Mental/Emotional Regulation as it Relates to BG Regulation

What I want to talk about is very clear in my mind, but I’m not sure how clear I’ll be putting it in text here. So please bear with me.

I’ve noticed something pretty key to my mental well-being that directly impacts my bg well-being, and maybe this will help someone else.

Basically, I’m doing a better job of keeping tabs on my mental/emotional regulation level throughout my day. My goal is to keep my chill level usually around a 3 or 4 or below. That’s easier said than done in pandemic times with school age kids in and out of quarantine, a very spur of the moment “we need X right now” remote work job for myself, and a husband in a sometimes crazy 24/7 on-call job. Not to mention kids’ sports and the constantly changing practice/game schedules due to weather.

Anyway, as long as my mental/emotional regulation is in check, I can make really solid and bold choices about my bg management. If I’m seeing that I’m more resistant than usual today, I can pre-bolus 45 minutes and not break a sweat. Even if that doesn’t match what I’d expect for my hormones for the day.

Once my mental/emotional load gets above a 7 in a given situation, my diabetes self-management decisions go to crap and are motivated by fear. And also the feeling of, “I can’t manage one more thing right now, and I’ve lost my internal compass of how I physically feel so I know I won’t feel a low accurately, so I can’t risk pre-bolusing too long and here we go…whatever.”

When my stress level goes above a 7 (whether that’s acutely in a situation or long-term throughout the day), my diabetes self-care decisions are made from fear and not from strategic thinking. And once I’m at or above a 7, I notice that I lose all grounding in my body and feel very detached physically. It’s weird.

So now I’ve started working on the mental/emotional game before I add in diabetes decisions if I have time to do so. For example, my boys had their well checks this morning. And any parent who has done well checks EVER or done them during a pandemic knows that (1) your kids might lose their mind waiting in the parking lot or in the exam room because that’s what kids do (2) you’ll have parent paperwork to fill out while nurses are waiting on you and your kids are acting up (3) your kids are so spun up by the time the doctor gets in the exam room, and the doctor is a fun doctor so she spins the kids up even more so that when it comes time to push on their bellies and their thyroid they fight her and jump off the table and (4) when your kids get routine vaccines it’s a total shitshow bc SHOTS in kids and (5) then you have to drop your kids off at two different schools with doctor notes (if you remembered to get doctors notes) and tell your kids they can’t complain about not feeling well from vaccines or else the schools will send them home for another 10 day quarantine…

…you get the idea.

By the time I got home to start my work meetings, I realized I was pretty much at a 9 mentally. So I took a breather and got that stress level down before I started deciding on lunch composition, timing and dosing. Especially since that morning stress kept my bg higher than it should be going into lunch anyway.

Basically, maybe the rest of you already knew all of this, if my mental/emotional load is unregulated, my bg has very little hope of being regulated. And that makes sense to me now. We need to be living in a well-regulated mental/emotional state anyway as humans. A lot of us have run at a 9 for so long that we don’t even know what a 4 feels like. I’m trying to build more 4’s into my day. And that makes my diabetes so much more logical, and manageable, and properly sized in my life. Otherwise it’s just totally out-sized and unmanageable.

Hopefully this helps someone else. And if not, at least it’s helping me now! So yay for that, too!



My bg has always been topsy-turvy when stress and emotions are see-sawing.

I’m not going to get in to details, but my trip to see my mom last month was traumatic, so my diabetes management has gone out the window for now. And I have to be ok with that until I deal with everything else. Otherwise I’m just beating myself up, and making it worse.

I’m glad that you’re willing and able to take a minute to bring some calm in to your life!
Admitting how important it is can be daunting…


I hope you give yourself full credit for how awesome you are! Because everything you post is so empathetic and wise. So I just want to make sure I say that you are awesome and I love knowing you. Because awesome people rule! Even if our circumstances totally blow, we can be separate from the circumstances and kick ass in our own ways. :heart: :heart:

I’ve noticed in my one of my boys that when he tends to get worked up, he stays up there longer than what I would consider proportionately appropriate for whatever the situation was.

And then I realized that I’ve been doing the same thing. I think we push through enough situations that we think we got on to the next thing, but there’s still some lingering side effects of all the BS we’ve walked through. At this stage of life, I’ve realized that there’s some stuff I need to circle back to and work out.

So we’re all figuring it out together in my household. I’m trying to do right by everyone, including myself! And I don’t want to presume anything, but I think that what you are working through is brave and honest and worthwhile.


Thanks for posting about this as it is very important.
I really don’t think we realize how stress affects our BG management, and it doesn’t matter the cause of the stress, emotional, physical or spiritual, it sets into motion the flight/fight syndrome which elevates BG.

When it is chronic and unresolved it really give us diabetics trouble stabilizing on BG. That deep breathing thing you do is a great way to drain that stress away.

And I feel for you with a husband in that on-call situation. I wasn’t on-call constantly, but for one week every 8 than 7 then 6 weeks. It played hell with my BG control, and I know that it stressed my family.


FUD (Because awesome people rule!)