Does the very thought of the food and stress-filled holiday season create more feelings of panic than excitement? Don’t worry! Here are some simple suggestions to help you navigate the season, have a great time and still keep your diabetes in control:
#1 Get enough sleep. This may sound simple, but studies show that sleep deprivation can cause changes to your metabolism and appetite in ways that can make diabetes more difficult to manage. Read more about the importance of sleep here.
#2 Drink water. Drinking water is a great way to avoid the tempting drinks (soda, sweet tea, hot chocolate and sweetened coffee drinks which are all high in calories and carbs) that abound during the holidays. Drinking enough water will also help you avoid getting dehydrated, which can make you feel tired. If the carbonation is what you crave, try sugar-free flavored seltzer water that will still give you that fizzy feeling without the sugar or calories.
#3 Make exercise a priority. We know you’re busier than ever during the holidays, but see how you can make getting some activity a part of your day. You can break it up if time is an issue, but remember that YOU are the most important person in your life, especially if you’re caring for others. Check our article about exercise for some good tips on incorporating exercise into your day.
#4 Watch your food intake. Watching your carb intake is even more important during the holidays as many holiday comfort foods are high in carbohydrates and fat. If you have food and alcohol-filled parties on your calendar, one great tip is to have a protein snack before you go. If alcohol is part of your meal plan, fill your glass with sparkling water and top it off with a dash of your favorite alcohol. (Just make sure that you aren’t drinking on an empty stomach.)
#5 Manage your stress. Things can get crazy during the holidays, so be sure to allow some time for relaxation. Read a book, prioritize quiet time for prayer or reflection, and enjoy some down time with friends. Doing something physical is a bonus, so consider a walk or other activity you enjoy and make it a social event.
#6 Treat yourself. If there’s a special holiday food that you love, build it into your meal plan and carb budget so you can enjoy it without guilt. Keep treat portions small and savor every bite. Read our article on how to enjoy dessert without guilt for more tips.
Our website is full of great answers to all of your questions about managing your type 2 diabetes and having a happy, healthy life. Or connect with us on Facebook and let us know how we can help you on your journey.