Diabetes Health Tips for 2020 Holiday Season
(Plain Press, December 2020) Be safe: Wear a mask, maintain social distance, wash hands frequently and sanitize heavily used surfaces like door handles, countertops, faucets, etc. when outside of home. Don’t reuse disposable masks, wash cloth masks frequently and try to use paper towels when touching shared surfaces.
Use caution when gathering: If you choose to attend gatherings, wear your mask, skip the hugging and kissing and do your best to social distance. Stay away from touching shared plates and utensils.
Limit your time in crowded areas: Consider using a grocery delivery service or having a family member get your groceries during the very busy holiday season when stores are jam-packed. If buying holiday gifts, try options like curbside pickup or online delivery to stay away from crowds.
Make sure you have your medications: To limit your time in stores, work with your provider to request a 90-day supply of maintenance medications. Depending on insurance, this may be available from a community pharmacy or from a mail order pharmacy. Just remember that it may take 7-10 days to receive your medications so order in advance.
Try to exercise as much as you can (in a safe manner): Working out helps keep your immune system healthy and helps you fight off illnesses. It’s best to workout outside, but if you do go to a gym, remember to wear a mask, wipe down equipment and bring sanitizer to clean your hands after use.
Remember to care for your body: Drink a lot of water, get enough sleep and take a daily multivitamin, particularly one with extra antioxidants. Ensure that you are continuing to follow your normal self-care routine for diabetes management (testing blood sugars, taking medications on time, eating regularly etc)
Don’t ignore your feelings of anxiety or stress: Try to use stress management techniques such as breathing exercises, guided meditations, etc. Consider using an app such as “Headspace” or “Calm.” Many therapists and counselors have switched their practices to telehealth, so it might be a good time to find a mental health provider.
Involve your healthcare provider if you’re feeling sick: Some over the counter medications may affect your blood sugar. Before self-treating cold and flu symptoms, talk to your healthcare provider or diabetes care and education specialist.
Editor’s Note: Tips provided by the Association of Diabetes & Education Specialists