Welcome back to another Weekly Balance post from me to you guys! I’ve been so so delighted with how many of you have been reading these articles – I love writing them and I’m really glad you all seem to be enjoying checking them out each week. Let’s have a look at how this week was.
What went on in my doctor life…
BUSY is the best word to describe my working week just past, and I know that’s an overused term, but it is 100% apt in this context. I started out my week with a day on-call, which is I think my last one for this month. Its really important that as a trainee I have a balance of workload across the different domains of public health medicine (health protection, health improvement, health service improvement and health intelligence – more on those here), so I’m grateful to have gotten new learning and experience out of my on-call for this month, and now I can focus on my other projects.
Remember, how busy you are will go through fits and starts, and that’s okay. I had a crazy day on Monday and basically didn’t leave my desk – no time for a lunchtime walk, that’s for sure! We’re only human, and you have to give yourself a break when life happens. I do feel like I’ve taken on quite a few projects in the last 2 months or so, and instead of feeling overwhelmed, I’ve tried this week to break each of those down into bite-size chunks that I can achieve on a daily basis. Small steps in the right direction lead to big change over time, and that’s what I’m focusing on. Plus, I’m very grateful to be in a job I really enjoy, and a specialty I love, so bringing my mind back to gratitude when I’m feeling a bit stressed out always helps too. Progress, not perfection.
What I’m thinking about…
(New heading for where I had ‘What went on in my non-doctor life’ last week!)
I thought this heading was more appropriate! This week, I had a couple of interesting evenings. I got to go to a Climate Change Masterclass evening on Wednesday, which was webcast from Dublin to a few different centres around Ireland. I really enjoyed it and learnt a lot – I also felt alarmed and frustrated (as I generally do when I read about climate change and it’s current and projected impacts on humans and the environment) afterwards. I plan to post more about climate change and it’s impacts on human health in particular on my Instagram this year, because really, I do believe it is probably the biggest public and global health challenge facing us at present.
On a lighter note, I also recorded a brand new Podcast for my own series! This week I will be releasing a new episode with Jenny Rosborough (who is @hellohealthyou_ on Instagram), registered nutritionist and head of nutrition at the Jamie Oliver group. We spoke about public health nutrition – challenges that arise, policies that have been brought in to address our food environment, and how the food environment itself has changed over the past few decades. It’s such an interesting conversation – Jenny is a fountain of knowledge on this topic and I’m so grateful she gave up her time to come onto the Podcast as a guest! I’m aiming to release the episode this coming Friday (on Podbean, Spotify and iTunes/Apple Podcasts) so do keep an eye out!
This week, I’ve been thinking about breaking habits that no longer serve you, and not being afraid to slow down. As many of you will have read on this blog before, I was in the past a little bit obsessed with intense exercise – if I didn’t ‘get sweaty‘, I didn’t feel like the workout ‘counted‘, and I definitely wasn’t prioritising rest and recovery the way I should have at the time(I’ve written a couple of posts on this, you can check them out here). Thankfully, I kicked that maladaptive ‘habit‘ about 3 years ago now, and my body and mind are so much better for it. So my first message here, and I spoke about this in a recent Podcast interview (I was a guest on The Yoga Life Podcast with Kevin Boyle), is – use this new year as an opportunity to examine habits that no longer serve you. Do they make your better, more enriched, easier? For example, it might be making an attempt to quit smoking, or maybe it might be to cut out night-time Netflixing in favour of a bedtime, or it might even be to SKIP a training session in favour of rest! The point is, it’s worth reflecting on what habits bring you positive physical and mental health benefit, and what habits maybe don’t. I hope that makes sense!
As I said, I’ve also been thinking about not being afraid to just slow down. We live such busy lives in a fast-paced, ever-changing, somtimes frightening and confusing world, and it can seem overwhelming trying to keep up with it. This weekend, I’ve really tried to slow my mornings down, repeating to myself ‘less is more.‘ At the weekend, I usually wake up early (my morning lark body clock!), do a little yoga, and head out the door for a walk somewhere. Again, a habit, and outwardly there’s nothing wrong with doing those things, but I realised that because it was my perceived ‘habit‘ to start my day this way, I was almost afraid NOT to do it. So yesterday and this morning, I woke up, got onto my yoga mat for a little bit, popped the heat on and just chilled out. I made breakfast, did some study (yesterday), some writing (this morning – this post!), and mapped out my plan for the day. It helps also that it’s been 0C to -4C this weekend in Ireland so I was happy to wait until the day had warmed up before going out!
