Diabetes is a life-long condition that may, at times, make you feel stressed and overwhelmed. However, making lifestyle changes can help better manage your diabetes and keep those blood glucose levels within range. This post is geared towards the early hours of the day and the importance of establishing a morning routine to live a healthy, organized life—whether you live with diabetes or not.
Although these tips may sound simple, many people forget to pay attention to them. Additionally, following them comes with several health benefits, all of which help to improve the quality of your physical and mental health. Let’s start learning about some useful morning activities to help you successfully manage your diabetes.
TIP #1: Test Your Blood Sugar Level Right After You Wake Up
Checking glucose levels before exercising or eating your first meal should be a priority for anyone living with diabetes. Having said that, some of us may not want to start off our day with a glucometer and numbers. However, the benefits of checking are often underestimated. Monitoring your glucose levels gives you an idea of where you are at. Doing so also allows you to make modifications throughout the day to keep your levels within the desired range. Studies have shown that people who regularly monitor their glucose levels are more successful in managing their diabetes.
TIP #2: Start Your Day Off with a Large Glass of Water
Drinking a large glass of water to start off your day is a good practice for anyone—whether you live with diabetes or not. There are several benefits to keeping yourself hydrated. Not only does it help support a healthy digestive system, but it also increases your metabolism, ultimately helping with weight management. Staying in a healthy weight range is important for everyone, especially if you live with diabetes.
TIP #3: Check Your Feet and Massage as Necessary
Many of us may not be aware of the association between diabetes, restricted blood flow to the feet, nerve damage, and diabetes neuropathy. The symptoms vary between and within individuals, depending on which nerves, and the extent to which they are affected. Some may experience mild symptoms while for others this may indirectly showcase by causing disruptions in other body systems. Therefore, it is crucial that you take good care of your feet.
Before you get out of bed, take a few minutes to massage your legs and feet. Doing so will aid blood flow and flexibility, as well as prevent nerve problems. Check your feet for bruises, blisters, sores, or anything else that seems out of the ordinary. Doing this at the beginning of your day and having regular consultations with your health care team may help reduce the risk of developing diabetic neuropathy.
TIP #4: Eat a Healthy, Balanced Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and its benefits cannot be overstated! Starting your day off with the right foods has several health benefits. It will prevent you from overeating later, a good strategy for weight loss management. Eating a balanced breakfast with unrefined carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats, will help you better manage your blood sugar levels. Skipping breakfast altogether may contribute to blood sugar spikes. If you are busy in the mornings, take some time to prepare breakfast for the entire week and store it in the refrigerator in proper portions. Whether you eat it at home or on the go, keep a nutritious breakfast a priority to your morning routine.
TIP #5: Make a “To-Do” List - Keep It Short
Take some time in the morning to write a short “to-do” list consisting of three to six activities that you want to accomplish that day. This doesn’t mean over-schedule yourself, but instead, keep your to-do list realistic. Once finished, go through the day completing these activities one by one. You’ll feel accomplished when going to bed, giving you a nice boost to start the next day off right.
Take Away Message
Having a routine and following a set schedule may not be a simple task for everyone. However, it’s important to have a consistent daily routine, especially during the early hours of the day. These activities are quick to accomplish and can help you better manage and thrive with your diabetes management. These small investments, that you can start and develop gradually, result in huge returns for improving your overall health and wellbeing!
“Meal planning for people affected by diabetes.” Diabetes Canada. https://www.diabetes.ca/nutrition—fitness/meal-planning. Accessed 28 August 2021.
Tello, M. “Five healthy habits net more healthy years.” Harvard Health Publishing, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/five-healthy-habits-net-more-healthy-years-2020021918907. Accessed 29 September 2021.
Weiner, S. “5 Morning Life Hacks for Getting Ready with Diabetes.” Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/managing-diabetes-your-way/morning-life-hacks. Accessed 27 September 2021.
Zisser, H. (2014). “The influence of daily routines on engaging in diabetes self-management.” Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 21(3), pp. 232-240. doi:10.3109/11038128.2013.868033