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Self Care for Developers: Staying Comfortable and Productive

mikewaknar edited this page May 15, 2019 · 1 revision

As at the year 2014, there were about 18.2 million tech developers worldwide with a predicted 45% increase by 2019.

This is a large group of people to be hospitalized due to lack of self-care. Since they bring a lot of change to the world with tech upgrades, it's essential to keep them healthy for a better tomorrow.

What is self-care? This is simply finding time for yourself and doing what keeps your mind and body rejuvenated at all times. As a developer, your long-hours' work schedule is harmful to your health, and you might not notice the damage you're causing in this process!

This is why you need to pause and think about your well-being. How can you take care of yourself?

Coding is a painstaking process that requires developers to sit for long periods of time. Here are some self care tools and simple ways to start to stay sane and comfortable.

1. Do Something Fun

The essential thing about work productivity is what you do when you're not working. What are your plans this weekend? It is evident that most programmers have introverted habits that prevent them from being social.

Sadly, having people around is one of the best ways to get outside your comfort zone. Your mind will be just fine if you bail on it for the weekend and have fun. You can play some self care games like board games such as Scrabble and chess with your friends, go to a party or an event, ride bicycles in the neighborhood, or go for a sleepover.

When Monday comes, your mind will be so fresh and your body energetic enough to take up coding.

2. Schedule for Time Out

As you code, the mind clogs. To prevent anxiety or headaches, try and schedule regular time outs. Every 3 hours or so, take a twenty-minute break. This break does not mean you move from one screen to another; put your phone away.

It also does not mean you break from one job to another. The twenty minutes are for recess. Step outside and breathe fresh air. You can also take a walk, wash your face with cold water, engage in a 5-minute chat with a colleague about a none-work topic or enjoy a snack.

The regular breaks help you regroup and keeps your mind clog-free.

3. Dress Casual

As it may seem like a minor or even none-factor, your dressing can mentally suffocate you. Sometimes that tie feels like it’s chocking you, that belt feels like it’s strangling your waste and you’re a minute away from exploding in your outfit. Avoid wearing tight clothes, leather clothes, clothes that don’t fit, and clothes that collide with the weather.

Try some casual chic dressing or male outfits that make you comfortable. While you are required to sit for many hours, a casual dressing will keep you comfortable and make you productive.

4. Get Enough Sleep

I cannot emphasize this enough. Try and get about seven to eight hours of sleep. Tech developers need more rest than most professionals, and this is mostly for their eyes and minds. They strain their eyes and minds on a regular and lack of enough sleep gives them fatigue.

When the body is tired, you end up straining ten times as much to achieve your daily targets.

5. Meditation with Self Care Tools

Remember the 20-minute break I mentioned earlier? You can use it to meditate or do some yoga. Even 10 minutes of meditation a day can relax your mind and strengthen it, to take in more pressure than usual.

You can download a meditation app like Headspace and play it during your free time. Try and achieve one yoga and meditation session each day for a healthier mind and a stronger body.

6. Work Out and Eat Healthily

The best time to work out is early in the morning when it's a bit cold outside, and you are fresh from sleep. Many might disagree depending on their personal preference. However, working out early in the morning will strengthen your mind and body for the day.

Also, working out when it’s cold helps you get stimulated and tire slower than in a sunny afternoon. After working out, take a green smoothie and detox your body. After this, you can take a cold or warm bath and eat a healthy breakfast. Eating healthy cleanses your body making it feel whole and strong.

You will also avoid complications like constipation and food poisoning. A workout combined with healthy eating keeps you feeling light; hence, you become more productive as a tech developer.

7. Change Your Environment

When it's monotonous, then it's stressful! Most programmers get worn out by simple factors like their work environment. To sort this, change your environment. Maybe your office is dull, congested, or without proper lighting.

Take your laptop and go to a well-lit and less congested room. If allowed, you can even take your seat to the office garden and work from there. The change in environment behaves like a fresh start. Your mind will take in the change and relax.

This will make you more productive with your coding. The best thing about programming is that you can work from anywhere. This means you can even travel and work on the plane, bus, or when you get to your destination.

8. Protect Your Eyes and Back

The most affected parts of the body of a programmer include the eyes and back. What type of seat are you using? Sometimes your chair is the issue, and sometimes it's your sitting position.

While there is no correct sitting position for working long hours, it's advisable to avoid leaning forward to the computer. This is not only for your back but also for your eyes.

Reduce computer lighting and adjust screen brightness and resolution. To care for your eyes, try and use natural lighting instead of electricity. When using power, place the computer away from the light bulb.

The computer should also be about 15 inches away from you, and either facing a different angle from your eyes, bent screen or tilted a bit. Do not directly face your computer if you want to keep your eyes from damage.

To protect your eyes, get regular checkup so that a professional can take note of any changes and advise you on the way forward.

Avoid Your Breaking Point using Self Care Tools!

We can give you all the self care tools available; however, only you know how much you can take. Be honest with yourself and often listen to your body. Do not strain any part of your body to get a job done.

Take as many power breaks as you need to and remember to spoil yourself, embrace social scenes, put your phone down and get out of the house for more than 24 hours.

Want to make coding less straining? Join GitHub and find the right tools for coding.

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