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Diabetes Ups and Downs During the Holidays

Ready, set, go… holiday celebrations are in full swing! From Halloween to New Year’s we are being bombarded with holiday preparations and celebrations. This alone will most likely add more stress to our daily routine managing diabetes. But, stress itself can make managing diabetes more difficult. Stress can raise our blood sugar (hyperglycemia) readings, or at other times cause our blood sugar to take a nose dive into hypoglycemia. Higher blood sugar readings may be from an increase in stress hormones, a change in lifestyle (such as less exercise due to a busy schedule of holiday prep), or by not sticking to a healthy eating plan. But, a low blood sugar may occur from holiday stress as well. Hypoglycemia may occur from not eating enough throughout your busy day, or by being more active than usual.

If the holidays change your regular diabetes self- management routine, here are a few things you can do to lessen the stress associated with the holidays:

Realistic Goals

Set realistic goals on what you can do for the holidays, and ask for help. Should you host the family party, or is it possible to co-host to share the responsibilities for prep? Can you ask everyone attending your dinner to bring a dish to share to lessen the workload of meal prep? Can you shop online so you have time to continue with your exercise routine?


Prioritize what is most important to the holiday activities that can also include having time to take care of your diabetes management responsibilities.

Take “me” time

During this hectic time of the year, make sure you devote some time to just taking care of yourself. Take time to do things you enjoy.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Choose healthy foods throughout the day, don’t skip meals, take your medications as prescribed by your doctor, and be active.

The holiday season is a time we often focus on the needs and wants of others. But don’t forget that keeping yourself healthy and active may be the very best thing you can ever do for them.

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.