OUTREACH & ENGAGEMENT COMMITTEE
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month (NDAM). Please take some time to check out our T1D topics. We encourage you to share this information on your social media to help educate and raise awareness about Type 1 Diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes is a relentless, chronic, unforgiving disease that makes a full-time job look like a hobby. There are no vacations, you can't put it away for a while, you can't quit. Burnout happens to the best of us and, like T1D itself, it's different for everyone. T1Ds and their caregivers can feel burnt out from too many finger pokes, or lack of sleep, or being tired of trying to find new real estate, free from scar tissue, for all the devices that help you manage Type 1 Diabetes.
You could be tired from the constant carb calculations or stress of insulin dosing or from feeling guilty every time you eat something that you know will spike your sugars. Or, maybe you’re just sick of it because you’re sick of it!
Burnout comes in all shapes and sizes, for any variety of reasons. The way you express that burnout could be anything from severe neglect to actually continuing to manage your blood sugar tightly while you’re falling apart emotionally. It doesn't always mean you've totally given up and thrown the state of your health out the door, though. Even if your A1c is better than it’s ever been and you feel like you’re doing everything “perfectly”, you can still feel burnt out. And that's OKAY! No matter how “perfect” our numbers may look, managing Type 1 Diabetes is hard work. If you're feeling deflated and want to give up, it's really important to share your feelings with your friends and family, or contact your specialist team and let them know you need extra support and encouragement... that's what they're there for!
Typically, 'diabetes burnout' is a phase in which you do practically everything you would usually do to manage your T1D, only there’s a gnawing drain, a tedious itch, and lack of stamina for facing the daily grind we all know too well as good ol’ diabetes management. If you're in this phase, here's 5 steps to help tackle diabetes burnout:
Acknowledge your feelings. We’re so busy trying to cope with the demands of Type 1 Diabetes and trying to please our doctors, our families and ourselves that we don’t always take the time to feel. Let yourself “feel” your burnout. Giving yourself permission to feel that way, whether you’re pissed off, exhausted, depressed, overwhelmed, or just angry that Type 1 Diabetes is one of the challenges you have to face day-in and day-out.
Give yourself a reasonable timeline. Create a plan for moving through your burnout. As important as it is to let yourself experience your feelings, it isn’t healthy to stay in that zone forever.
Go for a walk. Exercise naturally lowers blood sugars, increases circulation, clears your mind and makes you feel good. Try to maintain a healthy diet with fruits low on the glycemic index and dark green veggies.
Set manageable, achievable goals. Don’t try to be the world’s most perfect T1D.
Give yourself credit! The weight of what you carry on your shoulders every day is heavy. Trying to recreate the functionality of a human organ is more work than anyone who doesn’t have it could ever understand.
Take a moment to brighten your day with some cartoons by Haidee Merritt that capture some common thoughts and experiences in dealing with Type 1 Diabetes in a simple, but very funny way that will bring a smile to your face.
DISCLAIMER: You are strongly encouraged to confirm any information obtained from or through this site, and review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. PLEASE DO NOT DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON THIS SITE.
Nothing is more impactful than the lived experience. Please send us your stories and photos for us to share throughout the month using the form, below or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you'd like to be a part of the O&E movement, please let us know by using the form, below, to tell us where your passion lies, what your interests are, who you're connected to and how you can help.
Past NDAM postings:
T1D Stickers and Accessories | Driving with T1D | Pump Lingo | Dawn Phenomenon | Blood Sugar Management Get Diabetes Right | Foot Care | Sleep: the lost frontier | Glycemic Index | Medication Management