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Listening - the Authentic Tea podcast with Penny

Penny loves listening and communicating in all aspects of her life and with everyone who comes in to it. In Episode 14 of the Authentic Tea podcast, Penny shares her thoughts on health, lifestyle choices and how to make science accessible to all.

Rach (00:00):

So today I'm super excited to chat to my dear friend, Penny, Penny, and I shared many ups and downs in our early twenties, as we navigated life and tried to carve our own paths, my overwhelming sense of Penny is someone who truly cares, she cares for herself, the people dearest to her and it's open to everyone who comes her way. Penny has always been able to find a way to share the joy in life and communicates this so simply and beautifully to others. Penny started a blog, medical marbles. So us working as a GP and then launched her podcast, Naked Health to strip back medicine to the basics. She's also been a member of the Copperfield medical advisory group and uses her awareness of listening and communicating, to share messages for people to take control of their own health. She works hard to ensure that we hear everyone's voices and to keep communication at the heart of everything she does. So welcome Penny.

Penny (00:54):

Hi Rachel.

Penny (00:54):

Thank you for having me.

Rach (00:56):

It's fabulous to have you here. So let's start by talking about podcasts because I think your podcast Naked Health actually inspired me to give this podcast a go. On your podcast, you share the voices of people who have experienced cancer and have also gone through cancer treatment. How do you think that sharing their stories can help other people? And why was it so important for you to start your podcast?

Penny (01:24):

That's so sweet that you, you said that it inspired you. I think it's something that I've always wanted to do, but I've never been brave enough. And actually my first episode was during lockdown and I kind of, kind of felt that I needed to do something different and I had time. So I thought, you know, the worst thing I could do was not give it, give it a go. And actually if I recorded it and then only me listen to it, then, then that was fine as well. And the idea really came from I'm sure a lot of people and you included are used to during your training, your medical training, hearing people using a lot of jargon, or if you're breaking bad news to a patient or their relatives, they, they don't necessarily understand exactly what you're trying to say because you're trying to be kind and in trying to be kind to them, you're using, using soft words like for cancer, a lump's been found, or there's a growth, or there's a shadow on your lung.

Penny (02:27):

And to me, I kind of think health, there's nothing better than being healthy and feeling healthy. And it's such an important thing for people to understand what's happening with their body. That it was really annoying me that people would come out for consultation being told there's a shadow on the lung and not know that they probably have lung cancer because actually I think each individual needs, needs time to come to terms with whatever the diagnosis may be and chat it through and do their own research. So, so that's where it came from. I just wanted people to be told in a voice that they could understand what was wrong with them. So, so they knew themselves what, what was going on

Rach (03:07):

You shared there about feeling healthy and the importance of being healthy. Can you share how that, that actually impacts your life? What are the things you like to do to feel healthy?

Penny (03:18):

Oh, it's tough. Isn't it at the moment? Um, to, to feel healthy for me is to actually get out of bed and enjoy the day ahead, and to feel like you're ready and prepared to, to enjoy the day ahead. And I think a lot of that comes, comes from mental health as well as physical. So I know we spend a lot of time talking about exercising and eating well and maintaining a good weight and vitamin supplements and things. But actually, if you don't feel happy then in your head, you're not going to feel healthy. And actually that has a knock-on effect physically as well. And a lot of people don't seem to connect the heads and the body, but definitely, but with the current pandemic, I think more people are realizing the impact of isolation on their mental health and how that's having knock-on effect on diet and exercise.

Rach (04:14):

We know at the moment, obviously, we're in the middle of the pandemic, so we can't go to too many different places, but if you were able to go somewhere and to be your true, authentic self, where would that place be?

Penny (04:27):

Do you know if there were, there were loads of things that are probably a good or a right answer from a doctor, but I want to be at the beach. I want to be somewhere hot, somewhere sunny. Um, I love the sound of water. I find it really soothing, but I love seeing kids play in the sea and completely, you know, they, they just don't care if people are watching or what people think of them. Like, I, I love the beach. So that is exactly where I'd be. And if it was a specific beach, I'd be in San Diego.

Rach (04:59):

Sounds amazing. Lets all go when we can,

Penny (05:04):

I know!

Rach (05:04):

Think your example at the beach is about connecting to nature as well. Isn't it. And what you feel like you say about the sounds of nature and the visions that you see and taking those in the external stimuli, how do you also like to make sure that you connect with yourself so that you are listening to what you need?

Penny (05:26):

I'm really bad at that! I have to say. Um, I think I'm so busy trying to listen to other people and you know, that that's not just patients, my husband, my kids, people who pop up on social media as well as asking questions that I'm really, really bad at taking time for myself. The best thing for me to do is really just to stop thinking and I know that hard but for me it's to find a book or to find some distraction that allows me to concentrate on, on something that isn't myself. So to take me, I guess, remove me from my own internal monologue, monologue or environments, and actually step away from it all.