The holidays could be a bleak and dismal time for those who suffer from diabetes. If you have a family that gathers at holidays and everyone cooks and bakes, you might find it hard to keep your blood sugar levels even. During the holidays, your eating habits change; there is more temptation, more activities, and sometimes a drastic increase in stress and depression. You can make it through the holidays with diabetes with careful planning. Preparing for the extra stress and food temptations will allow you to enjoy your holiday.
It’s important to talk to your friends and relatives before the event. Alternatives to sweets can be suggested and parties and gatherings could focus on other activities besides eating. Even so, if you are prepared you and your loved ones may still gather and have a wonderful holiday. If you have a child that goes to school, the teachers and aides need to be aware and be sensitive to the needs of your child. It is possible to plan parties and events with healthy snacks. Foods can be prepared with no sugar and low in fats. Many stores offer a wide variety of sugar free snacks and sweets. Decorating or making gifts for family might be an alternative to parties focused on food.
Some families have changed traditions and appointed different areas of a room for games and other fun activities. This keeps them from eating, then becoming a coach potato! A jigsaw puzzle corner, board games, and even a sing along can allow the family to focus on something other than food.
Blood sugar levels will need to be tested more often during the holidays. Many events and stress can make sugar levels swing. You may not realize how your activity can be reflected in your blood sugar. Planning ahead of time, taking some extra insulin, or being prepared for a sudden drop in glucose, will save you some time and possible problems. A child is more likely to have these level swings because of excitement and anticipation, and the joy of the holiday. By checking readings often, you are prepared for the obvious changes that will occur in blood sugar levels.
Especially watch for low sugar levels, even though you may think that eating a piece of candy or pie would normally raise them. Excitement and stimulation can cause a sudden drop of blood sugar levels, and it is best to be prepared for that event. Your body responds to excitement and stimulation in the same way it does to exercise.
Speaking of exercise, it’s important to make exercise an important part of your holiday. Don’t let cold weather and busyness keep you from getting the proper amount of exercise. Take walks, go ice-skating, or any other enjoyable activity you prefer. Exercise will help you keep your blood sugar levels even, but also will help ease the stress that somehow is part of all holidays.
Relax; holidays can be a great source of fun and family enjoyment. It will take a little extra planning but a happy, healthy holiday will be the result.