Building Habits To Be Healthier Developers
Hello Fellow Developers & Codenewbies 👋,
It has been a while since the last time I wrote, so it's good to be back!
Where have I been?
Well, 6 weeks of school's summer holiday means all plans go west 😅.
My learning time was all over the place. My daughter had playdates. And I had to entertain my daughter on top of house chores, which finally I had to abandon many times. In the time that I block for learning, I was already exhausted.
I felt guilty for not having more energy to learn or to write. But there was not much that I could do except kept telling myself, "It's only for 6 weeks." 😂
And to be honest, getting back to the routine after having some time off is so hard! 😓
The community I'm in, Virtual Coffee, holds monthly challenges.
And the monthly theme for August's challenge was Healthy Habits for Healthy Devs. We take baby steps to build new habits so we can be healthier developers.
It was a perfect time to do some self-care and build small healthy habits for myself during the summer break. Not only as a developer but also as a mom, as a person! 😄
Start Building Healthy Habits
I started to take Pomodoro time more seriously.
The 25 minutes coding with 5 minutes break doesn't work for me. I tend to do more than that and even forget to take a break.
What works for me is to do 1-hour coding with 10 minutes break to walk away from my computer and do some stretching.
This helps me a lot to move my body and resting my eyes and brain.
Weekend Time Off
Image: Sincerely Media/Unsplash
I used to learn every day, including weekends, ranging from 1 until 3 hours in a day.
I would feel very guilty if I miss it even for one day and would beat myself up.
Now I started to loosen up.
People have weekends to take a break from work. Why can't I also have that for myself?
Since I started to take weekends off from learning, my stress level is decreasing. I'm more present and enjoy my weekends more with my family.
Image: Ayu Adiati/personal doc.
I love writing with pen and paper. It's one of the things that makes me happy!
I write down what I learned in notebooks. And though I put my schedules on my phone, I still write them down as well in a physical agenda.
Not long ago, I bumped on some videos on YouTube about bullet journaling and scrapbooking. They seemed relaxing and mind-calming.
So I decided to try to combine them, dumping my brain on there and let my creativity wander.
Out of my surprise, it helps me a lot in organizing my tasks and to lighten myself up.
Since then, I block 20 - 30 minutes a day for bullet journaling and scrapbooking.
Image: Ethan Robertson/Unsplash
My family and I were very lucky to be able to take 2 weeks vacation within the school's summer holiday.
Having a vacation without feeling guilty about taking it is the key. It helped me a lot in reminding myself that we do need to disconnect ourselves from our routine once in a while. To take a break and live in the moment with our loved ones, and have fun!
Image: Lux Graves/Unsplash
Since I learn to code, I have become a night owl. The best time for me to learn is at night time after my family sleeps, around 11 PM until 1 or 2 AM, sometimes even later.
Since my daughter started school, I try to use her school time to do both house chores and learning. My goal is so that I don't have to sleep too late at night.
But I failed! I still can't let go of the habit of going to bed super late 😆
As on other vacations, I brought my laptop with me, in case I want to squeeze in some time to learn.
The bungalow where we stayed during vacation was nice. Only at night, it somehow gave me some creepy feelings. And that helped me! I didn't want to stay awake alone in the living room, so I went to bed before midnight for 2 weeks in a row! 😁
Sleep earlier and wake up after my body takes enough rest do make difference! My body feels much fresher and my mind gets clearer. And because I have a clearer mind, I gain more confidence and get stronger motivation in what I'm doing.
This is one habit that I should do my best to keep up.
Take Power Nap
Image: Hernan Sanchez/Unsplash
It's most likely not a habit that I would keep in the future. But it's something I would do if I have the chance and time. Or, I would try meditation to relax my body and mind.
My daughter is on the transition to not taking a nap since she goes to school. Only when she's very tired, I would take her for a half to one hour nap and I nap with her. We cuddle until we both fall asleep.
Having the chance to relax my body and mind through naps gives me more energy to do things for the rest of the day.
One other benefit for me, I build a stronger bond with my daughter.
Image: Ayu Adiati/personal doc.
I like photography, a lot!
But since COVID hit, with the lockdowns and have to stay at home as much as we can, I don't have the chance to touch my camera. The vacation gave me back that chance. I took so many pictures and felt so happy! Adding to my happiness, my daughter is showing that she also has an interest in photography!
Busy growing up, we sometimes forget that we all have an inner child that we need to feed once in a while to keep us sane. And that's what hobbies are for.
We should give ourselves a little time to do our hobbies for our mental health's sake.
I started to give myself a regular me-time at least 3 times a week.
My me-time happens after I finish all tasks at night before going to bed.
I would watch some videos on YouTube, or watch an episode of a series, or listen to a podcast.
Doing something for myself reminds me that I and my time are as important as others. And that I'm acknowledging and appreciate myself after the hard works I've done.
Benefits of Building Healthy Habits
We heard a lot about developers who get burnout.
One of the big reasons, that I experienced myself, is not taking a proper break to nurture ourselves.
We need to be able to concentrate and focus when we do coding.
But how can we reach these when we're too exhausted or not happy?
I start to see the benefits of building my healthy habits:
- Decrease of stress level.
- Have a clearer mind.
- Stronger motivation.
- Gain more confidence.
- Bigger energy to code and learn.
- Feel healthier and happier.
- Build better and stronger relationships with loved ones.
I do my best to keep the habits that help me to be a healthier developer while trying to discover other things as well.
And how about you? Have you built healthy habits for yourself? What are you doing or what will you do to be a healthier developer?
Do share in the comment below and give us some inspiration! 😄
Thank you for reading!
Last but not least, you can find me on Twitter. Let's connect! 😊