Episode 16

Sarah Kennedy Norquoy - cold water swimming, living in Orkney and caring for her mum with dementia

Published on: 30th April, 2021

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

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Love Katie x

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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.