While there’s still some disagreement about the definition of self-care, it’s clear that it exists on several levels.
On one end, there’s exclusive self-care, with no input or guidance from a medical professional. While some have suggested that the majority of health care is self-care, most of us will likely need professional care at some point in our lives.
And on the other end of the spectrum, there’s exclusive medical-care. In this scenario, care-related decisions are made only after consulting with a professional, and sometimes the final treatment decision is even left up to the provider.
But somewhere in the middle lies the concept of “shared-care,” sometimes referred to as “patient-centered” care, where individuals seek out professional information and consultation before coming to a decision on their own.
To me, this makes the most sense. Self-care is cheaper, easier to navigate, more convenient, and creates the least burden on the health care system as a whole. (Plus, I don’t like the idea of needlessly booking an appointment when there are others with greater needs waiting.)
So, in line with my intention this year to develop a comprehensive self-care practice of my own, my self-care activity for the day was to go the “shared-care” route, and I self-directed my care by consulting with a medical professional.
After all, a solid self-care plan includes knowing when to seek the guidance of a professional.