December 22, 2010

Learn How to Manage Holiday Stress

Many people are telling us how to minimize the stress of the holiday season. Some are excellent, some are okay, and others almost seem to create more stress than help reduce stress. I am looking as this as a person with diabetes. What works for some may not work for all us. Stress makes management of blood glucose levels more difficult.

This article fits and includes many of the criteria for reducing stress. The most important point is not forgetting to take care of ourselves. There are many points that can be included in taking care of ourselves. These also work for minimizing depression. Learn to manage your diabetes routine and expectations to make the holidays enjoyable.

Make sure that you maintain a good sleep schedule. This means not shorting the amount of sleep and getting the eight hours needed each night. Sleep deprivation is a negative factor in managing your blood glucose levels and can make it more difficult.

Avoid overeating or loading up on carbohydrates. This will force blood glucose management out the window. Know you limits and stick to them. If you must have the extra piece of desert or extra serving of your favorite food remember to plan for some exercise before eating and some light exercise after eating to help burn the extra carbohydrates. Those of us on insulin have a much easier time, but we still need to be careful of the extra carbohydrates.

This is important – know your limits. Avoid family gatherings that include airing family issues and grievances. It is often better to miss these gatherings than feel resentful for days afterward. It is better exercising restraint beforehand than dealing with problem relatives and letting them raise your blood pressure.

Rather than staying late at gatherings, leave early when necessary to allow yourself some time unwind and relax before bed time. Allow time for taking a walk if possible or other types of exercise. Take a good hot shower or soak in the tub to wash the day's stress away. In other words, take care of yourself first and don't let little things become mountains.

Learn to budget your time and patience for the holidays to get the most enjoyment out of them for you. If you have something that reduces the stress for you, do it. You are worth it!

I cannot leave this without adding another reference that may reduce the food stress for the holidays. Even though the author does not have diabetes, he knows how to adapt for diabetes. His blog has a practical way to handle the eating stress many of us feel during the holidays. Though he probably was not thinking stress, his blog has some excellent tips. I use many of them, but never thought of them the way he presents the ideas.

Happy holidays!

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