Dealing with Diabetes Burnout
So far, you’ve had diabetes; it hasn’t had you. You’ve been watching what you eat, making time for physical activity, taking meds, checking your blood sugar, checking your blood sugar again. But then something takes the wind out of your sails. Maybe you’ve been trying hard but not seeing results. Or you developed a health problem related to diabetes in spite of your best efforts.
When you feel discouraged and frustrated, you may slip into unhealthy habits, stop monitoring your blood sugar, even skip doctor’s appointments. It happens to many—if not most—people with diabetes, often after years of good management. You’re in the land of diabetes burnout. How can you get back to healthy living as soon as possible?
Get Your Team Involved
Call on your primary care doctor, eye doctor, podiatrist, dietitian, diabetes educator—anyone and everyone—to help you refocus on your goals. It’s easier for you to see what’s not working instead of what you’re doing right. Your team can remind you of the progress you’ve made and help you with new ideas and strategies.
Don’t Let Perfect be the Enemy of Good
Perfect blood sugar control isn’t necessary and may not even be possible. And sometimes seeing the little picture is better than the big one. Try taking small steps—such as lowering your A1c by 1%—instead of focusing on big goals. You’re still headed in the same direction, but you’ll have more successes along the way.
Connect with People Who Get You
Tap into encouragement, insights, and support from people who’ve been there. Online communities for people with diabetes such as the American Diabetes Association’s Community pageexternal icon and the American Association of Diabetes Educators’ Diabetes Online Communitypdf iconexternal icon are great ways to connect with others who share your experience. If you prefer to get involved in person, this directory of diabetes support groupsexternal icon will help you find one nearby.