One Day at a Time

When I left my position at Exygy in July, I knew I needed to catch up on my physical and mental health. Two+ years of the pandemic, the grief of losing my mom suddenly at the end of 2019, losing a brother and brother-in-law to cancer before that, and the general stress of working at a design agency left both my body and mind burned out and I was in need of a good tune-up.

For the first three months, I dove into healthy eating, improving sleep, meditating, and cycling. These are practices that helped me recharge, but of these activities, cycling specifically helped to start lifting me out of the mental fog.

How I recovered from burnout

I’ve lived in the San Francisco Bay Area now for about 12 years, but I still don’t know it as well as I’d like. Through cycling, I found an activity that helped my physical health while also connecting me to a vibrant Bay Area community and culture. Right before I left Exygy, I bought a new bike to better explore this amazing area and it became a huge confidence builder for me to take on these East Bay hills. Though not easy, they’re also not as intimidating as they look. They still kick my butt, but each time I do a route, it gets a little easier and I meet another cyclist or two along the way.

By October my body was feeling stronger and my mind clearer. My focus improved — less doom scrolling and I was actually able to focus on books again instead of just collecting them. Overall I was feeling optimistic about diving back into designing and building impactful technology.

Practicing one day at a time

Deep into Fall now, the doer in me has started to feel antsy and my natural tendency is to dive into planning mode. What am I doing this week? Where will I be working in the future? What professional contacts shall I meet with? And how do I fit in the much-needed physical and mental health practices while I ramp back onto professional activities? As I type this, my gut and jaw — where I hold a lot of my stress — begin to tighten.

Breath in…

Breath out… One day at a time.

It’s so easy to slide back into the grind. A life-long growth area for me. “One day at a time” has been my sweet mantra during this transitional period of my life. I know. I have more work to do to create the lasting habits and boundaries I need to be a place of flow with my professional work. Right now approaching one day at a time, helps me ground myself in the present moment. It helps me be present with things I care about and join the flow around me without getting swept away by them.