Gift Ideas for those living with diabetes!

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It’s that time of year. We give and we receive. We try our best to make our children’s holidays wonderful, magical, and happy. We make our Christmas card lists, our shopping lists, and our To-do lists. In an effort to help you think through your lists and ease some of your shopping worries, I have prepared what I consider to be the best gifts for those living with diabetes. We know that persons with diabetes) PWD can  eat the treats and love toys and fashion as much as the next person. However, we also live life a little differently and spend more time than the average person poking and prodding ourselves, counting and measuring our food both in category and quantity, and spend countless hours doing the mental math of what is circulating in our systems, what we are using as fuel, and what level of activity we have just completed and what level of activity is upcoming. We are busy, tired, stressed, and usually don’t feel like we are doing the best job. Let’s celebrate this season with easing our lives, helping others and getting healthier. Here are some ideas for women, men, children, and families together. img_4850

  1. Manicures with paraffin wax- Our hands and fingers can always use a little TLC. Regular manicures (even for you guys) doesn’t have to mean the polish, but the soaking, massaging, and especially the moisturizing can help our tender or for those of us that have lived with this for a bit longer, our rough callused hands. The right nail polish can also make us feel a bit better at least on the outside, even when we feel a bit sluggish on the inside.
  2. Massages- This one I can’t stress enough! Regularly scheduled massages should be a part of all our health protocol (at least in my opinion). The benefits for diabetics in particular are huge. It breaks up the fascia and helps the scar tissue from forming. It helps with blood flow and circulation. This practice helps us find our balance. The act of massage stimulates your muscles. So in layman’s terms that means it is a little bit like exercising. If you are struggling to get back into a workout routine, have aches and pains, or are attempting to find some positivity in your life, get your muscles moving. If you can’t get to it that day, a massage is a small version of exercise. Make sense? Be sure to find a therapist that you like. I highly recommend Olivia at Elements Scottsdale Promenade. She makes me set an intention for the hour. If I feel like a failure that day, I remember that I am doing something good for my body. If I am so stressed and tired, I remember that I am taking this time for myself to reset for the rest of the day. One time I went after receiving an HbA1c of 6.0. I felt good. I then realized that I was exhausted. I went for the massage immediately following my endocrinology appointment. I had time to decompress from the silent stress that we all face before receiving our quarterly lab results. I had time to process the result in a way that I usually do not. I can focus and continue to think through my feelings and find the motivation to keep up the good work.
  3. A Journal- This is a must. Most kids and even adults are into electronics. I want you to go old school for this one. I make all of my clients journal in two columns, no matter where they stand in their diabetes care. One column is for Gratitude/Thankful for. The second column is Things I like about myself. This is MUCH harder than the first. One client took 4 weeks to admit one physical thing she liked about herself. Get a paper journal that they can doodle, write, or ignore for a while even. It will be useful when it is needed.
  4. Clean out the kitchen- This is a gift for the entire family. We get so much of the unhealthy foods at so many places outside of our homes. My kid gets hers at lunch, sports practices, birthday parties, friend’s homes, club activities, and school. It is fine if your diabetic loved one eats these things. Just make their home a place for clean eating. Clear out the junk food. Clear out the fake food. Fill it with fresh veggies and fruits, lean proteins, only complex carbs, and seasonings galore.
  5. Make everyone in your family count carbs- It is hard enough to feel segregated from the other members of the family. Make Carb Counting a family practice. Ask all your kids how many carbs they are eating. Label the food on the table. Make husbands, wives, and siblings do the same counting. It helps educate all of the family about healthy eating. Let the people with diabetes hear you asking the other members of the family what the carb counts are for that meal or snack. If you are a spouse, then let your partner know that you are doing it also.
  6. Portable power banks- Most all our pumps and meters are turning into USB charged devices. Between my meter, my pump, and my CGM, one of them always needs charging. Help ease the mental responsibility of life with diabetes, but buying some portable power sources. One for the backpack, one for the purse, one for the locker or office. You can be extra nice and throw in some extra power cords with a label on them.
  7. Cord labels- These can come in any format. They sell expensive color coded cord wraps; you can use a piece of tape, but ease their lifestyle with easily identifiable cords. My charging cord for my pump is different than my meter cord. I get frustrated when I grab the wrong one and find myself away from home.
  8. Meal planning- Make everyone participate in planning the main meal of the day. If you are purchasing for a person with diabetes that lives alone, consider providing them with gift cards from healthy take out options such as My Fit Foods. Everything is fresh, healthy, and labeled properly. It takes the guess work out of preparing when you are too tired to eat healthy.
  9. A new case, bag, or kit to carry their supplies around- A person with diabetes should have their testing equipment, and fast acting glucose with them at all times. Let it be fun. I always let my daughter pick out a new zipper bag for my purse each year or so. Sometimes it wasn’t my favorite color or design, but it was my favorite because it was what she thought was great at that age. Liven up the boredom and monotony of this chronic illness with a few new gadgets.
  10. Pedicures- These are tricky. If your PWD has foot wounds or ingrown toenails, this might not be the best option. I know we are all supposed to check our feet, but I don’t do it as often as I could. It is nice to have someone else notice the bottom of my feet or at least make me pay attention to them while I am getting them worked on during the appointment. In places like Arizona where we wear flip-flops all year, our heels get dry and cracked very quickly. Help keep them from becoming a problem.
  11. A donation in their name- The kids might not be excited about this, but many adults are happy to know that someone made a donation to a diabetes organization in their name. Donate to a summer camp for diabetic children, a nonprofit organization, or for research.
  12. Volunteer – I must stress this as a lifelong goal. Please help others! This is a surefire way to feel better if you live with a chronic illness. Take the focus off of your own circumstances and do something good for someone else. Make it a regular habit. Let the person with diabetes pick the category of helping animals, children, the elderly, the hungry, the homeless. . . The list is endless. Watch how helping others make them feel better.
  13. ID Jewelry- a new piece of jewelry that they enjoy
  14. Fitness Trackers- enough said
  15. Healthy food delivery options-They are up and coming everywhere. Graze sends small portable snacks every few weeks. There are similar items that ship ingredients for freshly prepared meals at home including the menu.
  16. A Diabetes Coach Gift Certificate- Simply contact me via email, phone or text and I’ll send you a gift certificate for pantry organization, meal planning and shopping, or a schedule of sessions one on one. marianne@diabeteslifestylecoach.com or 480-266-0972

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