After 15+ years after diagnosis with type 1 diabetes, I have learned that the mental effects from this disease can be more impactful than the physical effects. For the past 6 years I have experienced “diabetic burnout.” For those non-diabetics, burnout refers to the feeling of hating the disease and not wanting to take care of yourself as best you can because you are tired. Tired of the feeling of never doing enough to get the perfect A1C or trend line of blood glucose levels. Diabetes doesn’t go away no matter how well your management is, so it can be really tough on your motivation to push through the rough times and hindered moments.
This past year I have come out of my burnout with a bang. My college BFF was diagnosed with t1d and as she learned how to manage t1d, I re-learned how to motivate myself to take care of myself. If you’re reading this, I am forever thankful for you Rachael, for putting the spark back in my diabetic eyes and making my life a happier, healthier experience.
I have been through journeys of food and exercise and careers and relationships in order to manifest the best human I can be- the human I am happiest being and with whom I am living.
So what’s my self care routine currently? I’m glad you asked- actually I’m glad you answered my insta story question!
Although I am currently doing the conservation corps, I make sure I am able to stick with my self care routine as best I can while camping.
> freshen up: after dinner, I head back to my room or tent to brush my teeth and wash my face. While in the field I use Summer’s Eve coconut wipes on my face and bottom, but at the house I use Lush aqua marina cleanser as a face mask. Cleansing away the literal dirt and bad vibes from the day is so important to re-focusing your vision before a good night’s sleep.
^^^My fantastic roommate from Junior Year of College. She’s a Japanese exchange student doing her study abroad in the states. I was lucky enough to have the chance to share my and experience her culture in our close living conditions. We taught each other our self- care routines. This pic documents her first face mask!! Love you Ruri ❤
> journal: I use Moleskine unlined journals to write what happened during the day- whether it’s for my job’s time sheets or something to make me remember the day. Then I write my day’s highlights- I try to write 3-5 things every day. Sometimes I dwell on one of those highlights and write a lot about one thing. Then I end my journal session by writing my goals for either the next day or week- what can I improve on- relationships, food, diabetic management. Journaling is the most important action in my routine.
> meditate: Sit down in a chair or cross-legged or on a pillow, whichever position will make your joints and limbs comfortable. Keep your back straight and tall, shoulders relaxed, aligning your chakras. Allow for breathes to come at their natural pace and thoughts to pass through without dwelling on them. After taking 2 mindfulness meditation classes, I have learned a couple tricks to keeping focus on breathe over thoughts: count your breathes, focus on the texture beneath your feet or your seat. Focus on the senses rather than the mind. Maybe it will help you to suck on a mint- focus on the flavor and meditate until the mint has completely dissolved.
> stay active: During the day, go for a walk, workout, hike, bike, paddle, swim, walk the dog. Somehow and in someway move your body. This might go without saying, but motion motivates. Allow your joints to express themselves. Activate every part of your body each day to feel full and enough.
> eat happy not healthy: Dieting can break motivation, any slip up can seem like a failure. Although I eat vegan, I think about it as a plant-based lifestyle, not a diet. I am happiest when I am eating vegan because the raw whole foods make my stomach less upset, my spirits higher and my body more freely moving. I manifest a lifestyle by the simple action of feeding and fueling myself. I love eating and by creating dishes and becoming closer to the nutrients I am fueling myself with, I feel more complete and satisfied.
How do y’all manifest self love and care? Do you have a different routine? Did you try something in my routine? Let me know!! I would love to hear from you, so please comment below!