So here’s message number two. Don’t be afraid to slow down. It doesn’t make you less productive – it just means you’re taking a few deep breaths, a few minutes to reflect, instead of trying to do 6 things at once at work or at home. You can do more with less – less ‘busyness’. Try it and see how you feel!
What I’m watching…
Okay, full honesty, I’m still watching Grey’s Anatomy. DON’T JUDGE ME. I just love that show. I’m back at Season 3 now – and hurray that this week, the second half of season 16 starts again! I’m very excited for that. Being honest, I’m not a huge TV person. I do love movies and really enjoy a trip to the cinema, but I just end up with choice fatigue if I flick onto Netflix. Give me a book any day! Apparently the new season of the U.K. Love Island started back this week – although I did watch a good bit of the last season (I had F.OM.O., EVERYONE was talking about it!), I won’t be watching this one.
What I’m reading…
I ordered 3 Women by Lisa Taddeo recently (thank you Book Depository for free delivery, and thank you to the nice dude in Easons in Galway who told me about the website!), and it arrived this week! I was reading Invisible Women, but 3 Women is SO GOOD that I’m going to continue it and put Invisible Women on hold. I already know I’ll be highly recommending 3 Women to you guys – it’s pretty un-put-downable (yes, it’s a word…!)! I’ve also ordered Pretty Unhealthy by Dr. Nikki Stamp as I mentioned last week, so that should arrive this week and I may read that next.
I’ll also have a NEW Audible credit coming this week, so I’d love to hear any recommendations from you guys! I’m thinking I might try Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow as I’m really enjoying his Podcast so far. The narrator is as important as the book when you’re using Audible!
What I’m listening to…
My favourite Podcast this week was the latest How To Fail episode (podcast hosted by Elizabeth Day) – the singer Mabel was interviewed, and I absolutely loved the conversation. If ‘Don’t Call Me Up‘ isn’t one of your favourite songs from last year, then we can’t be friends guys, I’m sorry! The lyrics of that song are excellent as a ‘sing out loud when no one is around‘ choice, especially if you’re working through a break-up. Anyway, this podcast interview was brilliant, and I’d really recommend giving it a go. My favourite quote from it was – ‘You don’t have to be the best. You just have to try your best.’ YES to that.
Brews and Eats
This weekend, I’ve been trying new capsules from my new Nespresso machine! Its saving me a LOT of money I would usually spend on a daily coffee (it was a Christmas gift, thank you Santa!), and I’m really enjoying the different flavours. I tried Linizio Lungo this weekend, and the Columbia capsule remains a strong favourite! I’ve run out of decaf capsules though so a re-stock is needed. Let me know if you have any favourites if you’re a Nespresso fan too!
I tried a new spot today – Tartare in Galway city. I had an absolute CRAVING for scrambled eggs (is there any better way to have your eggs? I think not), and I had been meaning to check out this place for a while. I really enjoy grabbing a table in a cosy cafe at the weekend with my laptop to write, or with my book to read – it’s like a little date for myself with myself. Plus, it’s a great way to try somewhere new! The food here was utterly delicious – thank you Tartare for SERIOUSLY tasty scrambled eggs, holy moly – as you can see in the photo below! Definitely one to check out if you visit Galway. You can check out my foodie guide to Galway (I need to write Part 2 soon!) here.
Scrambled eggs in the coolest bowl at Tartare, Galway city!
And that is a wrap for my third Weekly Balance! I hope you guys have had a lovely restful weekend, and are looking forward to a brand new week. I’m spending half of this coming week working in Galway, and the latter half working in Dublin – I’m really looking forward to a weekend in the capital next weekend. Yes, I’ll have to study, but it means I get to spend a few nights with my family (and see my Nana, who is very dear to me), and that’s always something to smile about and be grateful for.
As always, drop me a line on Instagram, email, Twitter, Facebook or leave a comment here if you want to share your thoughts on this week’s post – I love to hear from you guys! And if you’re looking for recipe inspiration for this week, you might find some on my blog here.
Ciara 🙂 x