During my time at Dev Bootcamp, my busy schedule filled with nothing but learning. My days started early with a bit of study at home, then a video on the way to Dev Bootcamp, Dev Bootcamp, staying after, and doing homework once I got home. The weekends were similar but with a bit more time for sleep.
Notice the lack of me time or couple time in that schedule? The lack of it is worrisome and should be, everyone needs self-care.
A once off event turned into a routine, which became tradition, and resulted in self-care. Friday nights became steak and bottle of wine nights.
It started with the first occurrence, we wanted a date night without the rush and worries of going out. This was a good night and good idea, so we repeated it... and then we planned for it ... and finally it felt weird to not have this night at home. This event became a tradition which recharged our selves and relationship after a long week. Both loving steak and each other, we spent the time talking and cooking, listening and eating. At the end of the night, the "How was your day?" questions turned into deeper conversations of life and becoming relaxed with life again. There is a point in a conversation only reached after having two hours of conversation over wine and good food.
Back in my single life, I created traditions to provide self-care for myself. At one time, I spend my Friday nights perusing the aisles of Target and then making a home-cooked meal for myself. This time alone with my routine recovered me from my week and made Saturday a much better day. I enjoyed my time to live in my head and do things only for myself.
A another point where I was in a stressful time living in a developing country drove me to institute a tradition of boiling water, grabbing a designated cheese grater (yes, I had a cheese grater for this), a scrub brush and baking soda. Then, I boiled water (remember, developing country), laid out towels in my living room and give myself a pedicure.
Yes, it was a ton of setup and work for clean, less-calloused feet and peace of mind. Those nights of self-care brought me peaceful a reset brain.
Recently, I found myself in a room of developers. The majority of them mentioned needing to work on self-care in the discussion. This made me reflect on my many instances of self-care. Maybe you don't eat meat or it would be wiser to not drink a bottle of wine on a Friday. Target is not always an option or your thing for unwinding. Giving yourself a pedicure doesn't need to involve a cheese grater. Carve out a time to do a thing you enjoy for a night. The results are worth it for yourself, your stress-level and your relationships.