5 Ways I Stay Sane While Learning Full Stack Web Development

Hi! I can’t believe I have a moment to write my second blog post this month given I’m halfway through my 6 month coding boot camp. I have been feeling super inspired to write lately, and I was struck with the idea for this post when talking to a classmate. It was midnight on a Friday, and we messaged each other back and forth on Slack.

I was about to sign off for the night, and sent her a message to say “see ya in the next class!” when I realized that the next class is only 9 hours away. We have to be on zoom in… 9 hours… for Saturday’s class. It’s basic math – if I get my full 8 hours of sleep I’ll have an hour to prepare for class. I need to run and do laundry and get some IG stories up and….

STOP! DEEP BREATH!

I took a step back and realized that I was overdue for some time away from the keyboard. Here are 5 ways I’ve kept sane these past 3 months of writing code.

– staying hydrated & limiting caffeine intake 

As much as I want an endless supply of coffee, I have been setting a limit lately. It’s for the better. I would have a caffeine IV if I could, trust me, but it started messing with my sleep/wake schedule and that is no bueno. So I cut back, and have been drinking SO much water. This helps my skin and face look hydrated, and I swear sometimes plain ol’ h2o helps my energy levels and satiety just as much as a cup of joe would. 

– blue light blocking glasses!

If you don’t already have a pair of blue light blockers, you are missing out! I saw a meme during quarantine about how we go from small screen, to medium screen, to big screen, back to small screen all day long… it’s even more true with my double monitor setup going on for coding. Blue light glasses are a proven way to protect your eyes by blocking harmful rays from your screen. I used to get tech headaches before wearing blue light glasses, but I have been feeling a lot better since wearing them! I love mine from Diff Eyewear – they make them in Prescription, Non-Rx and Readers. They’re super stylish as well – you may just be the baddest b in your zoom classroom with adorable frames like these.

– sleeping with my phone in another room

This one has been a huge plus – sleeping with my phone in a separate room prevents me from scrolling myself to sleep, a habit which I’ve embarrassingly had for the past few years. Now, I just pop my OLLY Sleep Gummies, and count sheep until I doze off. It’s so weird to think I haven’t really done this since I was a kid without a phone. It’s always been on my nightstand. The best part, which is also the worst part at 7am, is that I actually have to get out of bed and walk across my apartment to turn my alarm off. Ay dios mio. 

– massages & posture awareness

I always thought most of my muscle pain came from my workout – running takes a toll on my psoas muscles, and that affects my legs and my upper body. So, when I started going for regular massages again (hallelujah), I was so surprised to hear my massage therapist tell me that most of my issues stem from being seated at my desk, not as much from running… That being said, I have been checking in with my body throughout the day. I try to make sure I don’t lock my knees when standing, and that my sit bones are perfectly flat to my seat at my desk. Try doing a full body check scan and seeing where you hold stress! Better yet, book that 60 minute massage. You deserve it beautiful. Don’t let nobody tell you different…. hahaha.  

– spend at least a day away from coding

Whether you are a web developer in training or not, it’s important to take a break from your screens – yes, all of them. Go outside and get some fresh air! Or, don’t. Just get off the screen. That means no small screen, medium screen, monitor attached to the medium screen, or even the biiiig screen. Your eyes needs a break, and so does your mind.

thank you for reading, and cut yourself some slack!

(that was a message to myself but I bet you needed to hear it too.)

Comments

  1. October 17, 2020 / 2:42 pm

    Juliette, this is Doug, one of your coding classmates. When you told me you had published this blog post, you spoke about your sanity during our six-month intensive learning experience about coding.

    Laughing is another way to maintain your sanity. Your mention of keeping your sanity reminded me of a classic Marx Brothers routine. It’s known as the “Sanity Clause” sketch from the 1935 Marx Brothers movie, “A Night at the Opera.”

    In the film, Groucho Marx plays Otis B. Driftwood, shyster business manager for a wealthy widow. Chico Marx plays Fiorello, agent for an opera singer named Ricardo Baroni. In the Sanity Clause scene, Otis B. Driftwood and Fiorello are negotiating a performance contract for Ricardo. My father, who was a lawyer, loved this scene especially.

    The scene starts off with a funny bit that’s not on the YouTube clip I’m about to cite. It goes like this:

    DRIFTWOOD: I wanted to sign [Ricardo] up for the New York Opera Company. Do you know America is waiting to hear him sing?

    FIORELLO: Well, he can sing loud. But he can’t sing that loud!

    DRIFTWOOD: Well, I think I can get America to meet him half way.

    But the meat of the Sanity Clause sketch comes after Driftwood presents Fiorello with a copy of the proposed contract. The negotiations ensue here:

    https://youtu.be/U7RhAMTB1Qs

    Thanks for your blog. It’s inspiring me to return to blogging.

    • Juliette
      October 19, 2020 / 6:09 pm

      Hi Doug! Thank you so much for sharing this clip and giving some context. I feel like we may have signed some sort of contract with a sanity clause before this boot camp – it’s making me question if I am of sound mind anymore… haha. I hope to read some blog posts from you sometime soon! Writing is a nice break from the ins and outs of writing code.

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