How to Combat Diabetes Burnout

Whether you’ve lived with diabetes for most of your life or have just recently been diagnosed, diabetes burnout is real and it could happen to you!  By learning how to recognize the symptoms of burnout and tricks to putting a halt to them, you can prevent getting yourself  into risky life-threatening situations.

What is Diabetes Burnout?

Every day you have a routine you need to follow- count your carbs, check your sugar levels, take your medicine, visit your doctor and more.  That is a lot that you have to do in your day-everyday.  When you suddenly don’t want to do these “chores” anymore, the routine gets old, you slack on taking your insulin, you cancel your doctor appointments, or you stop self-care, that is diabetes burnout.  Experiencing diabetes burnout can also cause anxiety and stress and lead to life threatening situations.

What does diabetes burnout look like?

There are many ways to experience diabetes burnout including: strong negative feelings towards diabetes, feeling isolated or alone with diabetes, avoiding some or all of your diabetes management tasks and self-care, feeling controlled by diabetes or, feeling like you have lost control of your diabetes.

What are the tools that one can use to combat diabetes burnout?

Don’t be perfect:  Everyone wants to have the exact “perfect” number for them and while it is good to strive for “happy” numbers, it’s just not practical to be perfect.  It is OK to be a little above or a little below your target numbers once in a while.  Try to stay within your healthy range but recognize that life happens and just try to do your best.

Set mini goals: If it all just seems to feel like it is too much, take one step at a time. Set yourself mini goals or tasks such as, checking your blood sugar after every meal or going for a short walk at the end of your day.

Ask friends and family for help: They may not fully understand what it is like to be diabetic, unless they are diabetic themselves, but by including your family and friends in your struggles and achievements with diabetes, they can then be able to help cheer you on and provide emotional support when days are tough.  Also, educate your friends and family by making them aware of the comments they say to you. Their comments may have been said with good intentions, but in all reality, they can make you feel discouraged or isolated- let them know!

Relate through support: Reach out to fellow diabetics for tips and tricks and as a safe place to speak your frustrations.  Many others have been in the same boat and they will have ideas to help you get back on track. It is also a great way to support others like you.

Tell your doctor you’re burned out:   Reaching out to your doctor about feeling burned out is a good thing. By doing so, the two of you can set up a new plan of action and new goals that are attainable for YOU!

To read or not to read that is the question: If you are lacking motivation, try reading a book or article or support page for encouragement and to help you bust out of feeling burned out.  If you find yourself reading too much on diabetes take a break from it- disconnect from reading on the topic- instead, focus on activities that make you feel good like crafts, outdoor adventures or volunteering.

As Scott Coulter, writer for Diabetes Self Management said, “Diabetes is a tricky thing. It will always have the capacity to frustrate us, irritate us, scare us, and make us mad, but if we know how to work with our feelings we can avoid serious burnout, or at least catch it early and reverse it.”

If you think you may be experiencing diabetes burnout, talk to your doctor. Don’t put  it off, you are worth the time and you deserve to be happy!

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