Get involved with your community this National Diabetes Awareness Month.
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, observed all across the nation as an opportunity for advocacy and connection. While there are plenty of great ways to give, learn, and share on a national level, you can also make an effort to have some influence in your community.
Here are some easy yet impactful ways that you can make a difference this coming November.
Help People Understand Living With Diabetes
Living with any type of diabetes brings unique challenges for individuals and their families, and the chronic aspect of the disease can make those challenges feel especially relentless. People with diabetes often do not look outwardly ill, and because they may keep their experiences to themselves, it can be easy for others to assume that diabetes isn't a big deal. It's true that people living with diabetes can almost always do the same things that people without it can do, but those activities often require more planning and preparation. Some days go smoothly and others are interrupted by symptoms.
By educating friends, family, and neighbors about the realities of the disease and the all-encompassing aspects of constantly managing blood glucose levels while also trying to live a normal life, you can bring awareness to the importance of finding better treatments and ultimately a cure.
Volunteer in the Diabetes Community
Not only does it feel great to give back, but volunteering also creates a ripple effect of positivity in the diabetes community and beyond. Whether you've lived with diabetes for decades or are newly diagnosed, you have something important to share with others.
Get involved in a local organization or the nearby chapter of a diabetes organization like JDRF or the American Diabetes Association. They can connect you with opportunities to participate in fundraising events, mentor others, and participate in legal advocacy on behalf of people living with diabetes. Blue is the color for National Diabetes Awareness Month, so wear your favorite shade throughout November and be a beacon for the community.
Celebrate Your Achievements
The combination of daily management and a long-term view of diabetes can feel overwhelming at times, but the steps you've taken to ensure your emotional and physical well-being are worth noting. Take time to reflect on how far you've come in managing diabetes and celebrate everything you accomplish each day by making the choice to take care of yourself.
As you consider how you want to acknowledge this National Diabetes Awareness Month, remember that you are not alone in your journey. Let friends and family know how they can support you by joining you for a walk or getting together to cook a new healthy recipe. Remember that your Rite Aid Pharmacist can help you manage your prescriptions and answer questions about your care.
Sharing your experience will help the people around you be better advocates and can go a long way toward spreading awareness and education this November.
By Samantha Markovitz, NBC-HWC
JDRF, Get Involved
American Diabetes Association, In My Community