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This time of year can go by fast; it’s also when we pack on the most weight. Between the holiday potluck at work, everyone’s annual Christmas party, shopping, and the stress of trying to get everything done, how can anyone expect to take care of themselves? We understand where you’re coming from and want to help. Here is some advice to help you make healthy choices this holiday season.
Sit down right now and make a list. Decide in advance how many parties you can or want to attend. Figure out what kind of food you will bring to potlucks. If you have doctor’s appointments this month see if you can reschedule. No need to add more tasks to your list than necessary.
It is OK to say no. You don’t have to go to every party, dinner, and get together. Sometimes a night to yourself is helpful. If you are feeling drained by the holiday season, politely explain that you need some rest. Then grab your favorite book and a cup of hot chocolate.
For many, this is the hardest part of the holidays. Trying to figure out what everyone wants, can be difficult. We have a solution. Gifts cards! Gift cards are great because people can shop without spending their own money. There are so many sales right after Christmas, and a lot of people like to shop after season clearance. Amazon makes it even easier because you can choose from hundreds of gift cards without leaving your house. Just pick your gift cards, pay, and they deliver them to your door. Now what to get the kids? Checkout our Top 10 Gifts for Christmas!
You might be busy, but you still have diabetes, so don’t forget to check your sugar and stay on top of things. Make sure you have all the medicine and supplies you need because you do not want to spend an entire day trying to get a hold of your doctor or trying to find a 24-hour pharmacy. While you're at it make sure you have a box of tissue, cold/flu medicine, and soup on hand. Sometimes the best healthy choice you can make during the holidays is to plan for the worst. You never know when you are going to get sick, but it’s better to have everything you need at home. Check out my tips on staying healthy during cold and flu season.
Another healthy choice this holiday season is to stay active. We know you have a lot on your plate, but exercise is the best tool we have to keep our blood sugar in check. If yoga is your vibe, find out if your yoga studio has any special hours or holiday classes. Take the family on a power walk through the neighborhood to see all the decorations. Find unique ways to incorporate the holidays into your workouts. Look for specials at your local gym. Most gyms have yearly specials around this time so check with a few of them. Need help finding the right gym? Be sure to ask for a free pass to try them out. Click the link below if you want to try 24-hour fitness before you get a membership.
If you have dietary restrictions, this time of year can be especially hard. It seems like everywhere you turn there are dishes full of dairy, gluten, and sugar and they all look so amazing. Make sure when you prioritize your time you think about what foods you can make and bring with you. If you bring a dish, you will have at least one thing at the party you can eat.
If you start feeling like everything is piling up, try to find ways to relax. Meditation helps a lot of people stay centered, and you can do it anywhere. There are apps you can download to help you calm down. I also recommend doing some meditation every evening as a way to find more balance to your day. You can even try:
If money is tight this year, then you're in the same boat as most of us. Don’t worry about gifts if you can’t afford them. No one expects you to bring them anything. Go through your monthly budget and allocate the amount of money you have left over for the things you want. All the other stuff can wait. Sometimes the best gift is your time.
Show up to the party early and ask if you can help the host or hostess. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or better yet get a group of friends together and make a day of it. You can also consider making gifts this year. Are you a wiz in the kitchen? Make a holiday recipe book or eBook for all your loved ones. Decorate handmade ornaments or knit some scarves. You can have an excellent Christmas with any budget if you want to.
Whatever you plan to do this holiday season remember to take care of yourself. Healthy choices now will help you throughout the New Year. Don’t let this busy time get you stressed and overwhelmed. You can keep your A1c in check and still have fun.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a very Happy New Years from everyone at Active Diabetics.