The festive season is a wonderful time of year and IPCIUM recognise that it can also come with its own challenges for individuals living with chronic disease such as Type 2 Diabetes. It's normal to feel busy, stressed, and overwhelmed during the holiday period, making it more challenging to maintain the healthy habits we have been working on all year. The good news is that we can readily maintain the progress we have made throughout the year by formulating a healthy holiday routine!
A healthy holiday routine may be as simple as making a more relaxed version of your current health and wellness routine, perhaps with an increased focused on reducing the size of each meal to accommodate extra snacking between meals; consciously taking time out of your day to complete your relaxation and/or breathing exercises or actively parking your car at the far end of the shopping centre to increase your incidental exercise.
Creating a healthy holiday routine allows consider and anticipate those variables, which might otherwise present as a barrier to maintaining our health goals, such as:
👨👩👧👦 Family commitments
🎄 Christmas parties
🏥 Medical appointments
🏖 Holiday plans and travel
😴 Fatigue after the end of a big year
Take time to reflect on those aspects of your current healthy routine which are “non-negotiables”. This will be different for everyone but may include:
🏃♀️ Maintaining 30 minutes of daily movement or exercise
🍰 Checking your blood glucose levels regularly
🍲 Avoid eating 2-3 hours before bedtime
🛌 Going to bed before 10pm
📴 Putting your phone on sleep mode 1 hour before bedtime
🥗 Including vegetables with every meal (1/3 of plate)
Maintaining a routine of healthy habits should not hinder your holiday enjoyment, but rather add to it. If you're struggling to design a healthy holiday routine, ask yourself why maintaining a health routine is important to you and your family. Below are some of our community's healthy holiday routine tips!
"During the holiday season, I start every morning with some movement (walk / run / cycle / home workout / surf), always focus on eating my veggies first at big meals & go for an afternoon walk and swim with family and friends. I maintain my healthy habits during the holiday season because following a healthy lifestyle makes me happy, meaning I can fully enjoy my time with friends and family! 🎄"
"My health holiday routine, involves going for a quick 5-15 minute walk within 60 minutes of each main meal, as it is known to reduce blood glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity. Even though I rely upon external insulin sources (injections/pump therapy) to control my blood sugar levels, I find that this simple trick, makes a significant difference to my BSL's helps me to manage my diabetes effectively. The good news is that studies have shown that as little as 2 minutes of walking has a positive impact. So we can start by taking small steps and increasing gradually over time."
For reference, IPCIUM have utilised the following resources: