Are you experiencing stress about having diabetes? It is not uncommon if you do. In addition to the usual stress you feel over work, finances, family issue and more, the additional challenge of managing your chronic illness daily can cause even more stress. Daily diabetes self-care includes glucose testing, foot care, exercise, dietary changes/food preparation, and taking multiple medications.
Dealing with a life-threatening illness such as diabetes can cause depression, which results in poorer health outcomes. Stress can lead to unhealthy behavior, including poor eating habits or smoking, which can result in high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity. These conditions can make managing your diabetes even more challenging. 
When you are under stress, your body releases hormones that can cause blood sugar levels to increase. That is why you will want to track when you feel stressed and how it affects your glucose levels to see what kind of patterns emerge. If you notice your glucose level is high when you are feeling stressed about something or some time of the day or week, you can take special steps to lower your stress during these periods and keep your glucose under control. 
The symptoms of stress can be both physical and mental
Among the physical symptoms of stress, you may experience:
- muscle pain or tension
- sleeping too much or too little
- general feelings of illness
Stress also can cause you to feel:
Tips to manage stress
While some level of stress will always be with you, there are ways to manage and reduce it. Here are some tips: 
Try to remain positive: It is easy to focus on the negative when things challenge or trouble you. But it is important to find good in each area of your life – your work, family, friend and even your health. Focusing on the good can boost your spirits during the bad times.
Be good to yourself: Be good to yourself and try not to let your goals and ambitions add more pressure. Also keep in mind, you do not always have to say “yes” when others ask something of you. Do not do things you really do not want to do.
Accept what you cannot change: Some problems or situations cannot be changed. Accept that and do not let yourself stress over them.
More ways to reduce stress:
Talk to your health care providers about your feelings: Once you acknowledge your distress, talk to your doctor, nurse, diabetes educator and any other health care providers who are part of your care and treatment. They can help problem-solve your concerns and may suggest other health care providers who can help.
Talk to friends and family: Your friends and family can be a great source of help in relieving stress. However, they also may add to the stress even without knowing it. Be open with them about your feelings and let them know when you need them to help you.
Exercise Daily: Exercise is a great way to reduce stress. The American Diabetes Association recommends getting 150 minutes of exercise a week. Walking is one of the easiest and best exercise if you have diabetes.  Riding a bike, gardening, dancing, cleaning house and even playing with your pets are activities that are easy to incorporate into your daily routine. 
Try meditation: When you meditate you focus your attention and clear your mind of thoughts to give you a sense of calm and peace and achieve balance. Meditation can help you gain a new perspective, increase self-awareness, increase self-control, and improve focus and decision making.
Practice deep breathing and yoga: Deep breathing exercise can reduce stress. Yoga involves paying attention to your breathing, which can help you relax and help reduce stress.The key to managing stress is to pay attention to what you are feeling. Once you know what is causing you stress, you can find ways to deal with it.
 Lewis, Krystal M., PhD, “Helping Patients with Diabetes Manage Stress,” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases,” September 16, 2020. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/professionals/diabetes-discoveries-practice/helping-patients-with-diabetes-manage-stress
 Purdie, Jennifer, “Stress: How It Affects Diabetes and How to Decrease It,” healthline, July 21, 2022. https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes-and-stress
 WebMD Editorial Contributors, “Managing Stress When You Have Diabetes,” WebMD, February 21, 2021. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/managing-stress
“It’s a great time to get moving,” ADA, Accessed September 10, 2022. https://diabetes.org/healthy-living/fitness
 “Developing Your Diabetes Care Plan Is a Must for Feeling and Looking Your Best,” Life Energy Foundation, Accessed September 10, 2022. https://www.thelifeenergyfoundation.org/type-2-diabetes-care-plan/