Does anyone else get overly stressed out during the holidays? Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays, but with all the presents to buy, trips to plan️, parties to attend, and meals to cook sometimes I feel like my head is going to explode! On top of that, this time of year always puts a huge dent in my bank account making my stress level even higher. But, you know what causes me the most stress? High blood sugars. You know what causes my high blood sugars? My stress. It’s a vicious cycle! How do we get out of it?
Whether it be the holidays, a traffic jam, a demanding project at work, our kids, or our diabetes stress has a massive impact on our BGs.
The body responds to stress through the fight-or-flight response which releases the hormones cortisol and adrenaline. The problem is that PWD can’t process all the stored glucose that is released from the liver, muscles, and fat cells during this process.
If we were trying to, say…. run away from a bear then these processes would be helpful. The glucose would be used up and internal balance would be restored, but in everyday stress it ends up building up in our blood stream…hence, the high BGs.
Because of this, good coping mechanisms for stress reduction are a MUST in diabetes. Everyone has their own ways of dealing with stress, but here are some tips from me.
-Find someone to make you laugh.
-Go for a walk.
-Learn to say no. Limit what you will do for others. It’s okay to be selfish sometimes, especially when your BGs are at risk!
-Ask for help. You don’t need to do everything yourself.
-Take one day at a time.
-Talk with someone about your stress.
-Don’t put yourself down because you haven’t gotten something done.
-Don’t put yourself down because your BGs are high.
-Don’t put yourself down at all.
-Lastly, and I recommend talking to your clinician first, if you have a pump then the “temp basal” feature is an option. This feature allows for an increase or decrease in your basal rate by a percentage (instead of changing the basal entirely).
Wishing you all a Happy Holidays AND Happy Blood Sugars!
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