Hello and happy holidays!
Finally 2020 is coming to a close. There is no question that this year has been an extremely tough year...one that came with many challenges, but shined light on all the things that matter to us most.
As we go into the holidays, they can often be a little hectic and extra stressful with diabetes and trying to stay healthy. Especially this year, with our traditions and customs looking quite different than we are used to in many parts of the world. On the positive side, it is a perfect time to hone in on some new habits to help you focus on your needs as someone living with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and prepare for a brand new year of confidence with your health.
So to help, as a diabetes health coach for Omnipod, I’ve put together three things to focus on this holiday season to support your energy, sleep, mood, and help you be proactive in managing your blood sugars! These are simple shifts you can make in your daily life that will create a rhythm of consciousness and care around yourself and your health.
I know that squeezing in a workout routine during the holidays can sometimes seem impossible. Even a minute to yourself can seem impossible! What if you committed to something small, but something that would actually help your blood sugars from spiking. Let me introduce you to sugar squats, which will be your best friends over the holidays!
They are super quick and you don’t even have to put on workout clothes to do them.
What are sugar squats? They are simple bodyweight squats. I call them sugar squats because using your thighs and glutes (two major muscles in your body) are a quick way to grab the sugar that’s in the bloodstream and burn it for energy, therefore bringing your blood sugar down!
You can do these at any time and at any tempo. Do them if you’ve been sitting for a long time, during commercial breaks, when you’re in the kitchen cooking, after eating, when you wake up in the morning, any time you get a quick second to yourself! You can even make it a whole family affair and see who can last the longest.
There is a major emphasis on food and exercise in our diabetes management, but I’ve found with my clients that getting on a consistent sleep schedule is so important. By creating consistencies in our sleep patterns, we can reduce food cravings, lower stress hormones, and increase general mood and energy levels which gives us more motivation to do the things we know support us best! Focus on a routine and try your best to implement that routine with consistency over the holidays.
Nutrition is a key player in our diabetes management and it can also feel like the most difficult thing to control over the holidays. You are likely being told all kinds of things that you can’t have and should refrain from. This can be extremely daunting and even disheartening. So much of our holiday traditions revolve around the joy that comes with sharing a meal with family – and you don’t need to miss out on that joy. Remember that food is only part of the joy equation. Spend more time bringing in joy through more time outside, more laughter, more positive conversation, more water intake, more mindfulness, and more concentration on the things that make us feel good.
Shift your thinking away from the things you think you need to restrict, and instead focus on the things that you have in abundance.
Your mindset over the holidays is everything. As we transition into 2021, it’s natural to begin focusing on our goals and how we plan to attain them. The first step to this is directing your mindfulness inward and locating the connection between your physical health and mental health. A good place to make these connections is through journaling!
Tracking your patterns and how your numbers are being impacted by internal and external factors is a fantastic first step towards more self-awareness and control. This is why I created the Diabetic Health Journal, which allows you to log your blood sugars, insulin, food, exercise, as well as express a mindful reflection around your priorities, patterns, and self-awareness, all in one place.
Although your body is resistant to insulin, these little tweaks and tricks allow us to build healthy habits to let our bodies help us. Understanding and acknowledging this is a process that is ongoing, but we are all in it together.
Remember to enjoy yourself over the next few weeks and don’t dwell over imperfection! We are all human and it is important to remember that. Again, have a very happy holiday season and myself and Omnipod are looking forward to supporting your growth and progression in the new year!
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Lauren Bongiorno is a Sponsored Podvocate.
Medical Disclaimer: This article is informational only and is not a substitute for medical advice and/or services from a healthcare provider. This article may not be relied upon in any way in connection with your personal health care related decisions and treatment. All such decisions and treatment should be discussed with a healthcare provider who is familiar with your individual needs.