Diabetes Management: Keeping The Inner Peace

The events in life we most look forward to - weddings, vacations, and yes, the holidays - often generate added stress.

In people with diabetes, increased stress may affect blood sugar levels directly, or can undermine glucose stabilizing diet, exercise, and monitoring regimens.

To avoid stress-related highs (or lows), here are nine tips for a more tranquil holiday season. Maybe one or two of them will help you navigate the festivities with greater ease.

  1. Make a point of spending time outdoors, alone or with others. A brisk walk through the park, tossing a Frisbee or football, hiking a nature trail, ice-skating, or creating a snow castle can relieve tension and clear away mental cobwebs.
  2. Put perfection, obligation, and guilt out with the day’s trash and decide - before guests descend and festivities begin - to be okay with letting events unfold naturally.
  3. Plan fun indoor activities to enjoy with family and friends. Baking and decorating cookies, playing cards, or board games, putting a puzzle together, or watching funny movies can generate conversation, laughter, and create pleasant memories.
  4. Enter every gathering and interaction with a resolve to keep the conversation and mood upbeat. Your positive intention can create a ripple effect that buoys up those around you, and dampens any brewing negativity.
  5. Pre-plan some interesting, creative, or lighthearted topics of conversation. You could, for example, have everyone around the dinner table share the best or funniest thing that happened to them during the past year.
  6. If one of your house guests, or a fellow guest, starts waxing negative, the best way to preserve your sanity and energy may be to quietly walk away.
  7. Take a few moments in the morning and throughout each day to quiet your thoughts, and enjoy a few gentle, deep, calming breaths.
  8. If you know you’re going to be around challenging family members or situations, think about how you might respond differently this year. For instance, if everyone gathers around the flat screen to watch Elf and that movie sets your teeth on edge, plan on going for a walk, listening to music, or calling a friend during show time.
  9. Take care of yourself so you have energy for others. Enjoy time with your best friend, engage in personal interests, sit quietly and sip your favorite tea or coffee, read a racy book, join a yoga, or welding class - whatever uplifts and energizes you.

“Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year.” ~ Victor Borge

Source: Tris Thorp/Chopra
Photo credit: Susanne Nilsson

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