The Weekly Balance – Week #4


Week number FOUR of the Weekly Balance gang – sitting down to write this post has fast become one of my favourite parts of the week! Let’s get into this week’s recap.

What went on in my doctor life…

This week was a bit of a mish-mash work-wise. I spent the first half of my working week in Galway – I have a couple of projects I’m currently working on, and a couple more I know I need to start this coming week, so my Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday this week was spent trying to finish existing projects. That’s the best way I can be productive and not get stressed out – by breaking down chunks of work into manageable, bite-size pieces I can realistically achieve in a day. Step by step, rather than getting freaked out by the bigger picture. It’s also why I keep my diary with me always! My current projects I’m trying to finish are health protection topics (influenza and an outbreak), and the next ones I’ll be taking on are going to be in the areas of environmental health, screening and health service planning – so as you can see, it’s quite varied!

The second half of my week was spent working in Dublin, which was a nice change of scene! I actually hadn’t been home since Christmas, so it’s been lovely to have a couple of nights with my family and to see my Nana (always a special visit!) I got to visit Leinster House in the city centre on Thursday to attend the launch of a report regarding the health of Travellers in Ireland. A major function and goal of public health is to reduce health inequalities in society – between those who have the most and those who have the least, as well as groups in society who are marginalised, such as Travellers in Ireland and other ethnic minorities, for example. It was really interesting and I plan to continue to educate myself on this aspect of public health and hopefully get more exposure to public health work on health inequalities. As you can see below, when I get back to Dublin I love to take a walk along the coast, and the views this weekend were well worth it!

What I’m thinking about…

So, this week I listened to an episode on the Nike Trained Podcast with Simon Sinek as the guest (if you haven’t seen his Ted Talk, check it out!). One quote that really stood out was:

If you want something for yourself, give it to others.

It took me little bit of reflection after the episode ended to think about how I could apply that to my own life. Here’s what I figured out. One thing I want more of in my life for 2020 is social connection and friendship. As I’ve written about in a previous Weekly Balance, I moved to Galway last July and left most of my close friends in Dublin. And one of my 2020 promises to myself is that I’m gonna put myself out there and put some good energy into the world by trying new ways to make friends. So I figured, why not give what I want – friendship – to others? Which might just bring me some friendship too! So here’s a couple of things I’ve done which might help some of you guys if you’re in a similar friendship-seeking situation:

  • I downloaded the GirlCrew app, posted a message and got quite a few replies! I’m delighted with the response, and hopefully will meet some new faces and friends over coffee, food and/or walks in Galway in February. Definitely an app worth checking out – it’s costing me a euro per month but that’s very little to pay if I make a few friends from using it!
  • weekly yoga class – I found a great teacher in Galway called Baiba Sustere, whose classes I really connected with last year. I’m really excited for the next 6-week term to start in February!
  • Workshops, whether activity based like a yoga workshop, or others such as meditation or mindfulness workshops, can be a great way to meet people too.
  • Hiking groups or other activity groups are another solid idea.
  • Book club! I’m planning to join a book club in Galway city – definitely something to keep in mind if you love to read and want to share your experiences of a book with a group of new people.

As always, comment on this post if you have suggestions for ways to make friends you’ve found really helpful!

I’ve also been thinking about being kind in how I talk about my body. We all have those days where we aren’t exactly in love with how we look – and we know we’re our own worst critic! I had a few days this week where I just felt a bit meh and bleugh about my body, and you know what? That’s absolutely okay. I’m still getting used to my body after gaining some (much needed) weight last year – even though it’s been over 6 months since I reached a new stable weight, and I know its a healthy weight for me, its taking some time to keep my (irrational) inner critic in check. Whenever I get the bleugh vibes I remind myself of this favourite quote:

‘My body is an instrument, not an ornament.’

Hopefully that’s a mantra you can take into this week with you too! One thing that really helped get me out of that funky mood this weekend was to go out on Saturday night to Croke Park, and watch Dublin play football against Kerry. It was a narrow draw, and a fantastic game to see!


What I’m watching…

Okay, so I have EXCELLENT news for you fellow Grey’s Anatomy fans – season 16 has RESUMED!!! I am absolutely chuffed to have a weekly episode to look forward to again. I’m not going to start any new seasons of TV shows right now because I have an exam in a few weeks and I need to keep my procrastination as minimal as possible. But after the exam I’ll be keen to hear all recommendations from you guys!

What I’m reading…

This week, I finished two books! The first is called Breaking and Mending by Dr. Joanna Cannon. I shared a book review Instagram post yesterday which you can check out hereDr. Cannon is a UK-based and trained psychiatrist, and this book is her reflections on her years leading up to entering medical school, and her junior doctor years. I listened to this book on Audible, and although it definitely wasn’t my favourite audiobook to date (that’s still Becoming by Michelle Obama!), I did enjoy it. I found it at times hard to listen to, mostly because it brought me right back to the toughest of my junior doctor days quite vividly – those are powerful memories! I love reading the stories of other doctors – it helps us all to see that we are human just like anyone else, and it also helps me to see how much in common us doctors have.


I also finished 3 Women by Lisa Taddeo. I had heard A LOT about this book, and it did not disappoint – I was hooked. 3 Women is the (real life) story of three women based in the USA, told by Taddeo, who embedded herself into their lives over 8 years to learn their stories. The book focuses on all aspects of their lives, but particularly the emotional and sexual aspects. It’s a fantastic book, pretty hard to put down, and one I’m really glad I read. An 11/10 from me – definitely quite different from my more recent reads too!

What I’m listening to…

I released a brand new podcast episode on my own Podcast, and I was listening to that before sharing it with you guys! You can check it out here. Jenny Rosborough, a UK-registered nutritionist was my guest – we spoke about challenges in public health nutrition, and it was such an insightful and informative chat. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! I have a list of potential podcast guests made now after some great feedback from you guys, and I’m excited to get recording more 2020 episodes over the next few weeks.

Brews and Eats 

As I was in Dublin this week, I made sure to make a trip to one of my favourite cafes in the capital – Sprout! I absolutely love their menu, and pretty much always order the same thing – the Vegan Hoisin Mushroom bowl (with roasted squash instead of rice, just for taste preference – photo below!). It is SO GOOD – it’s inspired me to try a new lunch recipe for this week to recreate it, so I’ll share that with you guys if it turns out to be a success!

I also got to try breakfast at Tiller and Grain cafe in Dublin – my friend recommended the Overnight Oats to me, and as you can see below, this did not disappoint! I’ve had lunch here too – it’s a relatively new cafe, and well worth checking out if you’re in Dublin for a trip!

And that is a wrap for this week gang! I’m hoping to start planning some holidays for this year soon, both in Ireland and abroad. I have an exam in early April so I want to have trips to look forward to to get me through the study. So if you have any recommendations of your favourite places to visit in the world, let me know! Stockholm in Sweden is high on my list – I’ve also never been to Croatia or Iceland and want to visit those countries soon. Plus, I’ve never been to Australia either! Pop any travel faves you have in a comment on this post if you want to share yours.

Enjoy your brand new week gang! Don’t forget to aim for a bit of balance in there too.

Ciara 🙂 x


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