Pragya lists down the top 5 healing hacks she takes to when fighting the mental & physical distress associated with uninvited highs and lows & their aftershocks.
My ups and downs with 18 years of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) have taught me a few life hacks to pluck out the thorns of burnout in this journey of a lifetime. In other words, I tend to have developed a couple of comfort-habits that help me escape from the mental stress and physical distress caused by high and low sugars. For the innocent nudgy judgy who wouldn’t budgy, high and low sugars are bound to show up uninvited some times when you are living with T1D. There are many external and internal factors at play affecting our sugar levels 24/7 and not all the factors can be controlled at all times. Moreover while highs and lows are already a challenge, the discomfort they cause is another battle altogether demanding extreme patience and perseverance. But “snort not, sweet child” for I giveth thou some soul-soothing hacks which you can adopt, improvise or draw from. Here goes!
1.Spice it up!
Everyone within the T1D clan performs the sacred ritual of hydration in order to bring down a high sugar level. So why not add a personal touch. Fill a pan with water, add a herb, boil the water and voila! And don’t worry, you don’t have to buy the herb specially; it can be a few Tulsi (basil) leaves from your backyard, adrak (ginger), dal cheeni (cinnamon), hari elaichi (cardamom), laung (clove), ajwain (carom/thymol seed), saunf (fennel seeds), kesar (saffron), pudina (mint leaves). These spices are not only tasty but also work as intoxicants giving me a sense of refreshment and healing. You could add lemon too but Lemon is my friend’s dog; might not be the best idea.
2. Chai for the High
I am a sucker for chai. Now any kind of addiction isn’t good but then again, when dealing with a high, home is where the chai is. That said, I ensure that I go low on the milk to avoid carb intake and I never add the chai patti in the pan. Chai patti can affect the lining of the liver so to avoid a strong chai, I put a small amount of it in the filter and then pour the boiling water+milk potion on it. Voila voila!
3. Content watch
Think of it like this. What is the one secretly comforting thing that you don’t necessarily hold in high regard? Now you don’t have to say it out loud, just make that list, give yourself a break and do it. I for one watch movies (when high) which I have watched before despite knowing that it’s waste of time and it’s a bloody teenage weepie drama. As for when I am low I shut out everything for those few minutes of reveling in glucose, and listen to my favorite music. Voila voila voila!
4. Pet a pet or pet a plant
They are receptive, they are always growing, they help you grow, they teach patience, they ease down the pace of life and they are in harmony with nature. I usually sit with my pet Sassy when high. I don’t have many plants but you could always tend to them when in distress (and otherwise too). Better yet, adopt a pet, sow a seed. Voila voila voila voila!
It is when I cook that my creative juices get flowing. High or low, I crave for favorite food in both situations. So I cook, if not for myself then for anyone else at home. (They usually don’t have a choice but to agree to eat that.) For myself though, I prepare a makeshift vegetable soup or salad; heat a teaspoon of oil in a pan, add mustard seeds (let them crackle), add pepper, salt, garlic and any veggie you like, sauté and let it turn brown. Serve hot! For a low, you must first treat it with glucose and once you are in range, go wild with that comfort food (don’t forget to bolus if and as required). Voila voila voila voila voila!
So don’t just manage a high or treat a low, heal yourself from the distress. Go wild! Create your healthy, comfort-hacks and share with us your ideas and experiences with the same. Be Type 1 Of A Kind! <3
- Pragya Bakshi