For the first 5 weeks or so of 2017, I committed a whole lot to my #100DaysOfHealthing repo. The project buzzed around my head, I set up my work computer to launch Git Bash every day when I logged in, and folks that I admire even added me to their own projects.
And then hey look at that, it was February, and a lot of good things were happening in my personal life–health things shaking out, finances slowly but kinda surely improving, meditating every day (not just three minutes at a time, but 10 minutes, even! Thanks Headspace !), and going to acupuncture regularly. I took baths a lot more with the help of the “podcast bath kit” my girlfriend bought me for Christmas. I helped promote self-care at work and at home. I had encouraging things for other folks who were participating.
And then, the commits dried up.
I feel a responsibility to explain that, and also like the idea of showing how this kind of shift can be positive, too. So here goes.
You are not your projects
You know what would suck? If trying to get one self-care hour a day stressed you the fuck out. If trying to make time to track a self-care hour in itself made you miss or long for self-care. If “update self-care log” because a niggling, nagging task, instead of a joyous way to track amazing steps!
Did this happen to me? No way. But as I started updating three, four, seven days all in a batch, I realized something:
It was more important to me to live a life that included self-care (and promotion of self-care) than it was to do little updates every day.
Cop out? Hmm.
But here’s a list of things that have happened since my last commit to the repo:
- For my birthday, my girlfriend, dog, and I took a screenless weekend on the Washington coast. This included a lot of taking baths, reading, and not much else. I wanted a pause, and I got one, and it was like a self-care boot camp reset.1
I learned that I no longer wanted to use my phone as my alarm. Weird? I dunno, but hear me out: screenless weekend meant my phone wasn’t the last thing I saw at light’s out or the first thing I saw when waking up. I no longer could get sucked in to distractions at the time when my mind is most apt (apt!) to fill with distraction.
So I bought a [Pebble Time][pebble]. This, too, was huge. Now I had an alarm that would wake me up silently, more easily, and without HEY HERE’S ALL THE COOL PHONE THINGS YOU CAN DO staring at me from moment one. I can walk the dog without my phone as a step tracker. I have a thing that lives on my body that maybe is a bit less accurate but more realistic in telling me when I was actually sleeping.
I continued working out some medication stuff that’s important.
I had some mini-breakthroughs in therapy and at acupuncture.
These seem positive to me. And (maybe with the exception of a gadget, even a well-thought out one) it seems like ongoing self-care, too.
I never take any. If I think of the kind of thing where I actively just…hang out? Watch a random movie? Read a magazine and just drink coffee, or even just go out for coffee without a Task At Hand? I hardly ever do these things.
And my therapist (who rules) and I keep coming back to that. I always feel time-constrained, and I also always feel like “this time right here has to have something going on.”
So, in a way, I’ve been doing more self-care during #100DaysOfHealthing. I just haven’t always planned, executed and recorded it.
I hope that’s true for you as well.
And I know that I have a loooong way to go improve my relationship with myself and others, but the self-care part has landed in a good spot.
Well, a few things:
- I still consider the project to be underway, for me, and for any of you that are still doing it.
In the future, for the project, I’m going to consider finding a way to make tracking days a lot simpler / more “on the fly”. Because stressing out about tracking self-care is super unproductive.
At some point we will reach 100 days! And then maybe, later in the year, I’ll do a relaunch of the project.
But for now, know this: I’m supporting myself by taking time for self-care. I hope you are, too.
p.s. I wrote this about two weeks ago, but didn’t quite post it then. I think it all still stands though. 😀 Today, March 18, is Day 75, if you’re counting.
this post originally appeared over at the (un)focused dev