We can all admit to wishing we had more balance in our lives. How many times have you said, "I just don't have the right balance at the moment." Maybe you think you need to work less, have more (or less!) time with your children, get outside more, exercise more, eat more healthily. What ever it is you and almost everyone else has an idea of what balance means to them, their lives and their mental health.
'Tipping the balance,' explores these concepts with a range of different people. Parents, business owners, people living with grief, overcoming abuse, mental health specialists. We have it all here and I hope you can listen to these shows and feel in someway you have spent time tipping the balance in favour of your own mental health.
You can find me on instagram @thebalanceddoula
Love Katie x
Sandra Ng - The Positive Mindset Coach. What is it that shapes our mindsets and how our upbringing and life experiences affect us.
Today we hear from The Positive Mindset Coach, Sandra Ng. In this episode Sandra shares some of her incredible life story. We discuss what it was like growing up Chinese in Scotland and the difficulties of always feeling different to her peers. Sandra shares how racism and bullying impacted her and touches on her unconventional family dynamics which led to her being raised by different Scottish families and starting to work in her family business from the age of 8 years old.
Sandra describes the many challenges she’s faced in her adult life as well and how her life experiences helped give her insight into the world of mindset coaching. We cover, debt, unemployment, loss, infertility and what factors contribute to our mindsets and approach to life. Why do so many of us feel as though we aren't good enough and live our lives based on the expectations of others?
Sandras story is truly inspirational and I know you will love hearing her share her story as much as I did.
You can connect with Sandra on IG - @sandra_thepositivemindsetcoach and on FB - https://www.facebook.com/sandrangthepositivemindsetcoach/
Midwifery, the work of a skilled birth keeper and how a lack of balance can be so harmful in the world of birth
Today we hear from Kemi Johnson, Kemi takes us on a journey through her life and explains how she always felt a calling to become a midwife from a very young age. Kemi was finally able to accept that calling in her late 30s and she retrained as a midwife whilst raising her children as a single mother.
Following your dreams isn't always plain sailing and Kemi shares the highs and lows she experienced, including some hard hitting lessons that are painful reminders of how she wants to support the families she works with.
We discuss what it means to find balance in the birth world and the seemingly opposing sides of birth, the medical institution on one side and the staunch opposition of anything medical on the other. We talk openly about the failings of the current maternity system so please take care of yourself whilst listening if you are currently pregnant or have experienced birth trauma yourself.
Kemi shares her experience of racism as a black midwife and what she’s learned by going through the system and coming all the way out the other side.
You can connect with Kemi on instagram @kemibirthjoyjohnson
Mandy Hyde- having a major career change in her 40's, taking ownership of her health and the joy of homeopathy and cold water swimming
Today we hear from Mandy Hyde. Mandy worked a high pressure job as a top television producer for the BBC and Channel 4 for many years. Mandy worked on some of my favourite TV shows growing up, the clothes show, embarrassing bodies, 10 years younger are just a few of them.
Mandy says in her 20’s she was burnt out, working hard and playing hard and eventually that took its toll and she was diagnosed with an overactive thyroid at a young age.
Despite three years of very strong medication to try and make Mandy better nothing was working and her symptoms were getting worse, not better.
A close friend of hers suggested giving homeopathy a try and despite Mandy’s scepticism she did give it a go and that decision changed her life forever.
Mandy’s story is one of taking control of her own health and recognising what was important in her life in order to maintain a healthy balance. Mandy decided to walk away from her highly paid, well sort after job in TV and started her own business as a homeopath. This was a scary decision at the time but she has never looked back.
Mandy is a fellow cold water swimmer and she shares what regular cold water dips has done for her.
You can find Mandy online https://www.homeopathybymandy.co.uk/index.htm
This episode is a really uplifting chat, please share with a friend who you think will enjoy it.
Sarah Kennedy Norquoy - cold water swimming, living in Orkney and caring for her mum with dementia
Today we hear from Sarah Kennedy Norquoy. Sarah moved from Cambridge to the Orkney Islands, a single mum with her 2 children in 2008. She is now happily married and has lived in Orkney for 13 years.
When Sarah turned 49 she wrote a list of 49 things she wanted to do before she turned 50 and cold water swimming was one of those. She was hooked straight away. She describes how this list and the cold water swimming was part of a much bigger journey of self discovery.
