Supporting Your Mental Wellbeing
If you are experiencing diabetes distress, depression or anxiety it is important to look after your mental wellbeing. If you are not experiencing either of these conditions, then looking after your mental well-being can help you to live well with diabetes and reduce the likelihood of experiencing them in the future.
The following tips can be useful for all people living with diabetes.
- Be kind to yourself. Self-care strategies such as treating yourself to a massage or participating in activities or hobbies that you find enjoyment in may help you to relax and reduce feelings of frustrations.
- Move your body. Physical activity releases endorphins which can improve your mood.
- Get enough sleep. Having a healthy sleep routine can help you feel more energized, calm and relaxed.
- Reach out. Talk to friends and family. If you live alone, make a point to talk to at least one person every day. If you don’t feel like you have anyone to talk to, call our helpline on 1300 001 880, discuss this with your GP or join a support group or online community.
- Be present. Mindfulness and breathing exercises may also help you to clear your mind and focus on what is happening in the here and now
Who can help?
- Talk with your diabetes healthcare team. This may include your General Practitioner (GP), Endocrinologist, Diabetes Educator, Nurse, Exercise Physiologist or Dietitian. Your diabetes team are there to help with all aspects of your diabetes, including how you feel about it.
- Attending group diabetes education sessions can help by increasing your knowledge around diabetes which may help to overcome some of the frustrations you may have around your chronic condition. Group education can also help by sharing stories and experiences with other people living with diabetes who have had similar lived experiences.
- You may also wish to talk with a psychologist who you can work together with to find ways to manage the demands of living with diabetes. Talk with your GP to discuss getting a referral to a psychologist in your area that is familiar with diabetes. You may also be eligible for a mental health care plan to assist in the cost of seeing a psychologist so speak with your GP to discuss eligibility
- Get connected with a peer support group. It can also be helpful to talk with others who have experienced similar challenges and to share ideas about how to manage and cope with the stress of living with diabetes. You can join a diabetes support group either online or fact to face. Click here if you are interested in joining a local diabetes support group.
- Talking with your friends and family about how you are feeling can be helpful. Consider if there is anything that they can do to help support you. This might be lending an ear to discuss anything that is worrying you, going for a walk together or helping you to prepare healthy meals.
- If you need to access further support, you can also contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the Mental Health Emergency Response Line 1300 555 788. If you would prefer to contact support online then you can contact either Lifeline or Beyond Blue.