How Valentine’s Day Can Still Be Sweet
Valentine’s day is just around the corner, and while traditionally known as “lover’s day”, recent years has seen the day morph into a celebration of love of all kinds – including that shared between family and friends. So why shouldn’t that expression of love also be extended to yourself?
“Valentine’s Day offers the perfect excuse to treat yourself,” says credentialed diabetes educator Leanne Mullen. “And for people living with diabetes, a little bit of me-time can go a long way in helping you to stay focused and motivated on your health and wellness journey,” she adds.
“Whether that‘s a special family outing, a holiday, dinner with friends, or simply a relaxing day with a good book – looking after your mental health and general wellbeing is just as important as managing your physical wellbeing.”
Considering the importance of monitoring glucose levels, assessing dietary options, counting carbohydrates and the often frequent medical appointments, living with diabetes can be challenging for some. It is for this reason that a little R&R is even more important for those with diabetes.
How to spoil yourself on Valentine’s Day
With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, why not set aside some time for a little bit of self-love? There are a number of ways you can spoil yourself, and your loved ones, without compromising your health or disrupting your medical routines. Here are a few of our suggestions:
Who doesn’t love a trip to the day spa? The great thing is, you can choose from a range of options including massage, facial, or a simple pedicure or manicure, meaning it doesn’t have to break the bank. Also, people with diabetes are more likely to develop skin issues, such as bacterial infections, fungal infections and itching, so taking some time out to pamper your skin may be just what the doctor ordered. Added to this, most day spas will allow you to tailor your treatment according to gender, age and the condition of your skin.
Round of Golf
Combine exercise, sunshine, fresh air and time with friends by heading out for a round of golf. Golf is a fantastic, low-impact exercise that allows for plenty of fun and laughter along the way. However, for those who take insulin or certain glucose-lowering medication, be aware that being out on the green for an extended period may contribute to hypoglycaemia which can be influenced by the increased exercise and perhaps missing a meal. To ensure this is an enjoyable and replenishing day, make sure you bring enough water, carry plenty of snacks and of course, don’t forget your hypo treatment.
Night on the town
They say that laughter is the best medicine, so shout yourself to a night out with friends, where you can let your hair down, enjoy a nice, healthy meal and allow yourself to have some fun. Just remember to continue to look after your health. If you normally count carbs and adjust insulin doses based on BGL, continue to do so even on a night out. If alcohol is on the menu, stick to lighter options such as low-carb or light beer. Pre-mixed drinks often have a higher sugar content and can initially raise blood glucose levels.
For a more relaxed celebration with loved ones, plan a beautiful home-cooked meal for your family or friends to enjoy. You’ll be able to tailor the menu to suit your dietary needs, while at the same time preparing something a little bit special. There are plenty of delicious options that will allow you to spoil both yourself and those you love. For some inspiration, consider our bespoke three-course Valentine’s Day menu featuring a delicious, yet healthy entrée, main and dessert.
Take some time out and head to the movies. With busy lives, finding the time to sit down – and remain seated – for a couple of hours can be difficult, but heading to the movies and enjoying a good film will keep you in your seat, allowing you to rest and relax for a good amount of time. However, don’t get tempted by the snack bar. Instead, take your own snacks such as some nuts or home air-popped popcorn. If you are treating yourself to something from the snack bar, stick to a small serve of popcorn that you share with a friend.
It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but fishing can provide the perfect opportunity to relax and unwind, enjoy the outdoors and maybe even catch a healthy dinner – fish is loaded with important nutrients such as protein, vitamin D and is the world’s best source of omega 3 fatty acids! Simply pack a healthy picnic, a thermos, some comfy chairs and your favourite music. Invite your family or friends for a group outing or simply enjoy some me-time.
Most book lovers will agree there is simply never enough time to read. So rather than give into this easy excuse, simply make the time, setting aside even an hour or so to head to your local library to collect a few books you’ve been meaning to read. If the library’s not your thing but you still love a good book, all you need to do is find a nice quiet place at home, turn off your phone and immerse in your favourite novel.
Combine relaxation with adventure by heading to the beach while the weather is still warm. Pack some healthy snacks, plenty of water, and head outdoors to enjoy the sun, salt and summer air. Choose your own adventure by lazing by the water with a book, or grab a board and hit the waves. Summer’s nearing an end so be sure to make the most of it!
So if you are making a list of loved-ones to spoil this Valentine’s Day, be sure to pop yourself on the top! A little TLC can go a long way in helping you to feel refreshed, rejuvenated and motivated to maintain your health goals in the long term.