5 Ways to Manage Blood Sugar

Are you having trouble keeping your blood sugar controlled with the recent shake-up to your  routine? While having diabetes doesn’t make you more susceptible to getting a viral infection like COVID-19, having blood sugar above the safe zone of 80-180 mg/dL can increase your risk of complications if you do get sick.

We have some tips for helping you stay in the safe zone during while staying safe and staying at home:

Maintain routines

Make sure to keep up with your regular routine of testing your blood sugar and taking your medications. When you don’t have to leave the house, you might find yourself having a slower start to the morning. Try to wake up at your regular time and test your fasting blood sugar like you would on any other day. Keeping to the same timing for testing and taking meds is the first step in keeping blood sugar well-controlled. You can set up custom reminders in the Brook app to stay on schedule for taking meds and testing blood sugar. 

Stay active

Getting in physical activity throughout the day is key for blood sugar control. If you test your blood sugar and it’s high, try to get in at least 10-15 minutes of physical activity to help bring your blood sugar back into the safe zone. If you’ve been directed to shelter-in-place, you can still get outside for a walk! Just make sure to stay 6 feet away from people who don’t live with you (and check to see if certain parks are closed). If you don’t live in a good area for walking, you may need to get a little creative. We have some ideas for staying active at home that may help.

Start the day right

Things may feel like a vacation, but avoid the temptation to reach for pastries or other simple carbs for breakfast. Getting a balanced breakfast with protein, healthy fats, and carbs with fiber sets you up for success and helps to keep your blood sugar in the safe zone throughout the day. If you’d like some ideas or recipes for a delicious and balanced breakfast, head over to the Expert channel to chat with one of Brook’s Experts. 

Snack mindfully

Being at home may encourage more grazing behavior throughout the day, especially if you tend to snack out of boredom. If this sounds familiar, it may wreck havoc on your blood sugar. If you do find yourself wanting a snack, make it an intentional one where you portion it out onto a plate or in a bowl (don’t snack out of a box or bag). Include protein, healthy fats, and carbs with fiber to help keep blood sugar steady. Here are some blood sugar-friendly options for snacks if you need some ideas. If you find yourself reaching for junk food, make healthier options more accessible. 

Manage stress

With these uncertain times, stress levels are on the rise. The primary stress hormone, cortisol, causes an increase in blood sugar and can keep your readings outside the safe zone. If you find yourself feeling extra stress or anxiety right now, make your mental health a priority. Practicing meditation is great for stress relief and has been shown to improve blood sugar readings in those with diabetes. Meditation not your cup of tea? We have some other ideas that can help reduce stress.  

If you’re having difficulty keeping your blood sugar in the safe zone, you can reach out to a Health Coach in the Brook app to find the support you need.

Reviewed by Heather King, MS, RDN​, CDE

on April 13, 2020. Heather is a Certified Diabetes Educator, has been a Registered Dietitian for over 12 years and is Brook's Health Director.