Diabetes is a chronic disease that will not fade into the background of your daily life. While you might have an effective management, plan paying constant attention to the details of healthy living could lead to diabetes burnout. Learn more about diabetes burnout and how to handle it.
- Proper diabetes care requires ongoing attention to nutrition, medications and physical activities and how they affect your blood sugar levels. The need to constantly monitor this chronic health condition can lead to diabetes burnout. This happens when patients become tired of managing diabetes and start to ignore it for a period of time. If the time becomes extended, this puts people with diabetes in danger of developing other serious health problems and complications.
- Diabetes burnout is different from feelings of depression. Burnout occurs when a person is tired of the attention required to manage diabetes or becomes unwilling to change their routine to accommodate diabetes management. There are ways to help ward off these feelings and manage the stress associated with diabetes to avoid burnout.
- Remember perfection is often an unattainable goal. The key is to stay motivated and positive. Your blood glucose readings may not always be in the target range despite your best efforts. Good diabetes care does not mean being perfect all the time. Forgive yourself for occasional fluctuations. Keep records of your blood sugar levels to share with your doctor during regular appointments. Find out if any updates should be made to your diabetes management plan. Set realistic goals and keep in mind there will be times when you fall short.
- Get the support you need to succeed. Work with a health care team for improved well-being including a doctor, dietitian, physical trainer, diabetes educator and other key players. Talk to your friends, family and co-workers about diabetes and enlist their assistance. Let the people in you life know when they are not being helpful such as constantly asking you about the foods you eat. Get help when you need it such as cleaning the house or picking up groceries. Connect with other people who have diabetes to exchange stories and ideas. Join a diabetes support group. Fit a social life into your routine to help you feel connected and motivated.
- Make diabetes management relative to your daily success. If tighter blood sugar control makes you feel more focused and productive at work, focus on that goal. Make it relevant to your interests and hobbies so it will be easier to follow your diabetes management plan. Keep important supplies on-hand such as glucose test strips, to be ready to take care of yourself. Being well-prepared and having a routine puts you in control rather than letting diabetes control you.
- Schedule regular appointments with your doctor and health care team including the dentist, ophthalmologist, podiatrist and other medical professionals. Your diabetes care team looks after all the parts of your body that could be impacted by the disease. They can help you stay updated, motivated and focused on your diabetes treatment plan. Bring a list of questions to ask during appointments to help you stay on track.
- Make time to enjoy life. This can be as simple as meditation, deep breathing or taking a yoga class. If feelings of burnout persist or lead to feelings of depression, discuss it with your doctor. Your diabetes management plan may need to be updated to fit into your current routine. The doctor might recommend talking to a counselor or therapist about your feelings to help you get back to caring for yourself in a more affective way.
Make a list of factors that could be standing in the way of optimum diabetes management. Set out to solve these problems one-by-one. If you can’t get to the gym to exercise, consider buying exercise equipment to use at home or just walk outside. Physical activity helps to boost your mood and encourages you to follow a positive health care regime. Avoid unnecessary changes in your day if you find routine testing and medication schedules help you maintain better blood sugar control. Address problems and take steps to get past them.
If you experience diabetes burnout, you are not alone. Reach out for help and change your routine as needed to make life easier and avoid diabetes-related complications. Allow yourself to be imperfect and remember to take time out to enjoy life.