This podcast is a safe space for nurses to be heard, to be seen, and to be understood. My name is Ali, and I have been an ICU nurse for seven years. As ever purposeful and fulfilling our job is, it comes with many sacrifices and challenges. Not only can it affect personal lives and relationships, but it takes a toll on our well-being. My guests and I have conservations on the importance of self-preservation, self-care, mental health and tools and resources on how to protect well-being. My hope is to inspire listeners to practice a fulfilling life of peace and happiness and potential healing.
Resilience & Bravery with Sophie
1:12:14Welcome back to Humanity is a Beautiful Thing. As you may or may not have picked up, I work full time and generally also pick up extra shifts and all of us know too well the pressures of winter, it has been busy and stressful, so we are back a couple of weeks later than what I had expected. Part of developing this podcast was to shed light on the true realities of being an ICU nurse so I try to practice what I preach about well-being and self-care and and I have needed my recent days off to re-set, recharge and do things for myself. I should forewarn this episode may be triggering and bring up a lot of feelings and emotions, I know I felt that during this interview so please be mindful of yourselves and take breaks if you need to, but I think it is so important to have these conversations and to bring awareness of the effects of the job, what we may be experiencing and that you are not alone in how you may be feeling. The first episode of 2024 I am joined by Sophie. Sophie is an intensive care nurse that took a career break due to the pressures of ICU during and post COVID. In what would have 4 years since we started to first hear about COVID and a few months before the first patients entered our ICUs, we discuss COVID, and the long term impacts it had and continues to have on the healthcare system and nurses. This is a very raw and honest conversation about why Sophie left ICU, we discuss the idea around what we feel ‘we should’ be doing as nurses instead of what we may want to do, the reality of burnout, the aftermath of COVID and that it is brave to say you may need to step away but how sometimes that makes you feel like a failure. There is also a strong theme on questions and thoughts on trauma, PTSD, and therapy. Sophie and I discuss themes around trauma and PTSD and discuss research we have read but by no means are we experts or giving advice and if this episode was triggering, you feel like you need more support or if you have more questions on these themes then please seek out advice from a medical professional. I am in awe and so appreciative of Sophie’s honesty and openness about her experiences with nursing and COVID because without people being brave like Sophie sometimes these topics are not discussed, although this conversation bought up so many emotions it felt so very important to have this conversation and the shining light through it all, as we talk about is nurses comradery, friendships and bonds and that our bravery, resilience and the ability to lean on one another is what makes us so special and so special to one another.
A Parent at the Bedside
34:22Stephen, Shawn and their family consented to the recording and release of this episode. On today’s episode of Humanity is a Beautiful Thing I am joined by Stephen. In 2018 Stephen’s son Shawn was working and living in Sydney, Australia. On the 29th of July he fell 12 meters off an overpass. He was a major trauma and sustained multiple life-threatening injuries including a traumatic brain injury, pelvic fractures, facial fractures, and skull fractures, amoung others. After spending four months in hospital Shawn made a full recovery. Stephen and I have kept in contact via email since then and I have had the privilege of hearing updates on how Shawn has been over the last five years. This conversation with Stephen was so humbling. We discussed the realties and helplessness that can be felt whilst being a family member at the bedside and that amongst the difficult patient presentations and times there are some wonderful stories to. Even in their worst times they were and continue to be so thankful and grateful for the work we do. I am very thankful and appreciative for this conversation, and I think it was very courageous for Stephen to come on to talk to me about what was such a painful time for him and his family so I hope this episode brings solace, hope and a reminder that your job is recognised, cherished, and valued and you touch and have an impact on people’s lives well beyond their admission.
All Soul with Liv D
45:33On today episode I am joined by my SoulCycle spin instructor, Liv. I used today’s episode to not merely have a discussion on what SoulCycle is and why I find Liv inspiring but to shed some light on the importance of community and where you find your community or communities, ways you can fill your cup and where you can find the things you need in places that you did not think you would find it. Liv is a spin instructor at SoulCycle and Nike Well Collective Coach, her classes are spicy, fun, and powerful but above all they are filled with love and a reminder that we are all human and in this together. Liv is awe inspiring with her energy, kindness and in her words and I have always been so appreciative of her openness about mental health and therapy. We have discussions around community, how even in a spin class we can give a moment to reflect on… Is this the hardest thing I’ve ever been through? The strength in just showing up, remembering to be thankful for our bodies, the importance of disconnecting so you can connect back to yourself to be able give to others, that sometimes the scariest and bravest thing you can say is… I need help and by practising kindness to others you end up being kinder to yourself. I am hoping the listeners can let me know what they do or what they are thinking about doing to fill their cups and maybe inspire people to help build a nursing community as well.
Breathwork with Rory Warnock
44:31On the second episode of Humanity is a Beautiful Thing I am joined by Rory Warnock. Rory specialises in breathwork and nervous system regulation using evidence-based breathing tools and techniques to help improve mental and physical health and optimise wellbeing and performance. Rory is an industry-leading performance and wellness coach, ultra endurance and ultramarathon runner, ambassador, and keynote speaker. I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation; Rory was so professional yet so easy to talk to. His evidence-based research and breathing tools and techniques are accessible, simple and vital to our health. I hope you learn as much from this episode as I did, and it opens up your mind to appreciating the importance of our breath. Rory discusses breathing techniques we can use to upregulate, to bring more energy and alertness into the nervous system, the brain and body and breathing techniques to downregulate, to feel calmer and more relaxed in the moment. He describes how we can use deep breathing proactively and reactively, increasing heart rate variability to give ourselves more nervous system balance, improve our decision making and cognition and living our lives by design rather than by default. As Rory explains throughout the episode breathwork is accessible 24/7 and the more we give attention to our breath, our brain and our body, the happier and healthier we’ll be in the future.
Dr. Tara Swart
1:01:17On the first episode of humanity is a beautiful thing I am joined by Dr. Tara Swart a medical doctor, former psychiatrist in the NHS, neuroscientist, senior lecturer at MIT and best-selling author of ‘The Source.’ Open your mind change your life. In this episode Tara discusses how science and spirituality can co-exist, managing our emotions, neuroplasticity, the ability for the brain to change throughout life, manifestation and vision boards explained through cognitive science, boosting our dopamine, the effects neuroaesthetics has on our health, mental health, and longevity and what makes life worth living. The Source: Open Your Mind, Change Your Life https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1785042009 Reinvent Yourself with Dr. Tara https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/reinvent-yourself-with-dr-tara/id1646054565 https://open.spotify.com/show/7w28ne8lRqBEsgny7rze5b?si=6a79536550d54d55
Humanity is a Beautiful Thing
2:05This podcast is a safe space for nurses to be heard, to be seen, and to be understood. My name is Ali, and I have been an Intensive Care Nurse for seven years. I know the reality of what it is to be a nurse, the emotional toll, and the fast-paced, critical challenges that we are met with every day. But during this intensity, how do we protect our well-being? As ever purposeful and fulfilling our job is, it comes with many sacrifices and challenges. Not only can it affect our personal lives and relationships, but it takes a toll on our own well-being. My guests and I have conservations on the importance of self-preservation, self-care, mental health and tools and resources on how to protect our well-being. My hope is to inspire listeners to practice a fulfilling life of peace and happiness and potential healing, so that we do not lose sight of ourselves while caring for others.