School, Work, and Diabetes...Oh My!

Written by Kristi Caporoso

    As I'm sure you've all noticed, blogging has had to take a bit of a back seat lately in this diabetic's life. And why is that? Two words: Midterm Season.

    Don't get me wrong, I am a very postive person. But sometimes when the weight of school and your two part-time jobs and your diabetes and your girlish hormones are all weighing down on you like a ton of bricks, you just need to say hey: my life is hard sometimes. And that's okay. I am not a whiner, I am not a complainer. But right now, life is tough. And I'm sure you fellow diabetic students or full time workers understand. Sometimes, the work piles up and the sleep time goes down and before you know it you're hysterically laughing at your wallpaper for no reason and scaring your roommates. Then your blood sugar goes low in the midst of all of it and you just want to chuck your meter down a flight of stairs. It can be a very frustrating time.

    How do we deal with all of this stress piling up at once? While the obvious answer may be to never stop moving and compact as much stuff as you can in at one time, this isn't the answer.  Overfilling your plate with responsibilites may have good intentions, but it will only hold negative consequences. Your mind and your body need occasional breaks.  If you continue to push yourself without stopping, you're going to self-implode.  And this will show in your diabetes. Stress will make your blood sugar skyrocket, and constantly being mentally and physically overstimulated may cause your body to drain and your sugars to drop.  There's a balance that needs to be made between school, work, and diabetes.

    To start: make lists.  This may sound like something your mother would tell you, but I constantly find myself making lists in my spare time.  Maybe it's just my slowly failing memory or my very busy mind, but writing things down helps me to remember to do them.  Also, utilizing a date book can help you out.  Block your time into school work, study time, and rest time. And when it's rest time, rest.  Put your phone away, shut your laptop off, and lay down for a couple of minutes.  Watch fifteen minutes of funny TV.  And test your blood sugar.  The more breaks you have in your schedule, the less excuses you have to put diabetes on the back burner.  Also, more break time=less stress, which in turn=better diabetes management.  And better diabetes management in turn leads to even less stress.  It can either be a vicious cycle or a beneficial cycle, depending on what you make it.

    So if you're thinking about pulling an all nighter, don't do it.  Sleep is one of the most important components of your physical and mental well being, and your work and diabetes will be affected if you skip it.  Don't feel guilty about taking a cat-nap if you're having a tough day (and for the record, naps should be around 20 minutes, not the usual 3 hour one you take on Sundays after a long weekend).  Get your schoolwork done at work, if you have a job that allows it.  Basically the rule is this: go easy on yourself. A little stress is good.  But too much will only hurt you, and your diabetes.  Take care of your health, all of it: sleep time, blood sugar level, even squeeze some exercise in if you can.  Because if you feel good and can think straight, you'll be able to get that eight page paper done in time. And more importantly, you'll be able to go out and celebrate after.