In January 2019, Sarah’s world was shattered by the death of a close friend and her mother’s dementia diagnosis, both within the space of two weeks. Sarah’s book, Salt On My Skin, details how she coped with these devastating events and the effect that cold water swimming had on her life.
In this episode we discuss some of the factors to consider to stay safe whilst wild swimming in the sea. Sarah has swum in the Orkney sea thousands of times and it was really interesting to hear what she’s learned in order to stay safe.
We touch on the mystique of living in Orkney and the importance of being immersed in nature, cold water swimming and the healing power of nature.
Sarah shares her experiences of supporting her parents whilst her mums dementia is steadily getting worse each day. It is an open and raw account of grief and worry about caring for a parent with such a devastating disease. Sarah says that although it is incredibly difficult there are still beautiful and tender moments that she will cherish forever.
You can find Sarah on Instagram @seasaltandsarah
If you enjoy the show please subscribe and share with a friend who you think will enjoy listening.
Love Katie x
Dr Natalie Girling - the importance of palliative care, an often misunderstood specialism of medicine and why cold water swimming brings her so much joy.
Today we hear from Dr Natalie Girling. Natalie is a palliative care doctor, a cold water swimmer and a mother of three young children. Natalie came close to quitting her career in medicine but she was able to find joy and fulfilment in her profession when working in the field of palliative care.
Natalie previously worked as a GP and she remarks that, “Working in palliative care gave me the things that I’d wished being a doctor was all about.”We discuss the often misunderstood specialism of palliative care and how actually accessing palliative care early on in the course of a non-curable disease can improve not only your quality of life but also increase life expectancy in some cases.
Natalie shares how she enjoys being able to spend proper time with her patients and focussing on the mental wellbeing is one of the most crucial elements of her role. It seems like this is certainly one area of medicine that the mind body connection is well recognised.
Natalie reflects on how working in palliative care has taught her to "not take a single day for granted, value things, enjoy people and to “not sweat the small stuff.”"Natalie is a fellow sea swimmer and cold water enthusiast and she explains how the cold water immersion is like an intense exercise in mindfulness when you really can only focus on that moment and the tingling sensations all over your body. We discuss the benefit of having that quiet time outside, surrounded by nature and away from the stresses of family life.
As well as cold water swimming, we discuss what else she likes to do to try and tip the balance in favour of her mental health.
The importance of mental preparation for birth after trauma; my chat with Hannah Palamara about her VBAC after 2 emergency caesareans.
This is a short bonus interview for you to enjoy! I interviewed the amazing Hannah Palamara for Episode 3 of Tipping The Balance and we recorded this extra chat just after.
Hannah and I have both had VBAC births (vaginal birth after caesarean.) Hannah was my birth photographer and managed to capture my VBAC birth at home in 2019. I will cherish those photos and birth video for ever.
During my labour I was flooded with fears and doubts and it really caught me off guard. I was sure I had done "the work" and preparation to be able to sail through my second birth but it turned out I was wrong.
Even though I had spent the best part of 2 years preparing and planning for my home VBAC I found the labour incredibly challenging. You can http://www.balanceddoula.com/new-blog/2020/11/3/edens-birth-story-a-home-vbac-home-vaginal-birth-after-previous-caesarean-section (read my birth story and watch my birth video here).
In this bonus episode Hannah shares her experience of preparing for a VBAC for her third baby after 2 emergency caesarean births. We discuss how her preparation for her third baby differed from her other 2 births. We focus on the mental aspect of preparing for birth after previous traumatic birth experiences and how crucial that can be.
You can connect with Hannah via her https://www.hannahpalamara.com/ (website) or https://www.instagram.com/hannahpalamarahonestlyyou/ (instagram )
Please share this episode with someone who you think will benefit from hearing this uplifting chat.
Love Katie x
I was proved wrong!
I thought this podcast was going to be about birth and babies because Katie is a doula but I was proved wrong!! This podcast is about so much more than that. My children are older so I was worried I wouldn’t be able to relate but the focus on mental health is important for us all. How everyone approaches balance is such an important conversation. I’d like to hear more about topics like the menopause. Great show!
So glad I found this podcast & Katie
As a mum preparing for a VBAC, I particularly love the episode which shares an hba2c story. However, this podcast covers so many relatable topics regarding mental health and balance in life. Thank you Katie for creating this fantastic recourse!
This is really helpful - hearing vbac experiences (both practical and emotional) is really useful in prepping for your own journey. And I loved listening to two pals chatting and supporting each other. All mums-to-be need that camaraderie and connection!