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Holiday stress

Oh that Holiday Stress!

With the holidays beginning, we invite you to check out our community for a plethora of information – particularly for alternative recipes, and advise on how to deal with social gatherings and traverse the dietary minefield that is out there.

It is stressful to be a person with diabetes AND have to deal with the holidays, and in more ways than one. This year, my 5th year of living with diabetes, I have had to learn some things the hard way; things which I thought were just the stuff of annoying morning segment anchor people:

I am not superwoman;

I must learn how to plan and prioritize;

I must learn how to say no; and

I must rest!

Perhaps if diabetes were ONLY about food, it might be easier to manage. Perhaps. But… since the movie ‘Insidious’ could also refer to the insidious disease that is diabetes, as well as a colorful demon who likes to listen to Tiny Tim on his ukulele, life is never quite that simple! In fact, the holidays have been really hard on me this year, and they have barely begun. I thought they would be easier this year: I have a job; I get vacation time at this job… I should rest, right?

Well that is not what happened! I got vacation, alright… But, with the extra time, there came many extra places to stuff things to do. I have several jobs, lots of people vying for my help and my attention, time needed to be spent at home doing chores, and prepping – prepping, prepping, prepping, for what ought to be a time of family, and thankfulness.  Instead, lots of less time and money later, we think we must reach an impossible list of perfection, and expectations from family and others – and maybe they are resting – but are we?

Do we really need to make THAT much food this year? Do we really need to spend THAT much money on decorations, and making our home environment ‘perfect?’ Do we really need to volunteer at everything in our communities, or say yes to everyone who says they need us?

If we end our vacation time more tired than when we began, then it might be time to change some of our priorities around. It might be time to sit down and honestly review what our limitations are, and posit new ideas: maybe we can save some of that extra money we would have spent on food, and spent it on a needy family (such as for groceries, or new winter coats, or shoes); or maybe we can actually schedule some time for reading, taking a walk around the neighborhood, watching a favorite movie, doing yoga, visiting a friend, or you know… resting! Not getting up at 4 AM to cook a small army’s worth of food, or to buy yet another gift that’s going to get stuck in the pantry or the closet without further use.

As much as we must learn to pace ourselves with food during the holidays, we also must learn to pace ourselves with the amount of ‘doing’ that we do, with our time… and with our stress.   When we’re stressed, we’re more likely to justify eating poorly, not testing, not sleeping soundly, and keeping a pattern of elevated hormones that keep our blood sugars up.

So take some time for you… and learn how to say no!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.