Four Solutions to Holiday Blues and Stress

Ask our CDE

Four Solutions to Holiday Blues and Stress

Sneha Baxi SrivastavaContributor: Sneha Baxi Srivastava, PharmD, BCACP, CDCES, DipACLM, FADCES
In partnership with

We're told the holidays are filled with joy, laughter, and happiness. The beautiful decorations, time shared with family and friends, delicious food, and the general feeling of cheer in the air. While this may be true sometimes, the holidays and winter can also be stressful for many reasons. For some, this time of year may feel lonely or overwhelming. It can be difficult to navigate diabetes during a season when food and drink are abundant, and routines are altered. Here are four things to consider when it comes to holiday blues and stress:

  1. Feeling sad or stressed is normal – it’s important to be self-aware of what and how you are feeling. Emotions are a part of who we are, and many different things can influence them. Especially at this time of year, when it’s getting darker earlier, colder in some parts of the world, there are family gatherings that may bring both joy and unease, and in general, there may be too much or too little going on. It is normal to have whatever feelings you are having, and important to recognize what your feelings are.
  2. Seek help from a medical professional if feelings of sadness, stress, and hopelessness interfere with your day-to-day life. There are treatments that a healthcare provider can recommend to help you manage how you feel, including therapy and medications.
  3. Stress can affect your blood sugar levels. You may notice that your blood sugar levels are different than they usually are – this could be because you are eating differently, your physical activity is changing, or you are stressed. You may need to monitor your blood sugar closely during this time, and be sure to connect with your healthcare provider if your blood glucose levels concern you.
  4. Find ways to incorporate self-care throughout this season. Think about what brings you joy and what helps you manage stress. Try to keep physical activity in your day – whether it’s a 5-minute stretch, a walk with a friend, or dancing to some music. Consider journaling, deep breathing, yoga, or meditation. These techniques can help provide relaxation.

This time of year is filled with many different emotions – naming them and finding ways to address them will hopefully bring 2022 to a pleasant end and bring new beginnings in 2023.

Sneha Baxi Srivastava, PharmD, BCACP, CDCES, DipACLM, FADCES, is passionate about empowering people with knowledge and skills to prevent and treat chronic conditions, especially diabetes, and about lifelong learning. She is an Associate Professor and Associate Director of Skills Education at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science College of Pharmacy and a Clinical Pharmacist at Lake County Health Department. Dr. Srivastava earned her Doctor of Pharmacy degree at Rutgers University Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy and completed two years of postgraduate training in pharmacy practice and primary care at the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy. Dr. Srivastava is board certified in ambulatory care and lifestyle medicine and is a certified diabetes care and education specialist.