So, my April Code Challenge turned into a fail. I ended up needing to shop for a new(to me) car AND deal w/ some fraudulent activity on my bank account. Those two surprises, combined with two April trips that were already scheduled (PyTexas and the first ever Overwatch Leauge Home Game…BOTH of which were awesome) AND a bunch of other things led to…no time for a code challenge. 😭

One thing that DID come out of my unexpected April was a reminder about how important a #SelfCareSprint can be. I am, among other things, the DjangoCon US 2018 Sprints Chair. During the DCUS 2018 Development Sprints, I came up with the term “Self Care Sprint”. This is you focusing on activities to help you rest/recover from any type of exertion. It seemed VERY relevant near the end of a conference, as people (organizers and attendees) are often worn out from all the activity. It seems to have caught on, even after/outside of DCUS. (NOTE: I’m sure other folks have used this term somewhere. I just started emphasisizing it in my role as the DCUS Sprints Chair, to remind folks to take care of themselves.)

In US culture, we often downplay the importance of rest, recovery, or taking care of ourselves. But there’s one key thing that I kept repeating to folks as I TOLD them about the Self Care Sprint. I think it bears repeating, especially as a lot of us get ready for PyCon US 2019:

Self Care Sprints make EVERY OTHER Sprint sustainable.

As I’ve tried to share this message with other folks, I’m realizing I ALSO need to heed it myself. The last few months have been full of ups and downs and more than one unexpected twist. But it’s VERY hard to deal with those, or even the normal, expected challenges in life, if you’re worn out. So, if you want to do more IN TOTAL, consider making regular time to DO LESS in the short term, and give yourself plenty of time to rest and recover.

If you’re going to PyCon, that might mean not trying to go to EVERY talk or event or function, depending on your personal energy reserves and how well you deal with crowds. PyCon is HUGE and even I (bigger than most people, fairly outgoing when it’s needed, and with a decent sized group of friends at these things) can get overwhelmed. So, there’s no shame in feeling like you need some ‘alone time’ or being overwhelmed. Many software developers are a bit on the introverted side anyway, so big crowds can be tough for a lot of us. If this is your first PyCon US or you’re here alone, it can be even more challenging. Don’t be afraid to take some time for yourself.

I’ll be around at PyCon this year. I’m pretty easy to spot. If you found this helpful, feel free to say hi. 🙋🏾‍♂️