7 Tips to Manage Diabetes Over the Holidays

The holidays can be challenging and overwhelming for many people living with health conditions such as diabetes. A common question we receive this time of year is, “how do I manage my health but still enjoy the holidays?”  So we compiled our top tips for not only managing diabetes but, more importantly, enjoying the holidays!


  1. Keep your meals consistent. Although you may want to “save” up for big meals, being consistent with your regular routine of meals and snacks will prevent being over-hungry and then overeating – in turn keeping blood sugars more consistent and stable.


  1. Stay hydrated and monitor alcohol intake. Alcohol can impact people living with diabetes differently, especially if you are on certain medications that put you at risk of low blood sugars or dehydration. It is important to monitor your blood sugars before and after your intake, and sometimes in the middle of the night. Be sure to have a designated driver, eat consistent meals and snacks, as well as to drink water in between alcoholic drinks and always check with your health team should you have questions.


  1. Monitor your health a bit more closely. The holiday season can bring different routines and schedules, later bedtimes or sleeping in, rushing around, and different meal timings. You may need to monitor your blood sugars or even your blood pressure a bit more to help make confident decisions during the holidays. Watch for trends and reflect on why you might be seeing what you are seeing.


  1. Keep moving your body. Activity is a great way to help keep blood sugars and blood pressure under control and help with stress, sleep and self-care. Find ways to engage everyone in activities over the holidays to make this easier. Try skating, snowshoeing, or a winter walk after a big meal!


  1. Don’t aim for perfection! This motto isn’t just for the holidays; it’s a reminder for always! When you strive for perfection, you are setting up for failure. Take a look at your health goals. Which ones will you be able to be consistent with during the holidays —keep those going. Reframe and rewrite the goals that will be more difficult so that you can keep working on them.


  1. Manage the three S’s – Stress, Sleep and Selfcare. The holidays are a source of stress for many. If it is for you, be sure to prioritize sleep and practice self-care as much as possible. You may have to schedule in time in your calendar so it doesn’t get lost in the hustle and bustle of the holidays!


  1. Enjoy! People often assume that when they are living with a health condition, they can’t have their favourite cookie or a holiday treat. This is not the case at all. Remember the perfectionism tip? It applies to healthy eating too! It’s important to be mindful and define what eating means to you. Eating can be fun, part of traditions and cultures, and ENJOYED without the attachment of guilt.


For more coaching tips, check out our digital program – My Viva Plan


December 15, 2021
Callie Wright