You know my passion is talking about the emotional side to diabetes. To help spread the word, DiabetesDaily.com has graciously allowed me to write an article a week for them. I will write until I run out of things to say, which might be a very long time. 🙂
Here’s the link to the first article under my byline. If you’re not a member of DiabetesDaily.com already, be sure to register. There are hundreds of members with a very active community. There’s even an app for them!
The article is titled “7 Steps to Self- Compassion with Diabetes“. As my normal-functional pancreas friends reminded me, self-compassion is good for everyone!
Some days, I just want to eat a bag of potato chips (topped off with doughnuts), hide under the covers, and not think about checking my blood sugar. When I feel like this, I know I have not been showing myself any compassion. Self-compassion is one of the tools I reach most often to overcome anxiety and general diabetes overload.
What is Self-Compassion?
Self-compassion allows us to do something truly healthy for ourselves. It’s my antidote to shame. Instead of the voices in my head belittling me and making me feel worse, I’m extending to myself the kindness and understanding I crave. Studies have proved for years that making people feel ashamed and “wrong” in order to change behavior actually has the opposite effect. Self-compassion counteracts damaging message by giving us the space to experience less anxiety and stress, and really feel our value as a human.
When I feel myself getting anxious because I feel like I’m lacking support, self-compassion allows me to determine what I really need to feel well and still move forward with my diabetes daily tasks. I have a way forward instead of allowing my emotions du jour to hold me back. When our inner critic is the driver for your diabetes care, it causes feelings of rebellion to run amuck. When I am hiding under the bed sheets, I know the part of me that knows what I value in life is nowhere to be found. I need to do something fast to put my forward-thinking self in control.
Self-compassion is very different than self-esteem, and doesn’t come with the downfalls of too much self-esteem. Too much self-esteem can lead to defensiveness, constant social comparisons and vacillating self-worth. Too much self-compassion causes you to be gentle and understanding with vast quantities of people.