As the holiday festivities continue and New Year’s resolutions approach, what is our message to our patients, friends, family, and colleagues?
For our patients: Diabetes never takes a holiday, so how do we help our patients enjoy the holidays without guilt, fear and hyperglycemia? Linking patients to favorite holiday websites may provide ideas for navigating through the holidays. “Holidays and Diabetes” as an internet search brought up over 39 million web pages from holiday camps to recipes and holiday planning tips for individuals with diabetes. Recipes abound, and recently, the AADE sent us all a link to their Holiday Eating Resource with some mouthwatering recipes to share with our patients. I copied them off in color, rolled them up and tied them with ribbon. I then handed them out at a holiday support group meeting and also keep them in a basket in my office as a “present” to my December patients.
For friends and family: we can promote a healthy lifestyle and the prevention or treatment of type 2 diabetes. Purchasing gifts that encourage health can send a message that making good food choices and exercising regularly is important all year, and really does not take a vacation either. Floral arrangements for the dinner table, baskets of fruit, biking gloves, running socks, club memberships, yoga tapes, punch cards for the local pool, rock climbing wall, or ice skating rink are all ways to say “it’s a wonderful time of the year and a great time to celebrate health.”
For colleagues: thoughtful gifts around the holidays may include sharing a copy of your favorite book on diabetes, a collection of holiday teas and a mug, or a water bottle from your favorite diabetes organization. A gift card to a sporting goods store is also a great way to cheer in the holidays and encourage folks to purchase something fun for exercise!
Perhaps, however, the most thoughtful gift of all is letting our patients, friends, family, and colleagues know how much we appreciate them as part of our lives. And at this time, I would like to thank you for being such a wonderful group of providers. I could not be more proud to be a diabetes educator and work with many of you throughout the year. You give your heart and soul to patients as we work to help, as ADA states, “STOP DIABETES.” Have a happy, healthy holiday!