The Weekly Balance – #62

Welcome to the latest Weekly Balance post! Let’s take a look at the last seven days, what I’ve been thinking about and what I’m recommending to you guys from this week. Also, a very Happy Easter to you all!

What I’m thinking about…

Social media. I’ve had a lot of thoughts about social media lately and I just don’t know what I think and feel about it anymore. For me, it’s become a platform as part of The Irish Balance, a place where I originally and until very recently, shared predominantly educational posts on health topics and issues. In the last year with the pandemic, my following there grew substantially, to now almost 17,000 people following. That’s a lot – although miniscule in comparison to others. And I will say that my experience with social media to date has been (touch wood) positive – you guys following have almost always been kind, engaged, and interesting as a community online.

But the trouble I’m having I guess, is that as a doctor training to be a public health specialist, working for over a year now through a pandemic, and with commitments outside of work both professional and personal, I find I’m struggling to find the time for social media I had previously. And when posts go up, sure they do have an impact, and that’s not to be sneezed at. But what’s the long-term benefit? Will Instagram (and I say Instagram because I rarely use Twitter anymore, it’s a bit overwhelming and loud I find), which is essentially just an app, be obsolete in the not too distant future? If so, what then?

I have always seen the ups and the downsides of social media. Positives – connection, education, opportunity, friendship even, and I have an Instagram virtual Book Club now which I wouldn’t have been able to set up without the following I do have. Negatives – time, energy, distraction, trolling, comparison. The list goes on. And I know that my own control over my use is key, I’m well aware of that, but I don’t know. What is a life completely without social media like?

I’m not leaving social media anytime soon. But I am thinking differently about how I use it, now and in the future. Right now, the time and energy I enjoy giving to Instagram centre around my book reviews, book club content, and hopefully a little bit of inspiration, so I’m gonna stick with that.

What I’m reading…

I finished The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah last weekend and oh my GOSH did I love that book. As promised, I’ve shared a review – which you can find on my Instagram here.

Since then, I’ve read Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, the second book I’ve read by Reid following The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. So many of you recommended this one to me, and it did not disappoint. Set in the 1960s and 1970s, Daisy Jones and The Six is such a delicious story for escapism – following the infamous (fictional) The Six band and singer-songwriter Daisy Jones, the book is a recounting by all involved of the period of their global fame and success from beginning to explosive end. It’s a fantastic story of celebrity, rock and roll, romance, intrigue and also, the way it’s written is very different too – like a script of each character’s side of the story told in interview fashion.

One to curl up with in the sun and dive in!

As always, let me know what you’re reading in the comments below. And don’t forget our book club pick for April is The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah.

What I’m listening to…

Here’s my top 3 podcasts from this week.

The High Performance Podcast: This is a new podcast for me, though it’s been around a while. Hosted by Jake Humphrey and Professor Damian Hughes, this podcast is, as you’d expect from the title, focused on performance – hat it is that makes people excel. I’ve listened to the interviews with former rugby star Jonny Wilkinson and actor Matthew McConaughey – both are fascinating and really enjoyable.

Sentimental Garbage – Sentimental in the City: I’ve mentioned this podcast before but as it’s nearing the end of the series, I had to mention it again. It is SO GOOD. It’s a niche one of course, but I look forward to it every week, even as someone who hasn’t seen every single episode of Sex and the City. Host Caroline O’Donoghue and co-host Dolly Alderton are hilarious and dive into so much more than the stories of SATC itself. Next week they do the first SATC movie and I cannot wait!

Let’s Solve Nothing: I’ve been craving funny podcasts lately, and this one, an Irish podcast hosted by comedian Joanne McNally and television presenter Muireann O’Connell, is fitting the bill very well for me. The podcast covers several topics from ghosting to alcohol to Botox, with each episode a witty and laugh out loud conversation that really solves very little but in the best way possible.

And that’s a wrap for this week gang! If you want to get in touch, you can find me @theirishbalance on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. I hope you have a lovely week ahead folks – remember, stay informed with the advice from your local health authority regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay safe, wash your hands, wear a mask, keep your distance and be kind!

Ciara x

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