Many of us are experiencing the passing of time differently during quarantine. Those who are still going to work have to adapt to a new atmosphere; those working from home have to get used to a different kind of daily life. In quarantine, we have to learn how to manage all of this alone time. Here are a few ideas for optimizing it when you’re living with Type 1 diabetes.
(Re)learn to cook
Get rid of all that ultra-processed food. Quarantine is the perfect opportunity to take a little time every day to prepare a healthier meal. This is your chance to choose staple foods (fruits, vegetables, meat or fresh fish, ) and concoct your own delicious, satisfying dishes. When you cook for yourself, you’re less likely to consume the added sugars and fats hidden in processed foods.
It’s also pretty tempting to do a little baking. Why not try a few new recipes? You can use stevia as a sugar substitute.
To use more natural ingredients in your desserts, try replacing refined white sugar with agave nectar, maple syrup or muscovado (whole, unrefined cane sugar). Your taste buds will discover some new and wonderful sweet flavors.
The same goes for virtual cocktails with friends or family. Customizing whatever item you’re craving most will make it easier to manage your Type 1 diabetes. Find all our recipes and dietary advice here!
Take care of your body
Even during quarantine, taking care of yourself and your body is essential. Taking online classes with your local gym, or spending time doing exercises that don’t require much in the way of materials or space (squats, crunches, core strengthening, indoor cycling, etc.) are two easy ways to stay on track. Your glucose levels will thank you!
But make sure to pay attention and proceed cautiously with these activities : if you weren’t exercising regularly before quarantine started, don’t try to do several hours a day. When you’re not used to it, high-intensity exercise can easily cause injury to your knees, your back and even your pelvis. Start at your own rhythm, and respect your body. Also, watch out for unqualified instructors, and any videos you find online. Consider your options before diving in!
And why not try something new? Yoga and meditation are ideal for developing a healthy mind and body. This can be an anxiety-inducing time. Trying activities like these can help you find peace of mind and channel your emotions. What’s the connection with diabetes? If your emotions influence your blood sugar levels, learning to manage them can help keep your levels steady.
Tidy, sort, organize
We’ve all been cleaning out our cupboards since quarantine started 😉 As a T1D, you’ve probably found a ton of old lab reports, prescriptions and letters from your doctor. Instead of just throwing them away, why not take an overall look at the past few years? This could be a good opportunity to take stock of your diabetes, see how your glucose levels have evolved over time, and maybe set some new personal goals. Introspection is a lot easier when we have more time to ourselves.
Having more alone time is also an opportunity to learn about subjects that you don’t normally have time (or take the time) to study. Quarantine can give people with diabetes and their loved ones a chance to learn more about diabetes and discover a few diabetes “influencers” (also known as diabetes advocates).
During quarantine, we all have more time to spend on ourselves. So take advantage of it, and use these days to recenter, renew, and really feel good before it’s time for a fresh start!
Good luck, take care of yourself, and #stayhome!