6 tips to support your mental health


Editor’s note: Stephanie is a member of Beyond Team Type Run 2022—A team of about 50 people living with type 1 diabetes who will run the New York City Marathon on November 6, 2022. They are on a mission to raise awareness and save money for type 1 diabetes. Stephanie cheers Make a gift on her fundraising page!

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes eight years ago, and I’m now 21 at a college at the University of Florida. I’m a full-time student, I have an internship at the OTP, I’m the chief student ambassador at the UF Diabetes Institute, I study and take the LSAT while applying to law school and trying to enjoy my last year of college with all my friends—all while training for the New York City Marathon Where I will share with Beyond the running type Team!

I know my situation is not unique. We all balance a lot! But that balance is mentally and emotionally exhausting.

To make sure I can train for a marathon amid a lot of other activities, I learned some basic ways to help balance. We hope this helps you too!

Connect with friends and family for support

Something about me: I’m stubborn! I usually like to deal with stressful things on my own. But with everything on my plate, I needed all the support I could get.

Find people who can relate to you, whether it’s running, work, or other responsibilities. As part of the Beyond Type Run team, I was fortunate to have a group that I was able to reach out to with any questions or concerns I might have as a first-time marathon runner.

My family and friends were very helpful too. My parents came to visit me on the weekend of my 20-mile run and my mom drove on the run to give me water and a Gatorade when I needed it.

Take care of your mental health

Preparing to take the LSAT and apply to law school was one of the most mentally challenging things I had to tackle. I took the LSAT the day before I ran 22 miles. I was mentally exhausted after the LSAT, and couldn’t even think about running 22 miles (my longest running before a marathon).

So I took the rest of that day off. I had homework and study that I could do, but I put myself and my mental health first because I needed it. I knew that if I kept pushing myself, I wouldn’t be able to get myself to run 22 miles the next morning, and Taking care of our mental health is essential.

Focus on one thing at a time

As much as I wish I could do a million things at once, I can’t. There are times when my heart gets so overwhelmed as I start thinking about all the upcoming deadlines.

I have found it very useful to schedule my short rounds during the week in the afternoon so that I have a good break between going to class during the day and studying in the library at night.

After my long runs on Saturday, I feel exhausted, so I make sure to have a clear schedule for the rest of the Saturday or save some light errands to complete after the run.

Keep doing the things that make you happy

Marathon training is stressful and can cause a lot of stress in your life. One thing I’ve learned is that I can’t let these stressors take away my happiness.

Whether that means going out for a meal with friends, cooking a delicious meal at home, just snuggling up and watching a movie, or even traveling on the weekend, it’s important to continue living your life as you normally do.

Find that balance

From reaching out to family and friends to taking care of your mental health to continuing to do the things that make you happy, overcoming the challenges that come with marathon training is tough. And people with type 1 diabetes have to do all of this while managing their blood sugar.

Discover that balance between life, work, diabetes, and training – it takes a lot of patience, but training for this marathon has been so rewarding. Every time I finish a long way, I say to myself, “You did it!” I can’t wait to cross that finish line in NYC with My team are type 1 diabetics!

Remember your reason

Finally, use your dreams as motivation. In October 2021 I had an assignment in one of my classes to create a resume for my future self in 5 years.

A few days ago, I was updating my resume and I found that job. As part of volunteer experiences, I mentioned that in 2025, I ran the New York City Marathon with my diabetes team. And look at me now!

Written by Stephanie Diaz, Posted 10/27/22, Updated 10/27/22

Stephanie from Miami, Florida. She is of Cuban descent, is a final year student at the University of Florida, and hopes to attend law school next year. She lived with type 1 diabetes for 8 years.

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