Welcome to week SIXTEEN of The Weekly Balance! This post marks roughly the fourth month of this blog series and I’m so glad I started it. I really hope you guys are enjoying reading these articles as much as I enjoy writing them. Let’s look at the past seven days, and some lessons I’ve learnt and favourites I’ve picked up along the way to share with you all.
What went on in my doctor life…
I’m sure you guys are well used to me saying this by now, but all of my day job these past few weeks has been centered on the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s funny (except it’s not funny at all), back in January when as public health doctors we began preparing for and learning in earnest about the novel coronavirus, Sars-CoV2, I don’t think anyone, whether junior, senior, or retired, thought the situation would evolve to where it is now. A global emergency which has irrevocably changed and continues to change the lives of so many of us. If I stop to dig too deep into my thoughts on it, and forget to slow down and take it day by day, I’ll admit I definitely get overwhelmed. So instead, I’m focusing on what I can do, and I know I’ve said this in previous articles, but I’m sure like me many of you need a regular reminder. Taking each day as it comes, remembering the key steps we can all take to protect ourselves and our loved ones, and maintaining even a small amount of routine to our days – all of these approaches combined are so important.
As I usually do in these weekly blog posts, I’d likely to take this opportunity to encourage every single one of you to help us to help you. Please stay up to date on the COVID-19 situation via your local health authority and follow the public health advice given. I’ll direct you to the following websites below – which is for you will depend on your nationality and place of residence, but I’ve included those for Irish, UK and USA folks, plus the World Health Organisation which applies to us all:
- The Irish Health Service Executive (https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/)
- 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/)
Stay home. Stay safe. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Help stop the spread of COVID-19 and save more and more lives every single day.
What I’m thinking about…
The value of slowing down. It is all too easy to get swept up in the pace of the news about COVID-19 – and it really can get a bit frantic in your own head. I definitely found that this week, especially with how busy work is, and I’m making a conscious effort these days to slow down outside of work. Many of us have more time than ever before at home these days and it’s a great opportunity to give some of that time to hobbies you might have left on the back-burner back when our world wasn’t wrapped up in COVID-19 (seems hard to remember those times now I know!). For example, for me, those hobbies have been reading and writing. Those are my two hobbies that put me in a bit a flow, where time slows down and yet passes without me noticing too. Although this is certainly a worrisome time in the world, we can also use it as an opportunity to build and devote energy to hobbies and activities we enjoy at home, and these can take your mind off of COVID-19 concerns too!
What I’m reading…
This week I finished my most recent read – American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. I shared a review on my Instagram yesterday – I LOVE this book. You know those books that stay with you, that you can’t put out of your mind? This novel is one of those. In an incredible way. I couldn’t put it down and I couldn’t put it out of my mind. 101/10. American Dirt is a fiction novel which tells the story of Lydia and her son Luca. Lydia, a bookstore owner in Acapulco, Mexico, has her and Luca’s happy lives turned upside down the day their entire family are taken from them by the most powerful cartel in the city and country. They have to flee, flee Mexico, flee everything they know, and become migrants, on a life or death mission to make it north to the USA. Told through the eyes of Lydia, Luca and some of the migrants they travel with along the way, this story gripped me from the very first sentence. I even found myself googling the cities mentioned in the book and the infamous La Bestia train that the travel on top of for much of their journey. If you haven’t read this book, put it at the top of your list. Its amazing escapism from the pandemic too! What a story, what a book. I wonder will they make it a movie?! I hope so!
As always, let me know what you’re reading in the comments on this post! My current read is The Imposter Cure by Dr. Jessamy Hibberd. I’ve been so excited to read this for quite a while and finally it arrived last week! I’m hoping to get Dr. Hibberd on my podcast soon too – but I want to read the book first!
What I’m listening to…
My podcast of the week has got to be the latest episode of the How To Fail Podcast by Elizabeth Day. In this episode Elizabeth Day tells the heart-warming and heart-breaking stories of the general public during this difficult time, from frontline healthcare staff to other essential workers to those who have lost loved ones. It really is such a special episode and stayed with me long after I finished it.
As always, you can find my podcast, The Irish Balance Podcast, on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Podbean here. Tomorrow I’ll be sharing an episode with Irish dietitian Orla Walsh all about gut health. I so enjoyed this chat with Orla and learnt a lot myself! I hope you guys enjoy it too.
Recipe of the Week
My recipe of the week for you guys has to be my Peanut Butter Cookies – I can’t wait to make a batch of these this weekend! They are melt in the mouth good. I’m also going to make my Mixed Bean Chili Pasta Bake I think – I’ve got a craving for chili!
And that’s a wrap gang! I hope you enjoyed this sixteenth Weekly Balance post. As always, you can find me @theirishbalance on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I hope you have a lovely week ahead folks – remember, stay home, stay safe, wash your hands, keep your distance and be kind!
Ciara 🙂 x