Welcome back to week 10 of The Weekly Balance! I’m delighted to be keeping this series going and I hope you guys are enjoying these post too!
What went on in my doctor life…
As I’m sure many of you will have seen on the news, Ireland has in the past week seen its first few cases of COVID-19 confirmed. The healthcare system in this country is under major pressure with all of the implications of these new cases, and it’s a very challenging time for all involved. Public health officials have been working flat out these past few weeks to manage this global outbreak, and I can say as a public health doctor myself that we really are working so, SO hard on our containment efforts. I have shared a few Instagram update posts in the last couple of weeks on this situation which you can have a peek at here. As the prevention measures we can all take to reduce our risk of COVID-19 are the most important message we can send, I’ve attached below a great infographic from the World Health Organisation on these. I’ve also attached the bullet points to great web resources for you guys to stay up to date on this situation. I know I’ve mentioned it a lot in my Weekly Balance articles but it’s my whole day job these days and its extremely important to talk about.
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…
Balance. Balance has been a bit of a challenge for me these past couple of weeks in particular. I have felt like it’s very difficult to switch off from the COVID-19 situation – because it is. It’s what all of our efforts are focused on at work, it’s on the news constantly, and its the topic of conversation among most people inside and outside of work. And that’s without even mentioning social media!
So what I am doing my best to do, is to maintain some semblance of balance in my life outside of work. Whatever that looks like! It might be as simple as getting myself to the gym in the morning before work (movement helps clear my head, especially in times of ‘busyness’), doing a little yoga flow at the end of the day, making time (even 10-15 minutes!) to grab lunch or make a nourish meal, or doing a few minutes of deep breathing or meditation before bed. Cooking and reading also really help me to unwind. Balance might also be making time for little acts of kindness to yourself or to others – picking up a little gift for a friend, making a cup of tea for someone, giving yourself even five minutes to enjoy a coffee, or calling up a family member or friend to chat to. There are lots of ways we can engineer a bit of balance into our day to day life and I think its so important that we do that.
What I’m reading…
I finished The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood this week! What a book. Written by Margaret Atwood, this book is a dystopian novel set in a future universe of America (Gilead), where an oppressive patriarchal totalitarian regime rules. This book tells the story of Handmaids, women who have been forced into the role of bearing children specifically for the infertile higher social status wives of Commanders. The names of the Handmaids reflect the Commander they are assigned to – this book is told through the eyes of Offred. The book is an insight in Offred’s life both past and present, and being honest, the present is pretty shocking. The glimpes into Offred’s past life, when she had a husband, a daughter, and love, is full of colour and warmth, and starkly contrasts with her present reality. The role of the Handmaid is essentially to be a ‘vessel’ as Offred says herself – to bear children for the Commander and his wife. I found this book was a very intense read, and I didn’t want to put it down although at times it was uncomfortably bleak. Definitely one I would recommend though, and I have the sequel The Testaments ready to start soon!
As always, let me know what you’re reading in the comments below! I’m going to read The Beekeeper of Aleppo next before starting The Testaments. I’ve also got the books ‘Nudge‘ and ‘Also Human‘ on my list!
What I’m listening to…
This week I really enjoyed a Podcast episode on the Fit and Fearless podcast about sleep, with guest and sleep scientist Dr. Sophie Bostock. Sleep is a number one priority for me – its a foundation of our physical and mental health. I aim for 7-8 hours sleep per night – 8 hours is really the aim! This episode is a great listen, discussing why sleep is so important for our health and longevity, tips to get a better night’s sleep, and lots of frequently asked questions answered. Definitely one to download for the week ahead!
On the topic of the 2019 novel coronavirus, I also really enjoyed an episode on the Science VS Podcast titled ‘Coronavirus: Facts and Fears.’ Its a nice listen which dives into some important concepts about the virus and explains them really well, with guest interviews too.
Brews and Eats
This weekend we had a lovely family breakfast at a spot called Kennedy’s, local to my hometown in Dublin. It reminded me of how much I love a) a breakfast out in good company every so often and b) scrambled eggs! Honestly, they are just the dream. That’s definitely my favourite way to have eggs, and its also one of the ways to my heart for sure. Genuinely though, sharing meals with family or friends (or both!) is such a simple joy to be grateful for in life. It’s a luxury of course to be able to eat out every now and then, and not one I take for granted.
And that’s a wrap from me guys! I want you wish you all a very Happy International Women’s Day! I’ve shared a post on my Instagram to celebrate this great day – have a read of that here. I hope you enjoyed this week’s Weekly Balance article. Have yourselves a lovely Sunday and new week ahead. If you’re looking for some recipe inspiration, I recommend checking out my current favourite recipe on my blog which I’ve made for breakfasts on the go this week – my Peanut Butter Berry Breakfast Bakes! Recipe can be found right here.
Ciara 🙂 x