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For Teens & Young Adults

Diabetes Burnout

By in For Teens & Young Adults

Managing type 1 diabetes requires constant attention, and sometimes you are on top of your diabetes game.  But at other times the demands of diabetes care can be overwhelming. When you consider the nearly constant effort required to manage type 1 diabetes, is it any surprise you sometimes experience burnout?

How can you deal with burnout in a way that is constructive?

Acknowledge your feelings. Managing diabetes can be difficult, and at times, you may feel tired, angry or frustrated. Don’t ignore your feelings! Recognize how hard you work and tell yourself it’s ok to feel burned out.

Be kind to yourself. Stress can contribute to higher glucose levels, so slow down and consider reducing commitments in other parts of your life. Or, ask your family and friends for extra support during stressful times.  Go easy on yourself. The number on your meter or CGM is not a judgment about your worth as a person, it is a number. You are a champion, even if no one can see the invisible work you do each day to conquer diabetes.

Use techniques to manage your stress.

  • Talk to someone you trust about your stress.
  • Allow time to pray or meditate.
  • Find ways to laugh and spend time with people you enjoy.
  • Get help instead of trying to do everything yourself.
  • Set limits on what you will do for others.
  • Schedule only those things you can really complete each day.
  • Work on one thing at a time.
  • Be physically active.
  • Take up a hobby or activity you enjoy.
  • Join a support group or online chat.
  • Try ways to relax such as deep breathing, yoga, or dancing.
  • Think of what you have done to help yourself. Do not put yourself down about the things you have not been able to do yet.

Ask your diabetes care team for help. When stress and burnout are not addressed, they can spiral into distress and sometimes depression. Your diabetes care team can connect you to resources and provide referrals for additional support when needed.

Updated 5/30/20

This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.


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