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Health first!

As I briefly mentioned in the Yin Yoga post, I suffered an acute hearing loss some days before Christmas 2016. I got lucky and most of the symptoms disappeared within a week. But I took the episode as huge warning shot and decided to set health and healing as Priority 1™.

New year resolutions have never worked for me. But I came along this idea of having a theme for a year. So 2016 is the year of health and healing.

Here's what I did in telegram style. I could write a whole post about each bullet point, but for now the bird's eye view has to do...

Pulling the breaks (Dec 20 to Jan 3)

  • stopped everything
  • took long walks
  • talked to friends and family
  • found out how to have relaxed time with the kids, instead of perceiving it as a constant cat-herding task (this sounds worse than it is – we're still recovering from the first two years of having twins and often our buttons are still pushed by minor things...)
  • collected all health related ideas in a huge bucket list (ongoing)
  • got into continous observer mode to catch automated behaviour and its triggers
  • started to do kitchen Mise en place – Wikipedia in the evenings
  • looked into TaiChi and Yoga
  • made a health folder on my phone homescreen to collect useful apps
  • decided to try out as much as feels good in the first 6 weeks of 2016 and and analyze after, and continue that pattern through the rest of the year

To re-use terms I'm familiar with, I'm calling these periods "sprints".

Sprint 1 (Jan 4 to Feb 14)

  • simplified and reduced my morning routine to sth I can safely commit to doing every day.
  • got into Yin Yoga
  • got off track by writing a "useless" custom mobile offline-first timer web app – which was good fun and i learned a lot (eg how to DIY a poor man's Redux in jQuery ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )
  • did so much Yin Yoga that I needed to take a rest (two long sessions per day is a bit much for a noob)
  • cut back work to 90%
  • got granted 1,5 days remote work per week which with the 90% time results in just being three days per week at the office. This reduces my commute a lot – roughly 6 hours per week. (Remote working is very out of norm at Jimdo, and I'm really grateful for this!)
  • did meditate more often for longer periods of time
  • bought a good water tracker which helps me to keep my water intake above the recommended ~3.0 litres per day
  • looked a bit into the body's acid/alkaline balance, did some ph tests, decided to shelve that topic for later
  • started to put first easy exercising into morning routine
  • started going to bed before 22h consistently to guarantee 7+ hours of sleep
  • started reading 15% of a book each day so I read regularly and can finish one book per week (not seeing it as task though – reading is fun and relaxing)
  • observe if and how a health budget of 10% of waking time might work. That budget would be for both mental and physical health, so drawing and reading for example are part of it.
  • never re-installed twitter and tumblr on my phone
  • started taking ginko which has a good track record of helping tinitus (I've kept a tiny one from the hearing loss)
  • did a couple weeks of Kinesio Tape (ongoing)
  • finally made and attended the dentist appoinent i was procrastinating for more than a year
  • started fixing my blog setup so writing is simpler. Writing helps me lot on getting a clear view. Used blot last year before, now back to Jekyll (missed it as a learning device, for example am now using a custom build so I have plugins and can play with the poor man's deployment)
  • skimmed through dozens of books on health related topics (mostly yoga)
  • freshed up ergonomics, eg tested chairs, switched to my Roost Laptop Stand at home, currently testing an ergonomic keyboard

Benefits of Sprint 1

  • I am much more positive and start catching more and more negative behaviour patterns.
  • I have more energy and feel less tired
  • I sleep better
  • I became much more sensitive to my needs and how I feel which helps to not overdo things, get regular rests and breaks, further seperate personal and work life, etc

Commitments

These are the things that I feel I can safely commit to from today on:

  • do my 3x15 routine each morning: 15 minutes braindumping, sketching, having my first coffe, 15 minutes meditation, 15 minutes light exercising (for now mostly neck, arms, shoulders, upper back)
  • a longer Yin Yoga session every other day (if that sounds interesting to you, get the original book by Paul Grilley
  • drink at least 3 litres of water each day
  • do a light kitchen Mise en place
  • be asleep at 22h every night

I use an app called Commit to track this.

Sprint 2 (theme: food)

For the next sprint I want to focus on what I shove into my mouth all the time (and in the mouths of my family):

  • find what to cook, how to plan, when to shop
  • try out more natural supplements (the buzzword is "superfoods")
  • reduce coffee, replace with hot water and nettle tea
  • exercise regularly and try sprinting every morning
  • do some simple gardening and get back on the longboard as soon as the weather permits
  • visit the orthopedian (procrastinating for two years)
  • switch to shorter 28 day cycles for sprints

Start is Feb 14.

If you're actually still reading – thx for time and don't hesitate to ask me about stuff. DMs are open :)