Typically I always have had a side project that I work on before or after hours. However, with Covid-19 and everything else going on in the world I decided that rather than add another stressor to take a step back and focus on my mental and physical health.

To improve my physical fitness, I’ve been working on developing a regular running habit again. To improve my mental health, I’ve been focusing getting enough sleep.

In both of those aims my Apple Watch and iPhone have been a key tool in keeping me on track.

My watch reminds me to stand up and tracks my runs. I’ve also started a running club at work and while we can’t run together, we do share our runs on Slack and set running goals each month.

For sleep health, I’ve setup Downtime everyday from 8:30pm – 5:30am, as part of my Screentime settings. This disables all apps on my phone, except phone calls and apps that I specifically allow. The only apps that I allow are Runkeeper, Music, and Overcast, as I use them when running.

I didn’t think Downtime would have much of an effect at first, but I discovered that it prevents me from doom scrolling while in bed. And it turns out that limiting your intake of doom directly before and after you wake up, does wonders for your mental health.

The other setting that helps drastically is Bedtime. I aim for 8 hours of sleep a night and have set bedtime from 8:30pm – 4:30am, everyday. Notice that Downtime doesn’t end until an hour after I’ve woken up – giving me at least an hour of time with “just me”.

45 minutes before bedtime I get a notification that it’s time to start winding down and notifications disappear, my phone dims and I get a nice banner that say things like “Good evening. It’s time to start winding down.”. Removing the notifications and making such a simple display makes it much less tempting to pick up my phone.

When I first heard about these features I thought they sounded a bit gimmicky and they wouldn’t work. But they do. In the past two weeks I’ve averaged 8:29 hours in bed at 7:36 hours asleep each night. And each morning I feel refreshed.

If you’ve been having trouble sleeping this year, give yourself a break and try Downtime and Screentime.

  • I turned 35. 🎂🥳 We celebrated at Bill’s for breakfast while looking over the ocean. Leo picked out a singing Thomas (the train) birthday card for me.
  • We went to my favorite Starbucks for lunch on Saturday and Leo has progressed to eating an entire tuna-cheese melt. I didn’t think he’d eat it all as he’s only 2.5 and a bit years old, but he did.
  • More people getting interested in sustainable web design. James recently started working to make his site more sustainable and I totally dig it.
  • Someone should make a site scanner to help you improve the sustainability of your site – analyze images, css, and then give you tips for how to improve it. Doing it all and doing it right would be a large undertaking.
  • I’ve started thinking about getting solar panels again. It won’t happen this year, but maybe next year or the year after that. In doing research I found this cool site that will, given a postal code, give you estimated solar generation based on the weather from the past 10 years. Using that you can plunk in your usage actual numbers into a spreadsheet and better estimate when they’ll pay for themselves.
bills

Early birthday breakfast at Bill’s in Shichirigahama. Going to Bill’s is always a treat – not just because the food is great, but it’s relaxing to be able to stare off and watch the surfers do their thing. Perhaps more relaxing was that we dropped off Leo at the grandparent’s house so it was just the two of us.

We split the Full Aussie (free-range scrambled eggs, toast, bacon, roast tomato, herbed garlic mushrooms, pork and fennel sausage) and Ricotta hotcakes, fresh banana and honeycomb butter. No photos of view this time around as we were sat inside.

Full Aussie

ricotta hotcakes, fresh banana and honeycomb butter

The title says it all, doesn’t it? Patagonia has been putting these great tags on some of their shorts that read “Vote the Assholes Out”, to encourage people to vote out the climate change deniers that are in office. They’re not saying vote liberal or conservative. Just to vote the assholes out.

I love seeing simple and clear advocacy like this from Patagonia. I wish more companies could find the courage to do it too.

I’ve sent in my ballot to do my part to end the madness, have you?