Three Ways to Avoid Diabetes Burnout

diabetes burnout

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Diabetes burnout usually comes on gradually. The other day around 2am, my CGM started beeping low. It wasn’t reading accurately, which is odd because it was reading accurately before I went to bed. But I woke up with it anyway and watched it for a while to make sure I knew what my blood sugar really was, and to determine what to do with this beeping sensor.

In the wee hours of the night, as I lay there awake, I found myself thinking about the constant and never-ending nature of diabetes. This is a chronic illness I have had now for 30 years. And it never stops. It’s been with me through high school and college, dating, job changes, moves, marriage, pregnancy, raising children… by now we’re attached at the hip. (Pun intended.)


Managing this long-term, never-ending illness can certainly take its toll. I’m not necessarily referring so much to physical complications, although those are a challenge all their own we’ll likely address here later. I’m thinking more of a mental and emotional burden right now.

diabetes burnout

Let’s be real – diabetes can be a nag. It’s not just the beeping at 2am, but the carb counting, the medications, the blood sugar checks, the sugar for lows, the correction for highs, the doctor appointments, the pharmacy refills, the failed pump site, the inaccurate CGM. It just doesn’t go away.

So what happens when things aren’t going well and the nagging seems worse? It becomes easier and easier to slip into “diabetes burnout.” Then we do things like stop exercising, eating well, checking blood sugars, taking medications, and going to doctor appointments. And that ultimately puts our health at risk. Although it’s common – the CDC says the majority of those with diabetes will experience burnout – it’s a slippery slope to watch out for with this constant and never-ending illness.

But here’s something else that is constant and never-ending, and what can carry us through these challenging seasons: God’s love, grace, and mercy. It never runs out. He is a well that never runs dry.

God shares truths with us through His Word that can help us in these trying times with diabetes. And if we keep them in the forefront as reminders for us more regularly, perhaps these truths can actually help prevent burnout. Let’s look at three of them together: 


This truth comes from God’s design of the Sabbath each week. Exodus 20:8-10 tell us to “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.” (NIV) God designed the week for us to set aside a day to connect with Him, worship, read, pray, and more. And His design is that it’s weekly – not once we get too far from Him and are facing issues, but as a way to prevent that and remain connected to Him. We can certainly apply that to diabetes. 

Part of the reason we get weary is that diabetes never stops. But you can decide to stop (for a while anyway). Choose a time of the day when you’re with someone else and ask them to watch your CGM numbers for you so you can stop thinking about it. Take a mental break. Some people take breaks from pumps and CGMs to give their bodies a break from the equipment. This is whatever it looks like for you to be able to take a mental break from what is nagging you the most. This is an individual decision, potentially made with your diabetes care team, on what would be most doable and effective to help refresh you. 


The Bible is full of verses on wisdom, especially in the book of Proverbs. Proverbs 19:20 specifically says, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future” (ESV). God did not intent for us to figure out this thing we call life on our own. We are to learn from and listen to each other as we pray for wisdom. 

Talk with someone who understands what you’re facing. Meet with your doctor or diabetes care team and be honest with how you are feeling and struggling. They may have some beneficial advice and instruction to help you.


If you’re anything like me, when things all around me start to spiral downward, I just want to check out. And not just with diabetes. I’ll not do things I normally do. Like connect with God. But God and His truths can help us out of our mess! 

So dig in. Lean into Him. Listen to worship music, journal your prayers, read His Word, or serve someone else in His name. Hide God’s Word away in your heart so you can recall it to help you when you need it most. The psalmist encourages us by sharing this: “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11 NIV). Reconnecting with God is reconnecting with the source of life. He is what we need most when we are struggling.

I will be glad and rejoice in Your unfailing love, for You have seen my troubles, and You care about the anguish of my soul. 

Psalm 31:7 (NLT)

Above all, remind yourself each day that you are dearly loved by your Heavenly Father. With or without diabetes, you are His child. Your value and worth are determined by Him, the one who created you on purpose and with a purpose. He cares for you. 

*I am not a doctor. This is not medical advice.





Kaycee - Devotions on Diabetes


Welcome to my Devotions on Diabetes website! Thanks for stopping by. I've lived with diabetes for 30+ years. And I'm here to provide you with a heaping helping of encouragement while you deal with diabetes and navigate this chronic illness with God by your side.

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