Diabetes may not occupy every minute of your thinking or all your brain space, but some days it just feels like it does. Do you ever have one of those days? Or weeks? Or months? Just know that you are not alone. Everyone goes through periods where having diabetes is just too much to deal with – it is called Diabetes Burnout.
Recognize that diabetes can get you down AND you can still be managing your diabetes very well, it may just seem harder to manage or it may feel overwhelming, here are some solutions to getting out of the slump where managing your diabetes is overwhelming and you just need a break.
To start, recognize that managing diabetes is a full-time job and be kind to yourself for how hard you work at it. Forgive yourself when things don’t work out as you would like. When your numbers are not in range or you didn’t make the healthiest decision, move on. Let your family and friends know how you want to be approached and spoken to if they see that you are struggling.
There are many ways to avoid letting diabetes get you down. Join a support group so you can speak with people who are going through what you are going through. Create a relationship with a therapist who has experience in diabetes for support. They can be there for you and can help you identify if your feelings towards your diabetes or if you are at a place that you need more help.
Find and see a healthcare professional that you like on a regular basis, so you know how you are managing your diabetes and can monitor it. Ignoring it can make life with diabetes more stressful. Try to break diabetes “to-do’s” into smaller tasks. For example, if your A1c is 11.4 right now, a goal of 6.5 may seem overwhelming and undoable. Set small goals to make diabetes less overwhelming,
There are also ways to avoid letting diabetes get you down. Learn how to “go with the flow” and practice self-care. Practice stress relief techniques like meditating or deep breathing. Exercise and get enough sleep. Take time for yourself, find a relaxing hobby that you can focus on and lose yourself in. Eat healthy foods and avoid not eating or overeating as it is stressful for many. Spend time with friends or family where you can laugh and enjoy. Try journaling your feelings.
Despite your best efforts, diabetes may get you down. What do you do? Call a friend, reach out to a diabetes support group. Take a walk or exercise with us in the GlucoseZone. Ask for help. Give yourself permission to feel down about your diabetes, sometimes. Engage in stress relief techniques to feel better or listen to happy upbeat music.
Diabetes Burnout by William Polonsky
Dealing with Diabetes Burnout by Ginger Viera
By LaurieAnn Scher, MS, RD, CDE