Ways to help cope with the holidays
As the holidays approach we see Christmas commercials, decorations up in the stores and our work places, and we hear jingle bells where ever we go. The kids are making their Christmas lists. Visions of a big Christmas dinner with all the family are dancing through your mind. The kids are bopping around the wrapping paper and toys galore. Sounds like the perfect Christmas morning.
This time of year we can encounter a lot more stress by trying to please everyone with the perfect gift or the dinner to match Martha Stewart's menu. Instead of enjoying the holiday you stress yourself out. Which can lead to headaches, aches/pains, insomnia, anxiety, and over indulging in food and or alcohol along with a host of other symptoms you may not notice but that will affect your body. Coping with the Holiday Season!
"When we encounter stress our body goes into the fight or flight mode hormones are released causing our heart to beat faster and our blood pressure increases, muscles tighten and tense up, and we start to breathe faster and harder." People may suffer from migraines/headaches, feel short of breath, and or suffer from panic attacks. Stress can slow down how food travels through our digestive track. Over indulging in food and drink in response to stress can cause bloating, nausea, and or vomiting.
Epinephrine (one such hormone) when released in response to the fight or flight causes our liver to produce more glucose. In a diabetic patient this can cause blood sugars to be elevated. But stress can also cause blood sugars to drop. Prolonged stresses will wear and tear on your body.
So what can we do to reduce stress during this time of year? Start with a good night's sleep.
If you are the cook for the big dinner, delegate others to bring a dish to pass, cater dinner in from your local grocery store, or go out for the dinner. Draw names for gift giving to reduce your financial stress, or donate to a charity in their name. Avoid conversation triggers, have fun/laugh, plan a walk or a family game after the big dinner or before the big football game. Exercise will help reduce your stress and help keep your blood sugar better managed following dinner.
Prior to the big day try deep breathing (a relaxation technique), inhale through your nose for 15-20 seconds then breath out slowly through the mouth repeat for a few minutes if the need arises remove yourself from the stressful event and practice this technique.
Enjoy the holiday season. Take control of your stress and don't let it control you.
Recipe from the Diabetes Education Center:
2 cup white all- purpose flour
1/4 cup nuts, almonds, ground
1/8 tsp. salt
2/3 each light unsalted stick margarine
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup liquid egg substitute
1 tsp. vanilla extract cooking spray
Prep Time:1 hour
Cook Time:20 minutes
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl combine all-purpose flour, almonds, and salt.
3. Add margarine, 1/4 cup sugar, egg substitute, and vanilla; stir until well blended (mixture will be stiff). Knead lightly until smooth.
4. Shape dough into a ball, wrap in wax paper and chill one hour.
5. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll each into a log; and shape into a crescent.
6. Place on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
7. Remove to wire racks to cool slightly; sprinkle cookies with remaining 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon powdered sugar, and cool completely on wire racks.
Makes 40 servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories – 47.3
Total Carbs – 6.2 g
Dietary Fiber – 0.2 g
Sugars – 1.2 g