Why did you become a doctor?
It was actually a goal of mine to be a doctor for as long as I can remember and I don’t know exactly where that came from. My father was a truck driver and my mother a housewife. We didn’t know any doctors in a social context, but I did admire and respect our family GP (who also happened to deliver me) and this no doubt influenced me. Later on, it was the attractiveness of the ability to combine my interest in science and the technical nature of the world with my desire to connect with people that made me want to study medicine and become a doctor.
What are you most looking forward to returning to once lockdown has ended?
Going for a surf. Hands down. No questions asked… I really miss being in the water and the rush of catching a wave. For me there’s really no activity which comes close to surfing. Not being able to go during lockdown has definitely been difficult for me.
What was the most difficult thing about this pandemic? How did you tackle this?
Well, during the pandemic we welcomed our first child into the world. So that’s definitely had its challenges (what is an uninterrupted nights sleep?). Also being the practice owner means I’ve been directly exposed to the economic impact of COVID whilst simultaneously dealing with the whole new world of practicing as a doctor and leading the clinic during a pandemic. That’s not one thing but I guess that experience is reflective of why a pandemic is so challenging: it’s not just one thing. It’s a complex tangle of difficult issues, many of which the modern world has no precedent for dealing with.
What did you discover during this pandemic (eg. about yourself, a new park, a new café etc)?
I have learnt how to do effective home workouts now. I struggled for a long time with this as I used to go to the gym essentially every day and didn’t find I could get the same experience from home workouts. I resisted buying any equipment for a long time (initially due to inability to source and later as I didn’t want to spend the money when I thought things might go back to normal) but the second wave and ensuing lockdown was the turning point. Once I invested in some equipment, the barrier to getting a good workout in seemed to disappear.
How did you maintain your wellbeing during lockdown?
Mainly through exercising. I’ll be honest in saying that like many others I really struggled for quite some time. The loss of routine, regular outlets and the sense of normality left me feeling really empty. Eventually when I realised things wouldn’t get better on their own I started to look at things I could do to get things back on track, despite COVID. A few of the most important of these were:
- waking up at (pretty much) the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps to create a more stable sleep/wake cycle and results in better quality sleep
- exercising every day (make it a part of the routine rather than having to ‘find’ the time)
- going for walks outside with my family. I cherish this time with my wife and young son. It’s a chance to talk and take in some sights and removes some of the claustrophobia that comes with lockdown.