Welcome back to the fifth installment of The Weekly Balance! We’ve made it through another week – and I hope enjoyed ourselves along the way. Here’s how my week looked!
What went on in my doctor life…
As many of you will have seen on the news by now, there is currently a global outbreak of a new (novel) coronavirus – 2019-nCoV (nCoV = novel coronavirus), which originated in the city of Wuhan in the Hubei province of China. This week, the World Health Organisation declared this outbreak to be a PHEIC, which stands for Public Health Emergency of International Concern. There have been several PHEICs declared in recent years, such as the Ebola and Zika outbreaks. PHEICs are seen as extraordinary events which constitute a public health risk to other WHO member states via the international spread of disease, and potentially required a coordinated international response.
As a public health doctor (and a pretty new one at that!) I have been learning so much over the past week especially – protecting the health the population is a cornerstone of public health medicine and this is obviously an extremely unusual situation. So it has been a busy week for public health – to put it lightly! Plus this situation is very rapidly evolving. Many countries outside of China have by now been affected by this outbreak. It’s very important to stay up to date on this situation wherever you are – below are some trustworthy and factual websites to check out depending on what country you are from:
- The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (https://www.hpsc.ie/)
- The World Health Organisation (https://www.who.int/)
- The European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/home)
- Public Health England (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/public-health-england)
- NHS (https://www.nhs.uk/)
- The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (https://www.cdc.gov/)
What I’m thinking about…
This week, I was thinking about friendship! I wrote last week about making 2020 a year to make new friends and establish social connections in Galway. I recently downloaded the GirlCrew app (an app platform for girls to make friends!), and put a post in to share a little bit about me, and suggest that if fellow Galway gals wanted to grab a coffee, I’d be happy to organise a little meet-up. And that’s what happened! I got quite a few replies actually which was lovely, and ended up having a Sunday morning coffee with some new people! It’s something I plan to do again for sure. So my message from that experience is to just put yourself and your good energy out into the world, and don’t be afraid. At best, you’ll get some good energy back and at worst, you’ll have learnt from a new experience and made some memories along the way.
I was also thinking this week about the importance of keeping positive habits constant in your life when things get very busy. This past week in work, there was a lot going on, and my schedule changed on the day pretty much everyday. That can be something that freaks me out a bit, and as you guys know, I love having a plan, so when my plan goes out the window, there’s potential for me to get quite stressed out about it. But you know what? Life happens. Plot twists in every chapter of the story of your life will happen – things we cannot control. So instead, I focused on keeping certain positive habits constant – daily movement (whether that’s a walk, some yoga or a trip to the gym), daily nourishment, SLEEP and my bedtime routine, writing in my journal, reading and my daily 10 minutes using the Calm app. Oh, and talking out worries, fears and frustrations, be it with friends or family. None of those things have to take up much time in the day, but keeping them constant as much as possible can really help, especially when it feels like everything else in life is in a state of flux.
What I’m reading…
I’m currently reading Pretty Unhealthy by Dr. Nikki Stamp. Nikki is an Australian cardio-thoracic surgeon, and a seriously impressive lady. This book is her second (her first, which I haven’t read yet, is called Can You Die Of A Broken Heart?), and I’m absolutely loving it. The book is a deep dive into our societal obsession with health and wellness, which is fuelled in no small part by social media, and the impact this obsession has had on our relationships with food, fitness and body image, among other things. Nikki also very bravely shares the effect this has had on her personally in this book, and I have to say it’s resonating so much with me. Social media (Instagram in particular) has definitely negatively affected my relationship with food and with exercise in the past, and thankfully in the past 2 years I’ve become very aware of that, and actively taken steps to distance myself from any content that doesn’t add value to my life. I’ve got about 60 pages of this book left and will be sharing a review on my Instagram when I’m finished it, so definitely keep an eye out for that! I shared a review of 3 Women yesterday on my Instagram, which you can check out here.
What I’m listening to…
Currently I’m listening to an audiobook called War Doctor by trauma and vascular surgeon David Nott. I’m about halfway through at the moment, so I’ll share a proper review when I’m finished it, but so far I’m really enjoying the stories shared in it. Surgery is a path I never really considered as a doctor and it’s always fascinating to me to learn about the different routes a doctor can take in their career.
I’m still listening each week to the Catch and Kill podcast by Ronan Farrow. I cannot recommend it enough – I’ll probably get the book of the same title as my next Audible choice – definitely a series to check out if you haven’t!
Brews and Eats
This weekend, my best friend Niamh came to visit me in Galway for a day trip, which was absolutely lovely. Niamh and I actually met through social media, which is a great example of the positive potential of using these apps! We had a monster catch-up (which was very overdue) and I brought us to one of my favourite spots in Galway for food – Kai! I absolutely love this spot – there are queues for 30 minutes before opening time to get in, always a mark of a tasty choice! The menu is innovative, exciting and changes frequently. Definitely worth a visit for brunch, lunch or dinner if you’re planning a trip to Galway! Today, I had a dish of eggplant katsu, poached eggs and a spicy cannellini bean mix with feta – holy moly, it was divine. A lovely meal out after a week of meal prepped lunches and dinners!
I may be giving a talk at an exciting event soon, so I wanted to give you guys a heads-up here! If it gets confirmed, it’ll be a Dublin wellness event at the end of this month, so keep an eye on my Instagram page, I’ll hopefully be able to confirm it this week.
AND. I booked my holidays this week! I am beyond excited to be going on a road trip around the West Coast of the USA later this year. I’d love to hear any recommendations you guys have of places to visit, things to do, foodie spots to check out, etc. over there – in between studying this month I’ll be starting to plan little parts of the trip, so definitely leave a comment below or send me a message on Instagram if you have any favourites!
And that’s a wrap folks! I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s blog post. As always, let me know – leave a comment here, send me a message on social media, you know what to do! Find me @theirishbalance on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook!
Ciara 🙂 x