Beating Holiday Stress for People with Diabetes—and Everyone Else

Holiday excitement is fun–and it can be stressful, too. Since added stress increases glucose production regardless of what you eat, it helps for diabetes patients to recognize it first in order to handle it.

The following techniques can reduce stress not only for people with diabetes, but for the rest of us too.

Take a step back and think ahead:

• What are your holiday arrangements? Will you travel or stay home?
• Are you going to a lot of parties?
• What will you prepare for celebrations?
• How will you spend the holiday? Does your family participate in games or outdoor activities?
• How does your family wish to remember a departed love one?

Once you finalize holiday plans, start to prepare:
• Book travel reservations early.
• Get help from other family members if you’re hosting a meal or party.
• Ask what is on the menu at gatherings to plan your food choices ahead of time.
• Make recipes healthier with low-fat or nonfat ingredients. Use sugar substitutes and lower salt as usual
• Talk to your healthcare practitioner in advance about how to deal with higher-than-usual blood sugar so your “number” won’t add anxiety
• Incorporate physical activity with love ones, like an annual football game in the backyard.
• Find ways to honor a lost loved one. For instance, organize a family walk to recall fond memories.

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