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The holiday season is fast approaching. With travelling, get-togethers, and a change in meals and activity, managing your diabetes may become more challenging.

Here are a few helpful tips to keep you on track while relaxing during this holiday season.

If you become dehydrated, you may need to stop taking some medications. Certain blood pressure pills,  diabetes pills and even some pain medications may need  to be stopped when you are sick. It is a good idea to speak to your pharmacist about which medications should be stopped before getting sick. Keep a list of these medications nearby and refer to it if you do become sick.

1. Space your meals:

    • Although it is tempting to skip meals to eat a bigger meal during a holiday event, skipping meals can lead to variable blood sugars. If you’re on insulin, or take medication that lowers your blood sugar, a skipped meal may lead to a low blood sugar. Or the opposite could happen – your liver can actually spill sugar into your blood steam when you leave long spaces between meals which can cause high blood sugars. Aim to space meals every 4 to 6 hours, and choose balanced snacks in between meals to curb your hunger. An example of a healthy snack could be two clementines and a handful of holiday nuts. 

2. Yummy variety: 

    • Pay attention to the amount of starchy foods on your plate. With so many dishes on the table, here’s a helpful tip: always start with filling half your plate with vegetables, then add ¼ of your plate with protein and the other ¼ with your favorite starchy food. 

3. Eat mindfully: 

    • Focus on what you are eating and pay attention to your hunger and satiety cues. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. Try to really taste the food!

4. Get moving:

    • Go for a walk before and/or after your meal. Physical activity can help lower your blood sugar. Enjoy the outdoor holiday spirit with family and friends!

5. Cheers to the holidays!

    • If you choose to drink alcohol, limit the amount and always enjoy with food. For men, choose no more than 3 drinks per day and for women, choose no more than 2 drinks per say. Examples of a standard drink would be 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, 1 ounce of distilled spirits. Even in the cold winter months, don’t forget to drink water to stay hydrated! 

With the holidays, also comes stress. Remember to think about your self-care during the hustle & bustle of the holiday season. Self-care can be any positive activity to help improve our mood and help prevent feeling overwhelmed. Reading a book, watching a holiday movie, yoga & meditation, cooking are all examples of positive coping strategies to help reduce stress.

Ultimately, the holiday season can bring a lot of changes. Do not hesitate to speak with your diabetes educator about more tips & tricks to stay on track while enjoying this time of year.