Anointed by the Huffington Post, mindfulness is the 2014 word of the year. As we enter the final month, in honor of the word, I thought I’d apply the idea to diabetes management. In short, mindfulness is knowing what you’re doing and thinking and why you’re doing and thinking it. Today, we can be mindful in these three ways:
1) When checking blood sugar, only check your blood sugar.
Don’t combine this activity with the barrage of life as we know it: conversation, social media, talking on the phone, etc. Why? Being attentive while making management choices gives empowerment and the opportunity to learn. After demolishing everything in the cupboard, it’s important to know how you got to this place. This is hard but a game changer.
2) Before delivering insulin or fixing a low, ask yourself this question, every time: “Where do I want to be two hours from now?”
Your current sugar landscape may suck pretty bad, but this is a chance to end the roller-coaster ride. Focus on where you want to be, not where you’re at.
3) Replace pump sites, CGM sites, and test your blood sugar with your full attention.
Do not do this while watching TV, brushing your teeth, driving your car, or exercising. Every once in awhile you may pull off the multitasking feat. At the worst time it could happen, with your blood sugar well above 300, you’ll apply blood to the strip too early and it’ll be your last strip you have with you. Or you’ll pull off the pump inserter too soon before the adhesive sticks. See you later $6. In the name of all things good for stress and bank account, do one thing at a time.
Looking for a resource to learn more about mindfulness? Check out this book from David Rock titled Your Brain At Work.