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Keep laughing through the highs and lows (and we aren't just talking about blood sugar)

Diabetes isn't just a blood sugar rollercoaster—it can be an emotional one, too. After all, nobody can be at the top of their game every hour of every day, year in and year out. Taking care of your emotional health can be just as important (and challenging) as managing your blood sugar.

Fortunately, if you're getting one of them right—the physical or emotional side—the other one is likely to come easier. Here are three thoughts on keeping a positive, hopeful outlook.

  • Don't check out this winter. It's easy, especially if you live in the north, to see winter as one long self-care vacation. It gets dark so early, you may not feel like exercising. Comfort food reigns supreme. And the holidays tend to undermine normal routines. Of course, all this is happening during what can be a particularly stressful time of year. Be mindful of the days you opt out of parts of your self-care. Forgive yourself and hit the reset button before things get a chance to snowball.
  • Give yourself a mental vacation from diabetes. Find something you love—something active or engaging that takes all of your attention and effort. What do you do that allows you to lose track of time? Whether it's playing an instrument, practicing yoga, reading, cooking, planning parties or using your hands to create, find that thing (or things) that makes you really happy and carve out time for it. 
  • Schedule a good laugh. You know who they are—that one friend/sibling/coworker who makes you laugh so hard your sides hurt. Keep them on your calendar because some days, you need a good dose of laughter almost as much as you need insulin.* Besides—it's for your health. Research shows that the stress-reducing effects of laughter are quite real.1

Of course, you've heard all of this before—stay active, eat mindfully, take time for yourself and make plans with people who make you feel good. It's just good to remember all of this as we head into shorter days, colder weather and fuller calendars.

*Disclaimer: Okay, you don't need laughter as much as you need insulin, but it's still pretty important to feel supported, loved and hilarious.

1Mayo Clinic. Stress relief from laughter? It's no joke. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/s.... Accessed April 30, 2016.