‘Tis the season to reconnect with loved ones and special holiday traditions. While routines often change this time of year, managing diabetes doesn’t. To help you plan ahead, we’ve gathered a list of ways you can stay festive and inspired all season long while managing diabetes.
1. Stock Up on Supplies
It’s a busy season and being prepared with the right supplies and accessories ahead of time is important. Be sure to have enough supplies to cover the holidays, especially if you’re traveling. And load up on test strips since you’ll want to check your blood glucose levels more often, especially if you’re having variations in your diet and schedule.
When you’re planning attire for special occasions, like office parties and family dinners, make sure you have the right pump accessory, like a belt clip or pump case, to help you with your festive wear.
2. Brush up on Travel Resources
The most important aspect of a trip happens before you travel. Take note of our travel resources for a travel checklist, travel loaner program, and airport security information. Write down your pump settings, review airport security guidelines, and remember to pack snacks to cover the duration of your trip.
3. Get Creative to Keep Moving
It’s easy to place exercise on the back burner during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. If you’re looking for ways to incorporate exercise into your day, you might need to get creative (especially when the weather begins to change). Grab your loved ones, bundle up, and grab your skis, snowboard, or ice skates. If you don’t live in a snowy climate, visit your favorite summer hiking or biking trail and find the beauty in looking at it in a different season. Those of us with less coordination can always enjoy a walk around the neighborhood or in a local park.
Remembering staying active can help improve your mood, reduce stress, and allows you to take time just for you during the season of giving. Did you know that when you exercise after taking a bolus it could help your body use the insulin more efficiently, therefore lowering your blood glucose faster1? This also means you might need to take less insulin to lower your blood glucose after a big meal.
4. Look Up Carb Counts
The holidays are decked with feasts of signature recipes, traditional sweets, and delicious desserts. Since carb content in most of these recipes can sometimes be difficult to determine, revert to the basics of carb counting, utilize your favorite website and use your best judgment.
Try your best to eat normally instead of skipping meals to save calories for one big meal. And be strategic when selecting your plate — fill it up with veggies and proteins first and stick to smaller portions of your favorite carb-heavy sides, like stuffing and mashed potatoes.
5. Don’t Forget Self-Care
If your to-do lists start to get very long with people to see, shopping and grocery lists, and meals to prep, then stress will likely come on the side. Stress is an important thing to manage when you have diabetes because it can directly impact your blood glucose levels. To keep stress at a minimum, remember to check in with yourself and manage your expectations. Prioritize the things that matter most, like spending time with family, reconnecting with friends, and staying active and eating well.
With these helpful resources in the back of your mind, be safe and enjoy this special time of year with those who matter to you most.
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