Poppy & Geoff Spencer were thrilled to be part of a panel of experts providing advice on how to support family members with Diabetes.
Poppy & Geoff emphasize that the #1 most successful coping mechanism in all of the clients who cope with diabetes is to embrace positivity.
Stress is an unwanted trigger for the diabetic. Here are 5 steps family members can take to imbue positivity for the diabetic family member include, and 2 BONUS steps that many are not talking about:
1. Get your own emotions in check. If the diabetic is surrounded by peace and tranquility, chances are the blood sugar levels will be balanced.
2. Focus on everything but diabetes. No one wants their identity to be defined by one aspect. If a crisis does occur, calmly address it and as soon as it is stabilized, redirect to a shared positive experience or activity.
3. Give the diabetic some control and coping skills with his or her treatments. When one preteen was able to inject himself, he projected more confidence, felt more secure, and was at ease with other challenges he experienced.
4. Daily gratitudes. We suggest a box for the year. At the end of the day, all family members write at least one thing for which they are thankful. Diabetes is not even a blip on the radar of this family-inclusive exercise.
5. Family members and friends alike can support their diabetic family member by consciously directing their energy and thoughts on the multiple dimensions of the diabetic, beyond the disease. Are they a talented artist or athlete? A good cook? A high-achieving student? Accent the attributes that are meaningful and more positively define the person.
6. Bonus #1: “There is a commitment for ALL of the family members to eat healthy and regularly exercise,” says one of our clients, Michelle Jones of San Diego.
7. Bonus #2: Compassion. Living in a family with a diabetic fosters compassion and sensitivity. This daily learned empathy extends to the community as well.