Compounding the already difficult tasks that come with managing diabetes, diabetic patients have one more thing to contend with: diabetes burnout.

It happens to any sufferer overwhelmed by the constant need to monitor blood glucose levels, or painstakingly read food labels to make sure each bite will keep levels stabilized. The minutiae involved in such maintenance make take its toll on any diabetes sufferer, one day to the next.

Because there is no known cure for type 2 diabetes (T2D), the need to manage blood sugar levels comes as soon as it’s diagnosed, bringing mental anxiety and emotional distress. Having to process such a sudden lifestyle overhaul can be jarring for some.

If you do suffer from diabetes and its burnout, or know someone who does and want to help, we offer some tips to ease the burden of diabetes burnout.

  1. Communication - Don’t be afraid to ask for help, even if it’s just to talk because talking does help. Reach out to a friend or family member who you trust to help you manage your diabetes. Communication is the first major step toward coping.
  2. Routine Modification - Which elements of your diabetes routine are working and not working? While regular medical visits are necessary, it’s also important to simplify and keep your routine as realistic as possible. Speak to your physician or even a dietician for more detailed advice.  
  3. Exercise - The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days per week. This includes walking, jogging, biking, or swimming. Anything that keeps you moving for 30 solid minutes helps your mind focus.
  4. Mindfulness - A focused mind organizes larger issues into smaller, more manageable parts. The physical effects of mindfulness were displayed in the results of a recent study in which patients’ blood sugar levels varied depending on whether time was perceived or real.
  5. Breathing - The easiest thing to do is sit and breathe. The challenge is in continuing to sit, focusing on the breath, and nothing else. Practice this for ten minutes each morning and evening. And by practice we mean there’s a level of commitment required to achieve mental calm, so practicing patience toward yourself is key.

Keeping an eye out for diabetes burnout is one of the number one ways to support people with diabetes.