Diabetes is a chronic disease that will need to be managed over the course of a lifetime. Some patients get "diabetes fatigue" or "diabetes burnout" from the stress of having to manage their diabetes every day.
Type 1 diabetes can be managed with exercise, diet, and insulin injections. Type 2 diabetes can sometimes be managed simply with diet and exercise, although sometimes other medications are recommended. Regardless, it can be difficult to consistently measure and regulate what one eats and how one exercises.
It can be the most difficult to keep your diet under control when you are particularly busy. Then it can seem easier to buy processed and package foods that are less healthy but that can sometimes seem more comfortable. Fitting in workout times in a busy schedule can also seem daunting. Other times that can also make it difficult to manage diet and exercise are the holidays, such as Christmas, when overindulging is encouraged.
Most diabetics will, at some point, experience diabetes fatigue, when they simply no longer want to manage their diabetes. There are some ways to get over this fatigue that will help you maintain your diabetes management program. Managing your blood sugar levels will also help prevent long-term complications. So, if you are feeling down at the prospects of managing your diabetes, consider these hints.
1. Mix it up!
Because exercise is an integral part of managing diabetes, you probably exercise five times a week. If you are tired of swimming lengths, take up cycling. Try doing a different exercise each day a week. If you have an exercise that you love (maybe tennis? Running?), You can do it as many times as you want. If you get bored of doing the same exercise, then try to switch it up to keep your interest.
Keeping a steady blood glucose level does not mean that you have to keep a cycling diet. If you try new foods, you will find new favorite dishes. Take a cooking class to learn how to make curry, or Thai food, or another kind of food that you do not normally eat. Or sometimes treat yourself when you are at the grocery store and buy that exotic fruit that you would not get every time.
2. Use the Buddy System.
Find a friend that you can go and exercise with. This means that you will be getting your exercise in, but you will also have someone to help motivate you. You do not have to have a buddy who is a diabetic, either. You just want someone who is sympathetic to your situation and who wants a good work out.
You might even consider getting a personal trainer to help you with your workouts. If you can not get a trainer, at least you can find a friend who will advise you on how to exercise properly.
3. Pamper yourself.
Take some time to do something that you want to do, and that will make you feel relaxed and happy. Often having high stress levels creates higher blood glucose levels. So head to the spa or get a massage and take a few moments for yourself.
4. Plan your meals … or do not.
You might find it easier to keep to your diet if you have a meal plan that can help you go to the grocery store and get all the ingredients that you need. But if it gets too busy to plan your meals, consider getting the healthy pre-packaged options at the store, such as pre-packaged salads, or pre-skewered kebabs from the deli section.
If you have a craving for desserts, find some desserts with fewer calories and less sugar that you can eat. Oftentimes you can satisfy a craving without having to ruin your diet.
5. Let People Know.
Tell your friends, family, and coworkers about your diabetes. Although they all probably know someone with diabetes, they might not understand how it functions and affects your life. If you help them understand the importance of keeping your blood sugar levels in range, they can help you by making healthy choices when they are with you too.
6. Talk it through.
If you have chronic diabetes burnout, or if you simply feel that you can no longer handle managing your diabetes at all, call a professional. Getting a referral from your doctor can help this expense be covered through your insurance. A counselor can listen to your problems and help you identify the problem spots that you can work on to get through the diabetes fatigue.
7. This too shall pass.
Although right this second it may be hard to deal with your diabetes and the idea of diabetes, most diabetics go through phases. Sometimes diabetes management looks like simple second nature. Other times it looks difficult and forced. Just recognize that feeling upset or depressed about your diabetes is natural, and something that you will be able to get through.