Christmas is not only for the healthy and fit. Each of us should have something to celebrate, big or small during the holiday season, whether we are healthy or ill. When we are ill we sometimes wonder whether we have the strength and the will to celebrate during the holiday season. Here are some tips from health experts which I ahve compiled for you.
MayoClinic cancer education specialist Nicole Engler gives some tips to cancer survivors on how to enjoy the holiday season with their loved ones, which getting overstressed.
- Create a new holiday tradition that makes the most of your energy, such as planning potluck dinners or dining at a favorite restaurant.
- Send seasonal cards or letters after Christmas â€” try New Year’s or Valentine’s Day.
- Reduce holiday gift exchanges and shop online or via catalogues when necessary.
- Buy holiday treats to reduce the amount of time you spend baking.www
- Reach out for help when needed â€” for example, ask someone to decorate your home or trim the tree; serve them hot chocolate and the pleasure of conversation in return.
- Realize your limitations and feel comfortable doing less.
- Don’t feel obligated to live up to others’ expectations.
- Express your love in more direct ways than gifts.
- Rededicate yourself to your spiritual growth.
- Volunteer at a local nursing home or soup kitchen.
- Donate to a local charity (such as the food shelf) versus purchasing gifts.
- Adopt a needy family.
- Count and communicate your blessings.
- Invite someone to your celebration who you know is alone for the holidays.
Now, diabetes and holiday feasting. Those are two things that can never go together. Or can they?
Well, the American Diabetes Association thinks they can. Here are six holiday tips to guide you in your holiday events:
- Eat what you like. Instead of worrying about what will be served, offer to bring an appetizer or dish that you know you and others will enjoy.
- Itâ€™s a party, but don’t overdo it. Plan to enjoy the food! If the food will be available near your usual meal time, youâ€™re in luck. Try to eat about the same amount of carbohydrate that you normally would for a meal. If you plan to have a sweet, watch the starchy foods and allow for a small piece of your favorite. Keep the portions small.
- Eat before you eat. Itâ€™s best to have a little something to eat before the party so you arenâ€™t famished when you arrive, and tempted to really overdo. This can also serve as a snack at your usual meal time if the party is later in the evening.
- Focus on reconnecting with friends and family instead of the food. Once youâ€™ve eaten, station yourself away from the tempting bowl of chocolates or nuts.
- Drink in moderation. If you drink alcohol, remember to eat something first to prevent low blood glucose levels later. Keep it to no more than 1 drink for women and 2 drinks for men.
- If you overindulge, get back on track the next morning. Include extra exercise, monitor your blood glucose levels, and get back on track with your usual eating habits.
The holiday season is a special time for families to get together, families that may span several generations. Celebrating Christmas with loved ones who have Alzheimer’s disease is a bitter-sweet experience, when we feel robbed of memories past, presentand ure. However, we shouldnâ€™t let the disease put a dark cloud on your holiday plans. Health experts at the MayoClinic give us the following advice to family members and caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients:
- Make preparations together. If you bake, your loved one may be able to participate by measuring flour, stirring batter or rolling dough. You may find it meaningful to open holiday cards or wrap gifts together. Remember to concentrate on the process, rather than the result.
- Tone down your decorations. Blinking lights and large decorative displays can cause disorientation. Avoid lighted candles and other safety hazards, as well as decorations that could be mistaken for edible treats â€” such as artificial fruits.
- Host quiet, slow-paced gatherings. Music, conversation and meal preparation all add to the noise and stimulation of an event. Yet for a person who has Alzheimer’s, a calm, quiet environment usually is best. Keep daily routines in place as much as possible and, as needed, provide your loved one a place to rest during family get-togethers.
- Celebrate in the most familiar setting. For many people who have Alzheimer’s, a change of environment – even a visit home – causes anxiety. Instead of creating that disruption, consider holding a small family celebration at the facility. You might also participate in holiday activities planned for the residents.
- Minimize visitor traffic. Arrange for a few family members to drop in on different days. Even if your loved one isn’t sure who’s who, two or three familiar faces are likely to be welcome, while nine or 10 may be overwhelming.
- Schedule visits at your loved one’s best time of day. People who have Alzheimer’s tire easily, especially as the disease progresses. Your loved one may appreciate morning and lunchtime visitors more than those in the afternoon or evening.
In the coming days, I will bring you more tips about celebrating the holiday season without jeopardizing your health.
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