We’ve recently passed the equinox and daylight saving has ended, which means autumn is finally here.
As social distancing eases and handwashing-fatigue sets in, the autumn-winter cold and flu season has started with a bang. After record low rates over the past two years, these nasty viruses are back with a vengeance.
Other than re-doubling your immune protection, be particularly cautious if you have a history of asthma. In the past week alone, I’ve had two friends who’ve not had a flare-up in years, end up in the ER with acute attacks. Jumping on asthma symptoms early can stop it from exacerbating, so keep a puffer with you at all times or review your management plan with your GP if it’s out of date.
Naturopathy works well alongside conventional medication, so remember to book a consultation to stock up on the appropriate lung-strengthening herbs to help you through the season.
Tools for compassion and joy in challenging times
The seasons keep changing but it feels like our state of uncertainty hasn’t moved on. How are you coping with the bad news cycle? With so many concerning events near and far, it’s understandable if your resilience is running low.
During times like these there are a few techniques I use to maintain compassion. If you find you can’t bear watching yet another disaster story and are running out of empathy, try these tips to find your equilibrium to overcome compassion fatigue.
Or perhaps your caring is in overdrive and you desperately need something to improve your mood. Here are some tools to lift our spirit, at times like these.
As the days get shorter and there’s a chill in the air, I’m getting back into cooking stir fries. I love the flexibility of a stir fry, not just the mix and match veg and protein but also the flavourings. One night it’s Japanese influenced with ginger, tamari and mirin and the next it’s a Chinese twist with some black bean, chilli and garlic. If there are fresh herbs on hand, I keep it light and bright with handfuls of mint, coriander and Vietnamese mint.
If you need to up your stir fry game, here’s a simple guide on how to make fab stir fries.
On a personal note
I’ve been a little quiet on the socials recently, as it’s a busy time of year for my ovarian cancer advocacy/consumer/research partnerships.
In March I undertook 42 hours of volunteering. This work included a couple of interviews – one with a PhD candidate exploring how we feel about being called ‘survivors’ and another for Cure Cancer’s upcoming campaign. I have an ongoing project with a scientist and her team, creating a questionnaire regarding how patients feel about a new predictive test. As always, there’s been a number of regular committee meetings.
I also attended a large gynae-oncology conference in Melbourne. It was amazing to be at the event in person and meet everyone after almost two years of working remotely. Interstate flights, crowded catch ups during the breaks and even a gala dinner with dancing felt both wonderfully ‘normal’ and abnormal at the same time.
Fortunately, not all months are this busy. I find the consumer roles inspiring but clinic and mentoring are still my priority. Like all things in life, it’s about finding a balance.