Stay Jolly This Holiday Season
‘Tis the season to enjoy time with friends, family, and those special holiday goodies! The holidays can create a sense of joy and excitement, along with urgency and stress. Managing your diabetes continues during the holidays, but should not limit your ability to have fun and enjoy the festivities. Savanna Cummings, a certificated diabetes educator, dietitian, and diabetes clinical manager, shares 15 tips on how to make the most of the holiday season when living with type 1 diabetes.
Let’s Celebrate With Food: You Can Have That Special Treat!
The holidays are decked with feasts of signature recipes, traditional sweets, and cookies prepared in endless quantities for enjoying at school, work, and home. Since carbohydrate [carb] content in these signature recipes can be difficult to determine, revert to the basics of carb counting, utilising your favourite website and your best judgment. If you are using an insulin pump, the in-built bolus wizard feature might just be your best friend this season! Here are 5 tips to help you manage your glucose with all the delicious food.
1. Eat normally during the day, versus skipping meals to save calories for the annual holiday dinner.
2. Strategically choose your favourite appetisers and dishes to eat, instead of filling up on crisps.
3. Create a small plate of your favourite foods, and move throughout the party to socialise, away from the buffet.
4. If you think you may have already pushed your glucose levels out of range, it’s not too late to pull back on the reins. Keep overindulging at bay by avoiding thinking, “I have already ruined my glucose levels with this party, so I might as well continue eating.”
5. Choose naturally sweetened foods, like fruits, to satisfy your sweet tooth after leaving the holiday party, instead of indulging in the leftover scrumptious pumpkin cheesecake.
Let’s Celebrate With Activity: You Can Get Moving to Feel Great!
It is easy to place exercise at the bottom of the to-do list during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Exercise can improve mood, reduce stress, and allow you to take time just for you during the season of giving. Physical activity at any time of year improves your health and reduces risks for complications related to diabetes.1 Here are 5 tips to help you incorporate exercise into your daily routine.
1. Walk off the anxiety and stress with a half hour stroll every day.
2. Take a lap around the shopping centre to window shop before entering the stores.
3. Improve your mood with sunlight and spending time outdoors.
4. Invite friends to join your activity to increase your enjoyment of exercise.
5. Start the day with an activity to ensure you have met your daily activity goal.
You may like to watch our fun videos Exercising with Maria and Be Active, Stay Active for some easy exercises to get you started.
Let’s Celebrate With Travel: You Can Go To That Amazing Place!
The most important action to take when travelling is preparing for your trip ahead of time, especially during the holidays when we often pack a year of events into a six-week season. Yes, you can have a stress-free trip, even when living with diabetes. Here are 5 tips to help you prepare for travel.
1. Frequently test your blood glucose to increase awareness of any effects from travel.
2. Pack snacks and allow time for stopping to eat meals, as travelling creates changes to meal and medication schedules.
3. Create a travel checklist to stay organised and decrease last minute stress.
4. Review airport security guidelines to stay updated on the latest changes.
5. Take your camera and enjoy the scenery!
This holiday season learn to let go and focus your energy on creating memorable moments with the people in your life. The holidays are a different experience for everyone around the world. When it comes to diabetes management, you can handle this season knowing you have plenty of resources at your fingertips. Remember to take the time to invest in yourself and your diabetes health. From us to you, Happy Holidays!
*Editor’s note: This article has been adapted and reproduced from a post published on Medtronic Diabetes US.
- CDC. Being More Active is Better for You. https://www.cdc.gov/. 2018. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/active.html. (Accessed October 2022).