Diabetes burnout? Try these tips
Feb. 17, 2018—Is diabetes wearing you down? Maybe you're burned out from the demands
of trying to control your blood sugar—checking it repeatedly, adjusting
your medicine, counting carbs. Or maybe you're tired of worrying about
complications or feeling guilty every time you skip the gym. Perhaps it's
all of the above.
If so, there's a name for what you're feeling: diabetes distress.
It's characterized by worry, frustration and feeling overwhelmed.
And it's an understandable reaction to the stress and strain of living
It's also common. Some research suggests that in any 18-month period
as many as half all people with diabetes experience it. It's even
possible that occasional bouts of diabetes distress are a normal part
of living with the disease.
Soothing the stress
Since your diabetes won't go away, how can you feel less overwhelmed?
First, talk with your doctor about your feelings. That's especially
important if you feel so burned-out that you're letting your treatment
plan slide—for example, by not checking your blood sugar regularly
or not watching what you eat. Together, you and your doctor may be able
to come up with ways to make caring for your diabetes feel less like a burden.
This advice from the
American Diabetes Association and the
American Association of Diabetes Educators may also help:
Get support from people who can relate. Reach out to another person who has diabetes or ask your doctor to refer
you to a diabetes support group or diabetes educator. You'll feel
less alone—and get practical coping tips.
Set manageable goals. You'll feel less discouraged if you don't overreach with unrealistically
high goals for controlling your diabetes. For instance, rather than saying,
"I'm going to make over my diet," try something specific,
like swapping out regular soda for diet or picking lettuce wraps over
sandwiches. Then build from there.
Be kind to yourself. Don't blame yourself for failing if you don't always hit your
blood sugar, diet and physical activity goals. Nobody gets it right every
time. Keep at it, but don't expect perfection.
Every day, find time to relax. Close your eyes, find a quiet spot and imagine something soothing. Or
turn on your favorite calming music. Breathe deeply, and progressively
relax your muscles. Tension tamers like this can help you feel in control.
For more ways to chill out and clear your mind, try these