Welcome back to week 7 of The Weekly Balance! I hope you’ve all had an awesome week. In this post, I’m gonna take a look back at the last 7 days in my doctor and non-doctor life.
What went on in my doctor life…
This week, I got a day off to go to a course for trainee doctors called Wellness Matters. We have to do a certain number of course days as part of training, the majority of which focus on areas such as ethics and communications (among others). I was delighted to see a full day devoted to personal well-being, as this is something that can be extremely challenging to optimise as a trainee doctor. Because the nature of our job puts the needs of others ahead of our own, self-care for us can end up way down the priority list. In the one-day course, we spoke about stress and its effects on the body, how to manage stress and recognise the signs of it in our junior colleagues (a very important point!), and we did some mindfulness exercises. Although the system we work in as doctors is a massive factor in our work stress, that’s more challenging to change in the short-term, so having a stress management toolkit we can rely on day to day is really important. How we react to events outside of our control can shape their outcome, and that’s the biggest learning point I took from the day.
What I’m thinking about…
This week included Valentine’s Day as I’m sure you’re all aware! I shared a post on my Instagram about the importance of self-love on the 14th. I did this because I’m a firm believer that you love others better and more fully when you love yourself, and I think for quite a number of years I didn’t love myself as I should have. To me, self-love means treating yourself with compassion, kindness and respect – as you would a family member, friend, partner, pet – you get what I mean! And that is easier said than done, but its a journey worth going on. I’ve devoted a lot of personal headspace in the past 12 months to figuring that out for myself, and although I’m not there yet, I’m on my way. A simple act of self-love from my Valentine’s Day was to buy myself a rose – a very cute one you can see below!
I’ve also been thinking about kindness. As many of you will have seen, this weekend the sudden passing of a well-known UK celebrity was announced, and the shock across the UK and Ireland in particular is clear. I won’t discuss the details of it all in this post, but I think what is clear from it (among other things) is that we really do not ever fully know what someone is going through on the inside. Especially in a world where social media only shows us the highlights of people’s lives, and where there is now a phenomenon of ‘cancel culture’ which I think is one of the most toxic things about social media. Remember, the value of simple acts of kindness cannot be understated. Kindness is, as was said in a lovely quote I read this week, a simple way to show another that there is love to be found in this world. For example, my housemate bought me a very cute Valentine’s Day gift on Friday, and honestly that little act of kindness just made my whole week – including this gorgeous little metal bookmark in a C shape for my name (see photo below)!
What I’m reading…
This week I finished a book called When All Is Said by Anne Griffin – an Irish author! This is a fiction novel which tells the story of elderly man Maurice Hannigan, who reflects on those most dear to him throughout life in this book, giving 5 special people a toast. It’s set in Ireland (county Meath!), and is honestly one of the loveliest stories I’ve read in a while. Somehow it manages to be both heart-warming and heart-breaking, which is no mean feat!
What struck me most about this book is the power of words left unsaid. The things Maurice wishes he had expressed, the ways he wished he had treated those he loved at different times, and what he would do if given the chance of a do over. I think we’ve all experienced those feelings, no matter what age we are – I certainly have, and I do my best to look, but not stare, at the past if reflecting on it. This book reminded me of the importance of always striving to be the best person you can be, to have family and friends at the top of the life priority list, and to SHOW those you love that they are a priority. Call them. Tell them you love them. And tell them what you love ABOUT them. Don’t put it off. Life flies by faster than we realise!
My current book is Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez. This is a non-fiction book all about data bias pertaining to gender, which is pervasive in our modern world. I’m over halfway through this book and really enjoying it so far – it’s opened my eyes to so many aspects of day to day life where hidden gender bias can be found, from the design of cars to the healthcare setting. I’m hoping to finish it by next weekend, so stay tuned for my review!
As always, let me know what you’re reading in a comment below!
What I’m listening to…
Many of you will know that I love the Super Soul Sundays Podcast by Oprah Winfrey, and most recently she has launched a series called Your Life in Focus 2020 with some awesome guests. This week, I listened to the Michelle Obama and Amy Schumer interviews, and they were both quite honestly two of the best podcasts I’ve listened to in a while. Especially the Michelle Obama episode – she is just such an inspiring woman! Pop these Podcasts into your eyes this coming week – enjoy!
Brews and Eats
My work pal suggested we grab a dinner out to celebrate our Wellness Matters course day this week, and as a pre-Valentine’s celebration, and I was 100% game for that! We went for dinner at one of my favourite spots in Galway – Kai! I just love this place and hadn’t had dinner there before. It was absolutely DELICIOUS – I had a tasty hake dish and didn’t want it to end! As I’ve said before, put Kai on your foodie list for your next visit to Galway, whether you’ve been already or not!
And that’s a wrap for this week gang – I hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend, and here’s to a brand new week ahead!
Ciara 🙂 x