happy elderly man with nurse getting diabetes test

Take Control of Diabetes This Holiday Season

The holiday season is here! At this busy time of year, it can be easy to forget about healthy habits, but it’s still important to take good care of yourself – especially if you have a chronic condition like diabetes.  

Check out these tips for how to enjoy the holidays while managing your diabetes:

  1. Watch your serving sizes. It can be easy to overfill your plate during a holiday meal. Plan to fill half your plate with vegetables, and the other half with lean protein foods (such as tofu, turkey, or chicken) and carbohydrates (such as whole grain bread or rice).
  2. Use reminder tools like a smartphone app or a pillbox to stay on top of taking your medicines. Medisafe* is a free smartphone app that can remind you when it’s time to take your medicines.
  3. Don’t forget to check your blood sugar. Check your blood sugar regularly (and more often if you’re ill or having symptoms of low blood sugar). You may find it harder to test your blood sugar in winter – winter can chill your hands, making testing more painful. Try warming your hands near a heater or around a cup of warm water before testing to make it more comfortable and get a good reading.
  4. Stay active during the holidays. Exercise is an important part of healthy living. If you have diabetes, exercise can help you control blood sugar levels, boost your mood, prevent heart disease, and help you keep or reach a healthy weight. Be sure to drink plenty of water before exercising. Check with your doctor for tips on how to exercise safely.  
  5. Drink in moderation. Some adults enjoy drinking wine, beer, or liquor as part of their holiday celebrations. For people with diabetes who take medicines to lower their blood sugar levels, drinking alcohol can have a dangerous effect and cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). If you choose to drink, pair your drink with food to avoid low blood sugar. Women should limit themselves to one drink a day, and men should not drink more than two drinks a day.
  6. Keep up with your recommended tests and vaccines. As the year comes to an end, it’s a good time to make sure you’re up to date with the following recommendations:
    • Diabetes eye exam (usually every 1-2 years).
    • Hemoglobin A1c check (every 3 to 6 months).
    • Annual urine protein check.
    • Cholesterol check, as recommended by your doctor.
    • Flu, COVID-19, and other recommended vaccines and boosters.
    • Routine health screenings based on your age.
  1. Take time for yourself. If you are feeling stressed by the holidays and/or your diabetes care routine, take time for yourself. Do an enjoyable activity, like watching a movie or playing a game with friends. Ask your doctor for help if you have been feeling overwhelmed or struggling with feelings of sadness for more than a week or two.

Be in Control is here to support your healthy lifestyle. If you have questions about your medicines or any health concern, you can call 1-866-461-7227 and speak to a care manager.

If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 or your local emergency services right away.


Parkland Community Health Plan