100 Days of Healthing

The image What do I do for self-care — index card by sachac is licensed under C.C. by 2.0

What’s this?

Inspired by 100DaysofCode, 100 Days of Healthing is a challenge to spend an hour a day, for 100 days, working on your health & self care. It’s permission to give yourself an hour a day. And we’re all here with you.

Why do you hate 100 Days of Code?

Oh my goodness, that’s so not true! I don’t. I think it’s a fabulous concept, super motivating, something I want to do (maybe for the second 100 days of 2017?) and something that could be done alongside 100 Days of Healthing.

Alex is an inspiration — I even forked my Github repo from him! Without 100 Days of Code, this new project isn’t a thing. His framework allowed me to envision this, and I’m super grateful for that.

The thing is, though….

Coding and health aren’t mutually exclusive. We can keep our skills fresh and take care of our minds, bodies, and spirits. Things like selfcare.tech are vital and necessary.

Those of us who work in tech often do it because we have untreated/undiagnosed health issues, communication troubles, or other things that make tech work line up with our needs. There’s nothing wrong with that either — I’m a huge advocate for employers that recognize that adults need to go to the doctor during work hours, or that just know that people need to work from home because they are out of spoons.

And sometimes?

Sometimes getting lost in the screen to. Just. Flash. Another. Version. Of. Android.[1] Or just get a new Jekyll droplet going. Or just finish that one ticket “so we can go home.” Sometimes those things are taxing! And so it goes that the health issues and communication and all those other important things just never get addressed.

So I started wondering: What if the same kind of momentum built when a bunch of people turn their attention to coding could happen around health? What if you sorta got that dopamine jolt of “yep, it’s a new day, I gotta get my hour of self care?” What if the FreeCodeCamp community could rally behind this, too?

The image Being extra-kind to myself — index card by sachac is licensed under C.C. by 2.0

What’s your personal story?

Well, I’m learning a lot of stuff about my mental and physical health right now, and it’s taking a lot of time and scheduling and effort and stuff like that. I realllly wanted to sign up for the new wave of #100DaysOfCode.

However! One thing I’m getting better at is knowing what I can and cannot do, and I realized that I actually need to get better at my own self-care before I can use that time for something like coding an hour outside of work every day. The #100DaysofHealthing project represents me acknowledging that, while also wanting to do a thing for 100 days and hopefully share that thing with others.[2]

Okay, cool. How do I do it?

  1. Work on your health and self care for at least an hour a day, starting on January 3, 2017.
  2. To track your progress, fork this repo. Or consult the FAQ’s below.
  3. Make a public commitment to the challenge. Use the hashtag #100DaysOfHealthing (preferably on Twitter) to announce your intentions.[3]
  4. Tweet about your progress every day using the hashtag. I will, too, over @jwithy.
  5. I’ll push my progress to Github every day, and so can you! Follow it here.

Some notes and what-have-yous

  1. Don’t put yourself at risk. This is important. For a coding project, you shouldn’t be vague; for health, you might need to be.[4] That’s cool. Don’t disclose anything that you wouldn’t tell your family, your boss, your loved ones, or that dude who was a jerk to you in high school. “Completed my hour of self-care!” isn’t vague — it’s acknowledging that some things need to stay private. See the FAQ’s for more.
  2. What constitutes self-care and health? Well, that can totally vary from person to person, but here are some ways I think of it:
  • Going to the doctor for something you’ve been putting off, or that requires ongoing attention.
  • Meditating, praying, anything like that!
  • Do you need permission to play a video game that totally helps you wind down after a hard day? You’ve got it!
  • Are you addicted to said video game? Well, maybe reading a book instead would help your self care.
  • Diagnosed with a thing? Reading about strategies to cope, watching videos that help you learn a thing, going to a support group…these are all healthing!
  • What do you want to do that makes you feel like a better you? Coloring? Knitting? Cooking something for friends? Scented candles and tea? Do it do it do it. An hour for you.

3. Hey I don’t work in tech. That’s not an issue at all. See the FAQs below. All you need to join up is your desire to boost your health.

4. Send me feedback. I’m gonna try to make everything accessible and welcoming, but I’m still a middle-aged white dude with his own stuff. Hold me accountable! Contribute or post issues to the repo! Everybody wins!

FAQ’s Partially Borrowed Based on 100 Days of Code and Then Tweaked

Q:The public part of this troubles me. What should I do?
 A:Whatever works best for you. Really. I mean, I’d love to hear it if you are participating, and letting people in your life know you’re doing this can be super powerful. A casual “how’s the 100 days going?” is super motivating! But! Getting 3+ months of awesomeness privately is better than not doing it because of the public component.

Q: I’ve missed a day, does it mean I’ve failed the challenge?
 A: Absolutely not. Do your best to only miss one day every two weeks. Never miss two days in a row (so you can’t skip the 14th day of one week period and the 1st day of another). Alex mentions that he got this great piece of advice on habit formation from Leo Babauta at zen habits.

Q: I come home late, and by the time I am finished with my hour, it’s past midnight, does it count?
 A: Of course it counts! The rule of thumb is: have you taken care of your health or yourself for at least an hour before going to sleep that day? If yes, you are on track. I currently have a 250+ day meditation streak, but sometimes my meditation for the day is at 1:23am. It’s ok.

Q:How should I track this?
 A:Listen, journaling itself could be the self-care you need, so I’m gonna propose you do that (and if you need a journal, let me know; I love my Field Notes and would love to send you one!). Use the Github repo. Tweet about it. Whatever is best for you!

Q: If everyone started on a certain day, should I join them on the day they are? For example, from Day 12?
 A: Go ahead and start on Day 1. Just mention the day you’re on when you post about it!

Q: What’s a Github?
 A: Don’t learn Github just for this project unless you want to.

Q: Why “Healthing” and not “health?”
 A: Because internet.

Helpful links

This post was originally posted on The (Un)focused Developer and crossposted to Hard Like Algebra


  1. Not that I know anything about that.
  2. Oh, another thing to note: I’m fortunate in that I actually do work somewhere that recognizes all the benefits of healthy, happy workers. This project should not imply otherwise. 😄
  3. Why public? Listen to Alex and Saron discuss that.
  4. I’m being vague, too. 😄