7 Ways to Beat Diabetes Burnout
So you have that feeling of being “fed up” with diabetes and are thinking “don’t make me diabetes today.” I have been there. Anyone who has diabetes has been there. The mental, emotional, and physical toll that this disease has on us is relentless, but that does not mean that you are not strong enough to handle it. Whether you have been feeling diabetes burnout for weeks or just want to make sure you have the tools and resources to handle it when it creeps up, here are seven diabetic-tested ways to beat the burnout. I hope that you find these as helpful as I have.
1) Recognize it for what it is. Having diabetes is like having another full-time job that requires your constant attention. It is completely understandable and normal that you feel burnt out and “over” trying to do everything to achieve those perfect numbers. Acknowledge that you are having these feelings because you are putting in a lot of work.
2) Find a way to release your emotions (in a healthy way). We all know what happens when we bottle up our emotions. It just takes one tiny thing to set us off (who didn’t cork the wine?! did the dryer claim another sock?!). When you start to feel overwhelmed, angry, sad, or anxious, LET THEM OUT (in a healthy way). What does that look like for you? Finding a pillow to scream in? Kickboxing? Journaling? Watching a movie that you know will make you cry? You are having these strong emotions because your body wants you to acknowledge them and then release them.
3) Take a safe diabetes “vacation.” Everyone loves a vacation and, like every good vacation, you come back rested, rejuvenated, and with that healthy glow. Taking a safe diabetes vacation is no different. When done well, it gives you a well-deserved break from thinking about your diabetes constantly. What exactly does a diabetes “vacation” look like? Well, it could be taking an insulin pump break and going to multiple daily injections for a week or two. Or it could be relaxing your typical “diabetic-friendly” diet and allowing yourself to have that sundae, after learning how to adjust your medications and activity accordingly. To make your vacation safe, first talk with your physician about scheduling regular healthy diabetes breaks. Then, make sure it is planned ahead, limited in time, and carefully arranged.
4) Find support and community. There is something about being around other people who “get it.” They understand everything that you are going through because they are going through the exact same thing. Whether you want to vent or talk new strategies on management, surrounding yourself with positive support is crucial. See if there are groups in your town, consider working with a certified health coach who specializes in diabetes (Whole Vibrance Health Coaching), and don’t forget to join the Party Like A Diabetic Facebook group that is all about helping YOU thrive.
5) Cut yourself some slack. You have done so much for your health. You are putting in the work day after day for something that you did not ask for. Think back to the past few weeks and write down three things that you did for yourself. Take your medication? Exercise? Ate a healthy meal? Got enough sleep? Drank enough water? These are all things that you chose to do for your health. You do so much, so give yourself some grace and self-love.
6) Do one thing that makes you smile, no matter how small it is. It is scientifically proven (yes, they have done a lot of research on this!) that smiling immediately improves your overall emotional state and outlook. It might seem small but make sure to do one thing that brings that lovely smile to your face. If you need help with ideas, you know those YouTube cat videos will do the trick. 😉
7) Set clear, specific, short-term goals that get you in action mode. You have recognized that you are in this funk and you are ready to get out of it and back to your amazing self. You have let out your emotions, shown yourself some love, SMILED, and found community. Now let’s keep you moving forward! For the next week, write down one concise and clear goal related to your diabetes management. This will get you in action mode! An example could be, “I am going to do [insert activity] for 30 minutes after lunch to help stabilize my afternoon glucose numbers.” It is short, actionable, and realistic. Write it down and make sure to put it in a spot that you will see.
Remember, what you are feeling is completely normal and understandable! Diabetes is tough … it outright sucks actually. The great part about it, though, is that how you choose to manage it is completely within your control. You have got this. Now, it is time to work through this burn out phase and get back to your fully vibrant self!
P.S. Want more diabetic-tested tips? Sign up to receive my emails. Need help setting – and staying on track – with your goals? Consider working with a health coach. I am a Nationally Board Certified Health Coach that specializes in working with people who have diabetes. Get in touch here here if you’d like your free 15-minute consultation.