Don't Let Tax Day Spike Your Sugars
If the stressors of everyday life weren't enough,
Tax Season is here to tip some of us over the edge. Especially our freelancers and contract workers out there--we feel for you. Stress eating, staring at a screen for hours on end, and sleepless nights don't have to be your future. With Tax Day extended to May 17th, there is time yet to get our paperwork (and coping mechanisms) in order. The impact of stress on blood sugars, regardless of the source, has been highly documented. Here is some basic information on the relationship between stress and blood sugar.
1.) Stress can block your body from releasing insulin, letting the amount of glucose in your blood skyrocket. If you have Type 1, your body may also respond with a decrease in blood sugar.
2.) It's not just mental--stay in tune with how you physically respond to stress. Some common physical side effects of stress are headaches, muscle pain or tension, abnormal sleeping patterns, and fatigue.
3.) Being in a state of distress looks different for everyone, but common behaviors might indicate it's time for a check-in. Some of these include eating too little or more than usual, withdrawing from friends and family, or drinking/smoking to excess.
With this information, we can try our best to be mindful of how we navigate stressful situations. That way, we can come out of the other side with our health & sanity intact. When you feel yourself getting stressed, keep a close eye on your sugars! Use your Genteel Lancing Device to check your glucose levels often, with maximum comfort. With that being said, don't set a standard of perfection! Stress happens, and as you well know, blood sugar roller coasters do too. All we can do is use the tools and resources at hand to make our days a little easier. Let's start with some things we can do to mitigate the immediate symptoms of stress.
Connect with Nature
When you're bubbling up in stress, respect your own limits and take a break! Go on a casual stroll, a hike, or even tend to your plants--there are proven benefits to strengthening your relationship with mother nature.
Have A Splash
Water is soothing for the muscles and mind. If you can't get outside, take inspiration from this self care bath routine. If you don't have time for an elaborate bath, just take a quick break for a hot shower. It can help to loosen muscles, and give you a technology-free moment to take a breather.
Create an AM Ritual
The way you start your morning sets the tone for the day. Adding yoga, or another mindful activity to your morning can help you become more resilient to the everyday stresses of life with diabetes. If none of these sound up your alley, take a look at this article here which outlines break activities that are actually effective (doom-scrolling on social media is not on the list in case you're wondering).
Now that we've reminded ourselves of a few healthy ways to cope with tax season stress, let's explore a couple actionable ideas to make filing a bit easier this year. If your stress is financial, there may be some good news. There are many different expenses you can include in medical deductions, including, but not limited to, meters, test strips, insulin, and prescriptions. Other examples include payments for hospital and doctor visits, and even miles driven to and from!
If the thought of going through all of those expenses by yourself is a nightmare, check out the free resources in your area! Use this search engine on the IRS website to find volunteer tax preparers near you. If you already have an accountant, make sure to keep in touch with them throughout the year next time. There’s no reason you should wait until tax season to contact them. CPAs are experts in their field, and more than willing to help you out all year long. We're wishing you an organized and stress free tax season!