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Diabetes and the holidays: Self care is not selfish!

2023 is just around the corner? How it that possible? :)

We have just about made it through another very challenging year. Let’s take time now to preplan the next several weeks, so we can celebrate these quickly approaching holidays. The combination of housework, party planning, one’s own daily work and family obligations, can make managing diabetes (and other chronic health conditions) very challenging. Here are some quick tips to keep you healthy and happy this holiday season and beyond.

Plan menus (and grocery shopping lists) for parties that you will be hosting. Stock up on the nonperishable items, and write those party invitations. Take time now to gather up new recipe ideas, and consider what healthy option foods you can bring for those party invitations.

Stock up on diabetic friendly snacks to avoid impulse eating during the holiday season. At meal times, eat slowly. If eating at a buffet style restaurant, fill your plate with healthy options. The rule of thumb is to fill your plate with 50 percent vegetables (ensuring high fiber, and lower carbohydrate content). Do not skip meals; it can often leave you extremely hungry and more likely to overindulge.

Stay active during the holidays. There is significant stress around balancing work, social activities, and family time. Mark your calendars with dedicated “me time”. Yoga, meditation, dance, bicycling and walks are all easy ways to reduce stress. Do not let bad weather negatively impact your workouts. In addition, limit alcohol intake, get a good night’s sleep, and stay hydrated. Lower stress levels reduce the risk of poor food choices, and stress related food binges.

The height of the cold and flu season is usually between October and the following February. The flu vaccine significantly lowers the risk of getting the influenza virus. Left untreated, this virus can seriously affect your health. Be sure and discuss vaccine options with your health care provider and use an online pharmacy to ensure you get your medications when needed to avoid delay. We are currently in the midst of a triple threat: the flu, covid, and RSV. Be diligent in the basics: good handwashing techniques, proper hydration, adequate sleep and healthy food choices.

Keep your expectations realistic. You may indeed get sidetracked from your routine schedule for a little bit, and that’s okay. Don’t stress, just try to get back into a routine as soon as you can. Aim for improvement every day, not perfection.

Although easier said than done, we need to learn to keep things simple, when possible. The holidays are for celebrating what is truly important: family and friends; good health and happiness. Take a moment and truly appreciate all the blessings in your life. Close out 2022 celebrating the year gone by, with all its wonderment, and welcome 2023 with open arms. The best is yet to come.

Happy holidays and blessings for good health and abundant happiness!


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