Living a healthy and happy life with diabetes requires complete diet, lifestyle and stress management. While everything gets aligned easily if one plans with a healthcare professional, the continuous demands of following this schedule on a daily basis can get overwhelming at some point of time. You may feel the intensifying pressure of this disease taking over you due to all the attention one needs to pay to this lifestyle condition. However harsh it may seem, the truth is – one cannot take even a day off from diabetes as it is a marathon journey that one undertakes from the day of diagnosis.
Bounce Back from Diabetes Burnout
Diabetes burnout doesn’t have to put you in stress as it will only worsen the situation. Efforts should be made to bounce back on track by using the following strategies:
- Seek Support
Reaching out to family, friends and even co-workers helps manage stress levels associated with diabetes burnout. Instead of trying to do everything yourself, ask for assistance for your daily chores so that you have spare time at hand in which you can monitor blood sugar, manage medication and doctor appointments etc. In case family or friends are unable to actively get involved, seek support from your certified diabetes educator or other online diabetes groups.
- Use Check List
Checklists always seem to hold the key to everything – even diabetes management. Organise yourself as sometimes managing diabetes is really very simple when you list down the steps required to be taken on a daily basis. Then list the risks involved if the steps are not taken. This will help you hold yourself accountable. Also create checklists for all diabetes related supplies, snacks, meal planning, doctor’s appointment etc.
- Check Yourself in Check Ups
Ensure to undergo regular checkups and appreciate yourself for keeping up so well. Have regular transparent dialogues with your healthcare provider and keep your questions ready, written down on paper. Consider bringing another set of ears like your spouse or relative to the appointment. Don’t be shy in asking questions if you don’t understand something.
- De-clutter your Surroundings and Kitchen
Feeling overwhelmed and burnt out is often to do with overly stuffed surroundings. De-clutter your home and remove all unnecessary items which you haven’t noticed, put your hands on or used in the past six months.
Give your kitchen a mini makeover as this will help your mind think about interesting recipes and you will again start preparing healthier meals to boost your metabolism and blood sugar control.
- Eat Mindfully
While eating healthy and in correct portions is important, mindfully enjoying what you eat is more important. Select or prepare diabetes friendly foods and be present mindfully while you eat them, relishing their flavours, textures and smell of your food. Avoid eating in hurry or while working, standing over the sink or in front of the refrigerator. Mindful eating has been known to enhance food absorption and metabolism.
- Reward yourself Each Day
Even small accomplishments mean a lot when it comes to diabetes management on a daily basis throughout your life. Acknowledge your efforts and more than that the results and give yourself simple luxuries like a visit to a cultural art center.
Avoiding Diabetes Burnout
More important than struggling to fight the diabetes burnout complications is to prevent them in the first place. The following tips will help:
- Learn the signs like high blood sugars and not being worried about it, letting your eating habits go off-track etc.
- Identify the triggers like having too much to handle in other areas of your life which impacts your mental ability to deal with diabetes management.
- Talk to your friends and family about your condition and tell them to motivate you daily to follow your diabetes plan. It may sound cheesy at first but it works.
- Dedicate an hour or so for your own self when you do what you love. Staying stress-free is more important than any diabetes care plan.
Keep a glucometer is also helpful as it will help you keep your sugar levels in check and a tab on your fluctuations if any.
Guest Writer: Aishani Gupta