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22nd September, 2020

The Self Help Book Group No 2 with Nik Kendrew

With Rachel Morris

Dr Rachel Morris

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Do you sometimes sacrifice your health and happiness for work? Are you unsure of why you do it, or what you can do?

It’s a surprisingly common trait amongst doctors and other busy professionals to believe that you’re indispensable. In truth, we know that whilst what we do is important, if we don’t look after ourselves and take time out when we’re unwell, we’ll be out of action for much longer.

This week Rachel is joined by You Are Not A Frog regular, Nik Kendrew. Last time Nik joined us, we discussed a book that has helped him in his professional life as a GP, trainer and partner as well as his personal life. Nik’s back this week to talk about another brilliant book and to share what insights and learnings he’s gained from it.

Between this and Nik’s previous guest appearance on YANAF, he’s had some personal battles to deal with, including an emergency trip to hospital just as he was due to start a shift as duty doctor (yes, the ambulance took him away in front of the waiting patients!).

This was a serious moment for Nik, yet whilst he was in Resus, he found himself texting his future appointments, offering reassurance that he’d definitely be there. Fortunately, the health professionals got tough with Nick and instructed a 2 week rest period.

Nik’s condition is now well managed and he’s even back to some of the physical activities he enjoyed previously, but there has been a big paradigm shift for him along the way.

Rachel and Nik explore why we, particularly as professionals, deny our health concerns and what advice we’d offer a friend who found themselves in a similar situation to Nik.

The book Jog On, by Bella Mackie transformed Nik’s personal and professional outlook along his recovery journey. Bella’s story takes us from her marital breakdown and peak of sustained anxiety to a place of personal happiness by discovering exercise.

Nik had to return to some uncomfortable memories with this book, but also some great successes as well as making a big mental shift – that exercise is something to be enjoyed, not doggedly pursued for ‘personal bests’! 

In finding what you enjoy, you’re more likely to gain huge mental health rewards and stick at this as part of your regular self care routine. It’s really important to be aware that the image of the ‘super-fit’ doesn’t always mean happiness. Happiness comes from doing what you enjoy, and if you can find a regular (and even mindful) form of exercise you’ll gain an improved state of mind.

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