Sometimes you just need little tweaks to make diabetes WORK for you in your life. Today I wanted to talk about one of those—something that really has worked wonders for me.

Basically, I want to talk about creating a haven in my master bedroom.

For some time, I’ve had LONG days with kids. Because of Craig’s work schedule, I’m often “on” with the kids for up to fourteen hours straight, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. when they go to bed! Add in the diabetes-related tasks, and sometimes I’m working almost around the clock. It’s pretty exhausting, and I find myself getting burnt out and overwhelmed. I needed to find a way to “breathe” through this phase of my life (referring to my previous post about figuring out a way to do this—manage diabetes—for the long haul).

Some of my coping techniques include relying heavily on Craig to help me out with nighttime stuff, making sure that I’m getting enough rest, trying to carve out time for exercise, practicing treating myself with kindness, or even creating “art” to stave off stress. Honestly, these seemingly little things make long days seem to go much quicker and fill my mind and body with energy I didn’t think I had!

My most recent process is creating a master bedroom “haven” for Craig and myself. Like many parents, we had carefully decorated nearly our whole home except for our own room, which was full of all the leftover furniture and projects. It was the darkest room in the house, and Craig and I basically only ever slept in there. We definitely never spent time there during the day. A few months ago, I set about to change that.

I had a pretty small budget, but I was armed with time, the Internet for inspiration, and the belief that it might make a difference to carve out some space for a little “me” time. It has been a very successful experiment!

My master bedroom is quite small. There was no budget for architectural renovations or even brand-new furniture. But I had ideas! I started by adding a chair, recognizing that if I simply had a place to sit, I’d spend more time. Then I added some textiles to the bed and to the windows that lightened up the space and made everything feel softer. I pulled out all of my favorite things from other rooms and from storage to see if I could make the space function as both a bedroom and a place to relax and unwind. I also reorganized my closet so it was more efficient.

I even had one trip to a home decoration discount store that made me feel like I was in a design show! I was looking for a few accessories to add function and improve the appearance of the room. My list included a narrow-profile table, a full-length mirror, a decorative frame and an accent pillow. Believe it or not, I found ALL of those things for less than $100 and within about 20 minutes! In the end, my bedroom was beautiful. It may not be worthy of a fine design magazine, but it felt very relaxing, and it works for Craig and me.

And guess what? We spend time there now! When the kids are finally down for the night, we retire to our room. We recharge our batteries and spend time as a couple. The room isn’t entirely removed from diabetes care—we still have a baby monitor that we turn on at night so we can hear James’ continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system, and we often find James’ testing kit on the dresser. But by and large, we’ve succeeded in creating a place that can be a haven in the midst of our busy lives.

Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.

Related topics:
How to Create Pockets of Zen In Your Home
My Funny New Stress-Reliever
Help a Mother Out: Options for Reducing Stress

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