Avoiding Burnout with Type 2 Diabetes
When it comes to making lasting changes to your eating pattern and exercise, it is completely normal for momentum and enthusiasm to ebb and flow over time.
How to stay motivated with type 2 diabetes management
For times when you feel burnout creeping in, here are some strategies to help you reactivate that motivation and get back on track!
Find a hobby that gets you moving
Finding a new hobby is a fun way to make your healthy habits fun and fresh. You know how they say, “find something you love to do, and you’ll never work another day in your life”? Well, the same can be true for physical activity! Explore new hobbies that keep you moving but distract you with their fun and stimulation. Try hiking in new settings every weekend, traveling to another city, town, or country and spending the whole day walking, volunteer with a community organization that does sports or movement with kids, begin a regular yoga routine, or start up a backyard garden (you’ll get extra movement in AND have a supply of homegrown produce!). Find an activity that gets you active and excited, and you’ll find it’s much easier to keep up.
Take a cooking class
If you’re feeling tired of your go-to meals and ready to learn some new and tasty recipes, a cooking class is the perfect solution to keep things fresh in the kitchen! Find out if there are any geared specifically for those with type 2 diabetes in your area. Check your local community college or community bulletins as a starting point. You’ll learn new recipes and ways to prepare food that are both tasty and aligned with your health goals. If you sign up and find the recipes need to be adjusted for your diet, work with a dietitian who will help customize them to your individual nutritional needs. Don’t want to go to a cooking class? Consider a mail order or delivery service meal assembly kit. They provide the ingredients and instructions for you to cook at home so you can pretend you’re on your own cooking show.
Get social with it
Connecting with others can play a pivotal role in keeping up morale and holding ourselves accountable. Don’t feel like you need to keep up healthy routines all on your own, especially when there are others out there trying to do the same! Find an exercise partner or sign up for a regular exercise class with a friend (or make a friend in class!), swap healthy recipes with friends, or go out for family walks after dinner. You might also look for an accountability partner that is trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle; check in with each other regularly to stay up to date and cheerlead the progress you make. Here are some examples:
- You’ve been told you need to check your post-meal blood sugars two hours after dinner two times a week after dinner. You know it’s important, but things always seem to happen. Find a friend who is struggling with their own goal – commit together and report in via text, email or phone. If you make your goal for a month, treat yourself to something fun like going to a movie together.
- You know that cooking healthy meals at home ensures that you will eat nutritious food and support your blood sugar control. However, you’ve become bored with cooking and just want to spend your free time with friends and family. Guess what, cooking doesn’t have to be a solo chore! Get a friend or two together on a Sunday, turn on some music, and prep your meals together for the week! If you have kids, make cooking a fun activity where the whole family can help out and feel proud of the healthy creation.
Evaluate your goals
Sometimes burnout sets in when you feel like you’ve been working as hard as you can, yet your goals are still so far from being accomplished. When this happens, try setting some new, smaller goals that will eventually add up to those larger goals. Slow and steady is perfectly okay, and breaking things down into smaller, manageable bites can help keep the motivation flowing!
Remember to reward yourself!
As you accomplish each goal, take time to reflect on the progress you have made and celebrate your accomplishments. Do something you enjoy, and that’s special to you. Maybe that’s treating yourself to a spa day, devoting an afternoon to reading a book, or spending some quality time with friends doing something special. Whatever it is, make time to reflect and reward yourself with some self-care for your dedication and hard work!
Has diabetes changed your exercise routine?