Module 5: Managing Stress
New Beginnings: A Discussion Guide for Living Well With Diabetes
Stress can set off the “fight or flight” response of the nervous system. This response, which relies on animal instinct instead of thought-out decisions, is helpful in a sudden emergency when a person needs to react quickly by running away or fighting back. But when the fight or flight response stays with people all of the time, these feelings can be destructive. When people with diabetes have trouble coping with stress, it might cause them to stop managing their condition or to use unhealthy behaviors to cope. Sometimes this is called “diabetes distress.” Support for coping with stress and emotions is part of the services that people with diabetes can receive through programs or individuals who offer diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) services.
- Stress reactions
- Stress management
By the end of this session, participants will be able to:
- Identify at least two signs of stress
- Name three strategies for managing stress
- Name three examples of healthy actions for managing stress
- Stress is a normal part of life. People can learn to manage stress so that it does not cause them health problems.
- Being aware (mindful) of the signs of stress in yourself is part of the process of learning to manage stress.
- Strategies for managing stress include:
- Reducing or eliminating the source of stress
- Changing how you respond to stress
- Taking a time out
Connecting Threads are topics that can be incorporated into New Beginnings sessions depending on the goals and needs of your participants.
Recommended Connecting Threads:
- Facilitating New Beginnings Online [PDF – 221 KB]
- Commit to Quit: Stopping Smoking [PDF – 222 KB]
- Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support Services [PDF – 178 KB]
- Spirituality as a Guide and Support [PDF – 182 KB]
Going Virtual Tips
- Instead of partnering and role playing during the activity, ask participants to share one at a time with the whole group. Use the virtual whiteboard to brainstorm healthy ways to manage stress. See the Connecting Thread: Facilitating New Beginnings Online [PDF – 221 KB] for ideas on how to adapt activities.
- Text-only stories that you might have handed out to the participants can be put on a slide in the New Beginnings PowerPoint template [PPT – 599 KB]. Or you could record yourself, a colleague, or a participant volunteer reading the story before the session.