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Checking Out to Check In

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Life can get crazy busy. I mean friends on my Facebook feed are already doing their Christmas shopping and I’m still writing 2014 on my paperwork! For most part of my time, I have been immersed in my studies and fitting in work where I can. Recently I have been reminded that taking time out to check in on my mental state is part of that delicate balance of life. 

We each deal with stress and problems differently. I struggle to voice my concerns and downplay any major stress. I try and work everything out on my own even if that includes pushing myself to the very limit. Some of my friends turn to their work to drown problems in other areas of their lives. Others turn to food.

Actually thinking back, I am probably guilty of doing all of the above at some point.

Despite how we cope with stress, to me the most important thing is that you’re not dealing with it by yourself. By talking about whatever is bothering you could help relieve some burden that you have been carrying by yourself for who knows how long. And even if you just fall in a heap of tears, that’s ok. Maybe that’s just what you need before being able to get up and go again.

And if you notice that one of your friends has been quieter than usual, keep an eye out for them. Ask them if they’re ok and remind them that you are there for them. If they say they’re fine, let them be, perhaps nothing is up or they’re not ready to share. Give them time and space. Sometimes knowing that someone is looking out for you makes all the difference.

Most importantly, if you feel like you have fallen into a pit of despair that you cannot shake off, please ask for help. Having a third party such as a counsellor provide some guidance may help. Obviously it’s important to find someone you are comfortable with too. It takes a lot of strength, courage and nerves to ask for help. And acknowledging that you do need an extra hand and asking for that is a massive step forward.

If you’re reading this and have been thinking that “I can’t do this anymore”. You can. You can do this. You got this.

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Pancreatically challenged, diabetes advocate, PhD student and dietitian - working to positive changes within the diabetes community and healthcare setting. Although diagnosed at age of 19 with T2DM, the type of diabetes I have is under constant debate. Finally pumping as of March 2014.

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