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The diabetes balancing act: How do you manage diabetes when you’re busy?

Life gets busy, and as you try to meet all the demands that life throws at you, it can be easy for your diabetes management to get lost in the juggle. Despite your best intentions, sometimes the important things like healthy eating, exercise, and remembering to monitor your blood sugar levels fall to the bottom of your to-do list.

13 November 2023
Healthy, prepared food in the fridge

When life feels a bit like a balancing act, how do you handle everything on your plate and still manage your diabetes effectively? 

You’re probably thinking, “I don’t have the time; I’m so busy.” 

Firstly, remember that diabetes management should be a top priority. Taking care of yourself impacts your ability to take care of your other responsibilities. 

Secondly, there are plenty of great tips to help you incorporate diabetes management into a busy lifestyle.

Meals and snacks

When you’re busy, it can be easy to grab the most convenient foods instead of making healthier choices that help you manage your diabetes. Finding time to shop and cook can be difficult. How do you overcome that lack of time? Here are a few tips that can help:

  1. Consider grocery delivery to save time. If that’s not feasible for you, perhaps ask a friend or relative to help with your shopping.
  2. Do some meal prepping. On days off, prepare some extra meals you can grab during the coming week.
  3. Limit shopping trips. If you are doing the shopping yourself, make a list and plan one big trip instead of multiple smaller trips. This saves a lot of time wasted in long queues and on additional travel.
  4. Prep veggies early. Prep your veggies and fruits by putting them into smaller portions, so they’re ready for you to cook or eat raw, saving time later when you are snacking or preparing a meal.


If you’re short on time, it may feel like you can’t cram in any physical activity. But being active is just as important as healthy eating when you’re working to manage diabetes. Here are a few easy ways to slip in more exercise, even if you’re busy.

  1. Do 10 minutes at a time. Instead of giving up because you can’t find 30 free minutes for a big exercise session, start slipping in just 10 minutes here and there. Go for a 10-minute walk on your lunch break. Get 10 minutes of exercise after dinner. Do 10 minutes of activity while you’re watching TV.
  2. Find ways to be more active throughout your day, even if it’s not planned exercise. Simple things such as parking a bit further away from the supermarket, taking the stairs instead of the lift, and getting up to walk around every 30 minutes while you’re working, can really help.
  3. Pick exercise options that you enjoy. If you hate running, you’re not going to make time in your busy schedule to do it. Choose something you enjoy and you’ll be more motivated to fit it into your schedule.


Monitoring and medication

It’s at the busy times in life when it becomes easiest to forget things, such as monitoring your blood sugar or taking your diabetes medicine. Use these tips to stay on track, no matter how busy you get.

  1. Set times for meals, monitoring, and taking medicines. Having a schedule can help you stay on track all day.
  2. Try setting alarms or reminders for blood sugar monitoring, taking medicine, or even eating a snack or meal to prevent low blood sugar. Various apps on your phone can be used to alert you when it’s time to do these tasks, too.
  3. Ask for help. Maybe a trusted loved one or friend could help you remember to take medicines and stop and check your blood sugar. Sometimes just a little help from people who care about you can go a long way when you’re busy.



https://www.myhealthexplained.com/diabetes-information/diabetes-article…(accessed 08/11/2023)

https://spectrum.diabetesjournals.org/content/16/3/173(accessed 08/11/2023)

https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/diabetes-pictures/better-diabetes-con…(accessed 08/11/2023)

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