Episode 15

Dr Natalie Girling - the importance of palliative care, an often misunderstood specialism of medicine and why cold water swimming brings her so much joy.

Published on: 23rd April, 2021

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.

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About the Podcast

Tipping The Balance
Mental health and happiness is not as simple as arriving at a destination. It takes work everyday. How can we help to tip the balance in favour of our mental health?
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

About your host

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Katie Hickey

I am a birth doula, podcaster and vet! All my areas of work bring together elements of balance, growth and self-development. I am a convert to the slow living movement and live in rural Devon with my family. I love hearing from other people how they strive to find balance in their lives in order to live intentionally and maintain a positive tilt on their mental health.