Navigating the Holidays with T1D

Type 1 Diabetes Blog

Navigating the Holidays with T1D

Now that the holidays are almost upon us, it’s the perfect time to untangle yourself from the tinsel and reflect on your plan for diabetes management during these fun, festive and occasionally stressful times.

My vision is to rest, relax, enjoy family and friends, and eat sensibly. My glucose will likely be within target range at any given time. OK, ok, now that I’ve stopped laughing…let’s talk about the reality of the holidays for those of us with Type 1 Diabetes!

Today is my last day of work prior to Christmas and I’m already thinking about upcoming holiday events, last minute errands, presents yet to be wrapped, dishes to prepare, travel by car and ferry, and wondering how I’m going to binge watch the Game of Thrones during my time away. It’s 10:16 a.m. and I’ve just finished my 5th (small!) shortbread cookie while biding my time until meeting my coworkers for lunch. Chances are, by the time I get home this evening, my blood will be like maple syrup and my motivation will have disappeared like the 6th shortbreak cookie just did. Therefore, I’ll continue to bolus and move on!

Holiday celebrations typically involve feasting – cinnamon roll and hot chocolate breakfasts, decadent desserts and sweet treats, large family meals, breads, snacks, appetizers. It’s difficult to make the right decision every time or to get the insulin to carb ratios right when you’re eating different foods than you might normally, despite the best of intentions. It’s important to give yourself some grace and enjoy these things in moderation (easier said than done for this T1.) If you choose to indulge, make sure it’s bolus-worthy!

If holiday stress, sadness, loneliness or excitement has your glucose or mood out of whack, sit down and take stock. Test, bolus or treat as necessary, and think of one gift you’ve received this day; whether it’s a beautiful sunrise, fresh fallen snow, napping kids, or stockings hung by the chimney with care, I promise you’ll find something to feel good about. Know that you are not alone!

Breathe, remember the reason for the season, look for simple pleasures, and do the best you can from moment to moment. May you have a happy, healthy holiday!


Thanksgiving was a mess in my house and so was Christmas. My wife had to prepare two separate meals for me and for the rest of the family :( I'm hoping that the New Year's eve will be different... We are looking for recipes that will be tasteful for me and the rest of the crew... The good thing is that my blood sugar levels were fine according to this chart .
ivan1989's picture
Submitted by ivan1989 on Thu, 12/28/2017 - 2:45am