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Quick fixes for when you're cranky

No one likes being in a bad mood, but when your blood sugar swings out of range, well, it happens. What can you do about it?

First, know your blood sugar level 
You know this part―when your blood glucose level is off, it affects your mood. Start by knowing your number and, if you're high or low, taking steps to correct it. You'll be feeling like yourself in no time. In the meantime, try these other quick fixes designed to brighten your spirits.

Take a 10-minute walk 
Exercise is an excellent way to lower your blood sugar, and a quick walk is great for removing yourself from a frustrating situation. One thing to note―if your blood sugar is already low, active exercise will probably make you feel worse. Maybe have a snack before embarking on a peaceful stroll around the neighborhood.

Take a bath 
Soaking in a warm bath (or a lukewarm one in the summer) can calm you down and relieve aches and pains―good news if you have nerve pain in your feet or legs. And it's not a bad way to grab some peace and quiet. Sitting in hot water for 30 minutes has been shown to lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. That could be a good thing, but it's also a reminder to check your level before taking a dip.1

Vent with others who know
Friends and family may mean well, but when you're not in a good mood, it can help to talk to other people who have had the same frustrations as you. If you have a friend you can call for a venting session, great. If not, talk to others in the diabetes online community (the DOC). Try a group like these at RedditYahoo! and Facebook 

Sing a little song 
Great news, music lovers. Research from The American Psychology Association has found that "listening to and playing music increase the body's production of...cells that attack invading viruses and boost the immune system's effectiveness. Music also reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol."2 You can even play if you aren't good at it. Goofing off with toy instruments can turn your day around.

List your gratitudes 
A little forced perspective can be a good thing. When you're convinced that everyone and everything is out to annoy you, making a list of your life's bright spots can be just the thing you need. It's as simple as writing down 5 things you're grateful for, like the insulin that keeps you going, the healthy dinner someone made the other night, an upcoming vacation―anything that reminds you of how good you have it.

1Hooper PL. Diabetes, nitric oxide, and heat shock proteins. Diabetes Care. 2003;26(3): 951-952. Available at: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/26/3/951. Accessed October 18, 2016.

2American Psychological Association. Music as medicine. Available at: http://www.apa.org/monitor/2013/11/music.aspx. Accessed October 18, 2016.

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