Living with diabetes is a constant battle of ups and downs. And I’m not just talking about your blood glucose levels! The emotional part of diabetes can be even more tiresome and stressful than the physical aspect of diabetes. This is when diabetes burnout happens.
What is diabetes burnout?
We may all have our own specific definition, but basically it’s when you’ve had enough of diabetes and need a break. For example, you just don’t feel like testing, taking a shot, inserting a new infusion set, counting carbs or getting blood work done.
Diabetes burnout itself can lead to more stress and unhealthy thinking. If your diabetes burnout has caused you to stop taking insulin the way your healthcare team has prescribed, it could lead to higher blood glucose levels, ketones, and potentially a trip to the hospital.
I’ve experienced diabetes burnout a few times over the last several years and have learned a few things to help get me through. See my tips below:
Remember the Big Picture
With everything in life, it’s always important to remember the big picture. You’re working toward living a long, healthy life. In order to do this, you must spend time managing your diabetes and everything that requires. It may be overwhelming at times, but keeping the bigger picture in mind at all times can help with the feeling of being overwhelmed.
Take a Break / Disconnect
When I say disconnect, I don’t mean disconnecting from your insulin pump. I mean disconnecting from diabetes-related thinking. If you’re constantly reading blogs, commenting on diabetes group pages on Facebook or interacting with people on Twitter, then take a break from it. Go do something that you’ve wanted to do or read a book that has nothing to do with diabetes.
Write / Talk About It
Talking to another person with diabetes about what you’re going through can be very helpful. You may be able to relate with that person more than a family member and might even be able to get a bit of motivation from them in order to help lift you out of your current diabetes burnout.
Slow Down and Take a Deep Breath
This is one of my favorite tips not only for diabetes, but for everything in life. As soon as your diabetes starts to feel overwhelming, step back from the situation and take a deep breath.
I know your diabetes to-do list can seem endless. It’s time to refill your reservoir, you need to change your sensor, etc. And on top of this, life doesn’t stop. When this happens, just slow down, take a deep breath, and move forward with what you need to do – one task at a time.
These are all things I do whenever I feel like I’m going through a period of diabetes burnout. What tips can you offer that may have helped you in the past?