4 Tips for Managing Diabetes and the Holidays

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It is always exciting to begin celebrating a holiday season filled with thankfulness and love.

Happy Thanksgiving week everyone! Even though our celebrations may be scaled back a bit, it will still be good to focus on the positive blessings we have, rather than all the difficulties this year has brought. As clinicians, as family caregivers, and as seniors, all trying to manage good health, many things about this season can present challenges to staying on track.

I have always tried to encourage my patients to stay diligent with their health over the holidays.

November is National Diabetes Month, and people who have diabetes have many food challenges over the holiday season. Having had many Thanksgivings with a grandfather in law who had diabetes, I loved how our family always provided him with delicious food options during the holidays.

Take good holiday-care of your patients and family members with health needs!! Check out this great resource for cooking for people who have diabetes! (affiliate link)

There are many ways we can be proactive with our health over the holidays.

Skin Care: Protect hands and feet that may have decreased sensation from frostbite, decreased circulation, and cracking in the cold weather. Wear protective gear and check your skin daily! Especially with all the hand sanitizer and hand washing we are doing this year-make sure to keep your skin healthy.

Heart care: it is so easy during the cold months to decrease activity. the cold weather can be difficult to tolerate for exercise. And this year add to that getting out in public to walk in a store might be scary. Make sure to stay active, even if it means walking laps or just dancing to the oldies in your own home! Exercise is good for your circulation, strength, balance and mental health!

Food: All of us need to be conscientious, as the holidays present lots of temptations! Look for lean meat, veggie platters, or healthy nuts at celebrations (maybe even bring a baggie of snack food with you to help). Chewing sugar free gum may help stave off bad choices. And finally-don’t “not check because you don’t want to know”! Stay faithful with your blood sugar management.

Drink: Make sure to drink water and stay hydrated. We push that thought a lot during the hot summer months, but I have had many patients become dehydrated and sick during the winter months, also. On one hand, we have to work harder to want to drink a cold iced water, and on the other hand the caffeine in a hot mug of coffee which tastes so good, can contribute to dehydrating us as well. And then there are the celebratory drinks-many times with sugar and alcohol, which can also present problems. Sipping on diet drinks or water spritzed with lemon or a fancy slice of fruit can at least feel festive!

The American Diabetic Association has NUTRITION TIPS for people with Diabetes. What tips or tricks do you use to stay on track?

JOY: Take positive words and fun to seniors during the fall and winter season with senior focussed large print word search games!

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