No doubt working full-time can be hectic and stressful at times for most people. But when you add diabetes into the mix, working full-time means you’re juggling career demands along with managing your blood sugar levels.
Keeping your diabetes symptoms in check during the workday, however, will ensure you can do your job optimally. Here are some tips to stay on track in managing your diabetes, even when your to-do list is daunting.
Bring your own food: Coming equipped with a nutritious lunch and healthy snacks to have throughout the day will make the fast food options at work far less appealing. Here are some kitchen shortcuts to help make the lunch prep easier too.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you always have to forgo the cafeteria or a lunch out with coworkers either. When eating out, look for the most nutritious options so you can make the best choices. For example, here’s a look at some of the healthiest selections at five popular fast-food restaurants.
Plan ahead: At some point you’ll need to test your blood sugar on the job so be sure to have a kit with all your supplies easily accessible in a desk drawer or locker. You may also want to have a disposal container to house your used lancets. Keeping all your supplies together in a bag also makes it easier to grab if you’d rather sneak in a quick trip to the rest room for testing your levels.
Simplify medication use: With the current use of insulin pens that don’t need refrigeration, it is easy to administer your dose pretty much anywhere. If you have to refrigerate your insulin and this is not an option at your place of work, consider bringing an insulated medication bag that you can keep at your desk that is designed to keep your meds cool all day.
Be sure to schedule reminders on your work email or phone so that you never forget to take your medication.
Keep moving: Just because you have a desk job, doesn’t mean you can’t get in some exercise while at work. Opt for the stairs instead of the elevator and weather permitting, take a walk during your lunch break or find a walking buddy to join you. Get up from you desk every few hours to stretch, and look for reasons for take frequent walks throughout the day. If available, join a local gym you can easily access from work. Find some more tips on how to stay active in the workplace here.
Find an ally in the case of emergency: Finally, be sure to tell at least one person who works physically near you that you have diabetes, especially if you take insulin. Explain what happens when your sugar drops too low, including how your behavior may change, and how he/she can help in the case of an emergency. Have glucagon, an injectable medicine that can rapidly raise blood sugar in an emergency, nearby at all times and make sure your co-worker knows how to administer it.
Once you’ve implemented processes like these at your workplace, you’ll find managing your diabetes will become one aspect of your workday that you do have control of—even when you can’t control the rest of it.