Type 2 Diabetes Guide to Dealing with Family During Holidays

Are you planning a Holiday get-together with relatives? While family gatherings are generally joyous occasions filled with love and laughter, many individuals find them stressful. Personality clashes, reoccurring disagreements, and obnoxious relatives may all detract from the celebrations.

Temptations are everywhere throughout the Holiday season, with a packed social calendar, business and school parties, family gatherings, and neighborly sweets and delicacies. Besides preparing for gatherings and people, you also need a strategy for coping with the excess calories that come with the Holiday season.

This season, instead of preparing for tension, follow these 10 ideas to make family reunions more joyful.

Adjust your mindset

If you're already worried about how unpleasant a gathering will be, it's possible that your anxiety may worsen once the event begins.

Rather than stressing about what may happen, pick actions that will help you relax. Do something calming before the event, such as yoga or listening to music. Concentrate on the good aspects of your situation. Instead of focusing on the bad aspects of family members before gatherings, consider the positive aspects.

Drink In moderation 

The holidays are a time to spend time with friends and family, which almost always involves drinking. While a modest quantity of alcohol, one or two glasses per day, is fine for people with diabetes, avoid overindulging and be mindful of safety risks when drinking. Drinking, for example, can raise your risk of hypoglycemia.

Alcoholic beverages can also add a significant amount of calories and carbohydrates to your meal. Consider drinking refreshments that are naturally low in calories and do not have added sugars. A glass of wine, for example, has just 4 grams of carbohydrate and around 120 calories, but a typical margarita can have up to 30 grams of carbohydrates and approximately 230 calories!

Keep potentially uncomfortable subjects off the table

Politics and religion are obvious examples, but individuals sometimes bring up sensitive topics without considering the impact on others. "Are you ever planning to get married?" It may appear innocent, however, it will almost surely strike a nerve. Avoid potentially sensitive issues to keep the conversation from becoming tense, or just ask what's new and go from there.

Type 2 Diabetes Guide to Dealing with Family During Holidays

Use the Plate Method

When faced with a huge holiday feast, finding the correct balance can be difficult, but use your (9-inch) plate to help guide your portions. To begin, fill half of your plate with non-starchy veggies such as spinach, carrots, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and other similar vegetables. You now have a second half to personalize. Fill one-fourth of your plate with lean protein and the remaining quarter with carbs like maize, bread, mashed potatoes, fruit, or dessert. This is a simple method to create a balanced meal without having to calculate carbohydrates or postpone your favorite dishes.

Bring something nutritious to share

If you're worried that the food at a holiday gathering won't match your diet, bring a healthy dish to share that meets your preferences and requirements. That way, you'll know there's at least one thing you can eat without feeling guilty. And your host is likely to appreciate the addition to the party menu.

Be a picky eater.  The standard Holiday feast is typically high in carb-rich options, leaving you with an overabundance of food on your plate. Choose simply what you truly enjoy or what is particularly festive at this time of year. For example, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, corn, buns, and pie can all be seen on the Holiday table. Allow yourself to splurge on your favorite meals while avoiding the rest.

Practice tolerance and gratitude

Take a moment to appreciate what you have: a wonderful dinner, a warm house, excellent health, a companion, or a beautiful day. Focusing on the things we like and value might help us feel less anxious. We all do things that irritate others, and most of the time we aren't even aware of it. Try not to take other people's eccentricities and unpleasant behaviors personally. At the very least, keep in mind that you only have to put up with the annoyance for a short while.

Recognize that the only thing you have control over is your response.

You can't stop others from bringing up contentious topics or asking harsh questions, but you can control and change your own responses. You can't be forced to have a bad talk. Alternatively, respond, "Let's not go into that right now." Then switch the subject. Allow yourself to be excused and move away if he or she continues.

Stay physically active

Many people forget to exercise over the holidays because of the abundance of food and indoor time. Start a new ritual that includes something other than food, like physical exercise. Activities such as a friendly game, soccer, or Frisbee can be enjoyed by the entire family and even the neighbors. A simple family walks around the neighborhood can also work.

Take a deep breath – or five if you're lucky

Can't physically get out of a tense situation? It's always possible to concentrate on your breathing. Take five calm, deep breaths, concentrating on inhaling and exhaling. Even a little respite may have a significant impact on stress and anxiety.

Keep in mind that the only person you can alter is yourself. You have no control over what your troublesome relatives do. Accept that you can only manage your own behaviors and ideas and don't waste your energy attempting to alter others.

Bring a cheerful reminder with you. Looking at a favorite photograph, or a hilarious text from a friend, or so anything else that makes you smile and will help you relax. Plan to slip away and take a break when things become too hectic.

Type 2 Diabetes Guide to Dealing with Family During Holidays