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Ken shares his story of diabetes and stress and gives tips to keep calm and relaxed.

COVID-19 and diabetes habits

In periods of uncertainty, healthy habits and good routines are crucial. Make sure to follow your meal plan, stick to your exercise routine (or start a new one), look for pleasure in indoor activities, connect with others virtually and put yourself in the best physical and mental shape possible.

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Managing diabetes in the time of COVID-19

Going high? Mealtime challenges and hyperglycaemia (hypers)
2 min. read

Going high? Mealtime challenges and hyperglycaemia (hypers)

This article provides information to help you understand the signs of experiencing a hyper, as well as some ideas for how you can try to prevent your blood sugar levels from getting above your optimal range.

Working from home and snacking

When you are working or spending a lot of time at home, the fridge might seem closer than ever. This can make it difficult to keep to your regular snack schedule.

Consider getting creative and invent some new snacks yourself; remember that there are very few carbs in meat, fish, seafood, eggs, cheeses, yoghurt, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, bell peppers and avocado. 

Low-carb snacks

When preparing snacks, try to include these ingredients:

Meat, fish, seafood, eggs, cheeses and yoghurt

Asparagus, spinach,
broccoli, mushrooms,
bell peppers and avocado

COVID-19 anxiety

Being forced to stay inside with a limited social calendar can cause your mind to act in unexpected ways. Add to that an undoubtedly very serious pandemic like COVID-19, and it is not surprising if you feel anxious. 

The problem with anxiety is that it can distort your thinking and affect your behaviour in ways that may, in the long run, prevent you from living the best life you could be living.  

Learning to breathe and be mindful

Breathing exercises are a highly effective way to improve your mental health and minimise anxiety. Aside from helping you become more mindful in general, these easy-to-learn exercises come with several benefits:

  • They help you relax and focus more.

  • They are proven to (help you) reduce your stress levels.

  • They increase your control of emotions. 

  • They can help you sleep better at night.

A few tips before you start your breathing session

  • Be mindful of your posture. Sit or stand straight, without stiffness, and keep your shoulders back.
  • Limit your attention to observing your respiratory movements. 
  • Be aware of each inhale and exhale and focus on the sensations you feel as air enters your body through your nose and throat and fills your chest.
  • When you notice your thoughts drifting, redirect your attention to your breath without giving the distraction a second thought. 
  • Breathe ”through your stomach”. In other words, pretend that you’re inflating your belly by inhaling, then swell your chest. As you exhale, reverse the process.
  • Think reassuring thoughts while breathing. A helpful example is: “I am inhaling calm; I am exhaling stress”. But you can, of course, get creative and create your silent mantra.

Are you aware of cardiovascular risk?

People with type 2 diabetes are 2-4 times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke compared to someone living without diabetes.

Learn how you can reduce the risk.

Tips for exercising at home

Exercise can make it easier to manage stress and other symptoms of diabetes. 

Regular exercise can increase insulin sensitivity, which means that your blood sugar is allowed to enter your muscle cells and provide you with energy instead of causing hyperglycaemia – aka spiking blood sugar levels.  

Exercise also increases the ability of your muscles to store and use sugar for energy, even without insulin, which has a stabilising effect on your blood sugar levels.

Scientists have found that weight training can lead to better blood sugar control and lower the risk of complications for people with diabetes. This is because weight training builds muscle mass, making it much easier to achieve steady blood sugar levels. 

A few extra tips to build your muscles indoors:

  • Start out with a few simple stretching exercises. Exercise your joints and muscles for 5 minutes in the morning and 10 in the evening.

  • Why not look for good videos that match your fitness? Many fitness centres have such videos available online.

  • Try to do 3 sessions per week and remember to schedule a rest day between workouts.

  • Stay hydrated and pay attention to your blood sugar levels before, during and after physical activity.

  • Try to get your pulse up too. Doing steps – up and down stairs or on a stepper – is a great way to manage diabetes in the privacy of your home.

Read more about diabetes and how life changes

Living with diabetes

Living with diabetes

Once diagnosed with diabetes, it’s vital to take charge of your situation by educating yourself on the condition and taking the necessary steps to get your health under control.

About diabetes

About diabetes

Diabetes is a medical condition where the body fails to make insulin (or fails to use the insulin created adequately), resulting in off-balance blood sugar levels. Around 537 million people worldwide have diabetes.

Treatment for diabetes
1 min. read

Treatment for diabetes

Diabetes treatment options typically include lifestyle changes, medication, and insulin injections. Those with type 1 diabetes can’t survive without daily insulin injections; in comparison, those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes can manage their condition through lifestyle changes alone.



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