Thriving with Diabetes During the Holidays
The holiday season is a busy and exciting time for all of us. And thankfully, managing diabetes throughout the holidays doesn’t have to be stressful. By having a few simple strategies in place, we can confidently set ourselves up for success so that we can fully enjoy this time of the year with our family, friends and loved ones.
Let someone close to you know how they can best support you during the holidays. Friends, spouses, someone else in your life with diabetes, or even co-workers can be helpful in keeping you accountable to your health goals. Have a quick conversation asking for their help in a specific way. It can be as simple as ‘can you help remind me to eat breakfast every day’ or ‘will you go on a walk with me every Tuesday?’ Simple, yet specific support from those closest to you will keep you both accountable and connected during the holiday season.
Reduce stress when it hits
And let’s be realistic, it’s going to hit. The best time to plan for stressful events is before they occur. Realize what helps you manage your stress best. Physical activity, even just in 10-minute bouts such as a walk after a meal, can help reduce stress and improve mood. Other ideas to reduce stress can include taking a warm bath, calling a friend, sipping your favorite tea, turning your phone off, etc. Whatever you enjoy and calms your mind. Stress can increase blood sugar levels quickly, so having a plan in place is one of the best strategies you can do to thrive this holiday season.
Practice peaceful sleeping habits
While we all know we should aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night, keeping a consistent sleep schedule and having a ‘routine’ are necessary to help get the quality sleep we need each night. Try to turn off anything with a blue light (cell phones, ipads, laptops, etc.) at least one hour before bedtime so that you can wind down and your body’s natural melatonin can do it’s job. When we are well rested, this also keeps our hunger and stress hormones in check, which can help prevent overeating throughout the day.
Thriving with diabetes during the holidays is more achievable than many people realize. By putting these quick tips into practice, you can and should enjoy every party, celebration, and gathering this holiday season has to offer.
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