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Strategies for personal success at home and work for people with Type 1 Diabetes

Edited: 17.04.2024

Phong Nguyen

HelloType1 Coordinator Vietnam, A4D

1. Diabetes strategy: The balance between work and health

As a professional living with Type 1 Diabetes, how can you balance work and health? The best person to speak up for yourself is you. Being able to accept your situation and believe that you can live a full, normal, and happy life is the first step. Taking care of our diabetes at work, like checking blood glucose, giving insulin, and keeping track of what we eat, might seem too much to handle. But if you create a sound diabetes strategy, you will be able to do all of those things and more.

Below are some Type 1 Diabetes-related tips you might want to try. You might be able to find the best mix between work and personal life by talking to other people and making plans ahead of time.

2. Plan and prioritize

Having Type 1 Diabetes can make you feel stressed when you think about all the things you need to do. One way to start an effective diabetes strategy is by taking small steps to help you get used to things and make life easier for you over time. The first thing you should do is plan ahead. Make your meals ahead of time and keep snacks or sweets in an easy-to-reach place in case your blood glucose drops. You can also make sure your blood sugar level stays stable all day by planning when you take your insulin based on your work schedule. But everyone knows that life can change quickly, which is why you need to be able to adjust your plans and manage diabetes well.

If your blood glucose levels are not working well, please do not be afraid to take a break or change the things you need to do at work to get your health back on track. This is why it is so important to put yourself and your health first. Even if our work is hard, it is important to remember to take our medicine as the doctor says, test our blood sugar often, and visit the healthcare team for check-ups.

Take breaks and exercise. It is good for your body, your friends, and how you feel.

3. Advocate for inclusivity and diversity

The next step in your diabetes strategy is to figure out how to best meet your goals and needs at work. This means setting aside space on your desk for things like candy, insulin, a glucose monitor, and test strips. Make sure you are comfortable where you are injecting insulin if you have to do it during the workday.

Be honest with the people you work with. It can make you feel safer and more at ease. Sharing what you require with your colleagues, how you feel, and what could happen will make them understand Type 1 Diabetes better and answer any questions they have. There will be a lot more openness, diversity, and inclusivity at work this way.

4. Take care of your mental health

The mental toll of living with a chronic condition is real, and needs to be considered in your diabetes strategy. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so take care of yourself if you're feeling down, stressed out, or anxious. Don't pretend your diagnosis isn't there, but try to understand and accept how you are feeling right now. This can help you get better more quickly and with less trouble by dealing with the main problem. If we don't take care of the real issue, your health and stress may get worse as time goes on.

Accept all of your feelings and healthily work through them by doing things like working out, meditating, listening to music, or just taking some time to relax. Do not be afraid to ask for help if you feel like everything is getting too much. Your coworkers, friends, and family are there to support you mentally.

5. Find your tribe, connect with your community

The constant effort and juggling required by those living with Type 1 Diabetes may lead to burnout and make it hard to manage diabetes. So, take it easy and connect with a group of Type 1 Diabetes warriors for support. Finding people who are going through the same thing as you are and connecting with them might make you feel more at ease and part of a community. It will be well worth your time to find people who understand how you feel and can help you feel better. Find your tribe, and love them hard!

6. Know your worth

Finally, never forget that you are a human being who deserves respect and dignity. You have the same rights as everyone else in the workplace. Reach out to your healthcare team to develop a plan in case you may need paperwork to show your need for additional resources. Most countries let you speak up for yourself to make sure that your needs are met and that you are treated fairly if you have Type 1 Diabetes.

Even at work, your personal journey, planning, setting priorities, and self-care should be understood and valued and all be part of your diabetes strategy. Always keep in mind that you are unique and that this Type 1 Diabetes journey will change you for the better. Find your yin and yang, let us seek balance in life. It's easier to go with the flow of life, like riding ocean waves, instead of trying to fight against them.

Icon Disclaimer:

You are not alone!

There are many people who have the condition.

on the Type 1 Facebook community.