily walk while listening to an uplifting podcast or feel-good music can work wonders for your overall mental health.
The release of endorphins from exercise can make you happy and less stressed. When we are happier, it’s easier to deal with the stress in your life!
3. Focus on your quality of sleep
It’s important to give your brain a break from the stress of being a parent to a child with diabetes.
When you are well-rested, you can handle whatever challenges come your way with ease and reduce your anxiety levels in return for increased focus on tasks at hand!
Make sure that each night is filled with quality rest by turning off the TV, iPad, and other electronics one hour before bedtime so no light disrupts sleep patterns or triggers alarms during deep slumber time.
I know that as a parent to a child with diabetes, who uses a Dexcom, this is not ideal, but at least the TV, iPad and computers can be turned off 30 mins before.
The right pillows and mattresses can make all the difference in how restful you feel. Make sure to get supportive ones so that they don’t give way when held up by your head, but also keep it comfortable with an appropriately warm room temperature!
Try using a white noise machine or running the fan if you need some background sound to help lull yourself asleep. You can also practice positive affirmations for both yourself and your mindset in order to keep that brain active during those long nights spent dreaming of sugar plums!
Quality of Sleep Devices
Journaling daily can help you release some of the worries and anxiety that comes with raising a child with diabetes.
It’s important to get these thoughts out in a way where they won’t continue popping up at night when there is no one around, so writing down what was bothering us during our day helps put things into perspective for ourselves because if we don’t then next time something happens all those old feelings might come back again stronger than ever before!
Journaling daily is a healthy way of releasing stress and finding patterns in your life. Journal entries also help you notice any triggers or situations that may have been going on without being conscious about them before. This can help to avoid unnecessary or overwhelming situations as well as overcome others that are less severe than your mind makes them out to be!
Not sure where to begin? Journal prompts for mental health are a great starting point!
5. Identify your triggers
Many parents of kids with diabetes feel anxious because their mind or body is triggered by their medical condition and the constant and daily management of the disease.
You are not alone. There is support, education, and resources all over the internet to help you get through it!
With the right nutrition and lifestyle choices, you can reduce your anxiety symptoms. Eating healthy food will keep your mood balanced by providing necessary nutrients for thought processing while avoiding an excess of sugar or caffeine which have been shown to increase feelings of stress in many people who consume them regularly.
Journaling can help you work through your triggers so that they don’t have as much power over the way you feel. Once you know what causes anxiety, then overcoming it becomes easier!
6. Try to Relax
It can be hard to get rid of anxiety when you are constantly worried about possible scenarios in regards to our type 1 diabetic kiddos.
It’s easy to get caught up in your busy schedule as a parent of a diabetic child and forget about the things that make you feel good, like taking time for yourself. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel if your body has been held up well by routines, exercise, or just good old-fashioned rest!
Listening to relaxing jazz or any other soothing music on your commute home, can help you feel less stressed and more in control of your life! As a parent of a child with special needs, prioritizing yourself can help you live a better quality lifestyle, and be there for your child 100%.
7. Think Happy Thoughts
Happiness is the father of peace. It’s a great feeling to be able not only handle life’s little challenges, but also enjoy them!
Happiness is a journey, not an overnight process. You can make small changes to be happier every day and these improvements will likely cause the anxiety level in your life to decrease over time as well!
The best way to find happiness is by staying in touch with loved ones. Try out that new hobby you’ve had your eyes on for some time. Watch your favorite show or movie to take a break from the stress of everyday life for just an hour. You can use this time to forget all about what’s bothering you, and have some laughs!
Life is a gift, so you have to decide what kind of experiences and memories make up your happiness. You are in control!
8. Practice Self Care
Your body and mind need the same care as your home, family car or job.
We all need moments of self-care and relaxation in our hectic lives. Self-care gives you the time your mind needs to relax and wind down, especially during stressful times when our child’s sugar levels, dealing with the health insurance, and anything related to their disease takes our peace away.
The best way to take care of yourself is by practicing healthy habits like having lunch with a friend, taking bubble baths while listening to your favorite tunes on Spotify (or iTunes), or reading an enjoyable book outside under the sun during one of those warm Autumn days!
9. Quality Time with Loved Ones
When anxiety has you canceling dinner dates or declining invites to parties, now is the time for a change. Spending quality time with those we love is great for the soul – and helps to remove those anxious feelings from our minds.
Spending time with your loved ones is a great way to have a good support system for those times when your anxiety is very high. You will find that you are not alone in your anxiety, and there is always someone who wants to help.
You may not be able to face going out with people if you feel anxious. You could try doing new things or having different friends!
As parents of children with special needs, it’s common for all of us to experience anxiety at one time or another. If you find yourself experiencing anxiety more often than not, then it’s important to work on solving this with a professional mental health provider.
The trick is to learn how to identify the triggers and how to cope with those anxious feelings when they arise.