Physical and mental stress

I’ve been writing code for a long time.

I wasn’t a computer science student. When I was in university, I studied applied maths, because that was what I was good at and luckily, interested in as well. Then there was this side module that taught the C language. And that’s how I learnt my first proper programming language over 20 years ago.

(I self taught myself BASIC with a toy computer in my early teens, but that’s another story)

Over time, the incredible bursts and protracted periods of programming energy morphed into shorter chunks of methodical thinking and planning. Life as a teenager and young adult is also simpler than the 30’s and 40’s.

Life takes its toll. Few programmers talk about it, but there’s a mental strain, especially with you know, life happening. I’ve had my fair share of mental stress, so let me tell what worked for me.

Magnesium supplementation helped. As had this herb called ashwagandha. I also do meditation and breathing exercises when I get to do them. Continuing the food angle, I used to take weight gainer powders. I’m a skinny guy and found it hard to put on mass. Later in life, I realised I wanted to put on muscle, not just meat on my body.

So I started working out. Being the shy guy, I bought dumb bells and exercised at home. Some progress but that’s probably beginner gains.

Fast forward to now, and I’m doing mostly body weight exercises. My current regime is 100 pushups as the base. I have a very loosely defined set of workout exercises, mostly for convenience and ease. If it takes too much to set up for the exercise, I’m just not gonna do it…

I found the physical exertion to be necessary. My body needs to expend energy to be somewhat fatigued or I’ll feel cranky. This ties in to the stress release, both physical and mental.

I’ve been writing code for a long time. Which also means I’ve been living for a fair bit. If you’re a young person, by all means ride that exhilaration of energy. Just also know that it’s ok if you run out of steam and needs to recharge.