Continuity of Care

The phrase usually refers to ensuring a patient receives the same level of services when they must change medical providers or insurers. When, say, a family physician retires, they are expected to offer their patients options to continue at their offices with a new provider or move to a new practice they recommend based on the patient’s needs.

In this instance though, as so many are paying – in one way or another – for expenditures during the holiday season, perhaps looking closer at how interruptions in things like our physical and mental health disrupt our continuity of self-care.

Full disclosure here: my fitness classes were cancelled the last 2 weeks of December, my grocery bill tripled with added indulgences for get togethers and casual feasting. My journal sat unopened, my educational podcasts have queued while our Netflix was on for hours in several rooms of our home at a time. And now that I am resurfacing, I am acutely aware that – by not taking care of me, I am set back.

This isn’t just a ‘me’ thing: clients all week have reported feeling overwhelmed, off kilter… they share they’ve had unexpected bouts of emotional upset over small things and a hungover sense when they’ve not been drinking. Most are experiencing sluggishness paired with a near-mania to make changes.

I’d ask that we instead consider a pause: what were we doing to take care of ourselves prior to the holiday? Probably eating relatively healthfully, getting regular exercise, spending time with peers and loved ones, working on projects that fulfill us. Instead of making changes, perhaps returning to our existing healthy habits might be better?

I’m not saying we shouldn’t pursue change, more, I’m arguing that perhaps, we should simply invest in our own continuity of care – that just because something happens that could waylay our habits, we should be mindful of self-care, and maintaining these processes even when life might be more chaotic.

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