We’re all human, and we all need meaningful interaction with other human beings. It’s right there, sandwiched in the middle of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. After our physiological and safety needs have been met, humans have a need for interpersonal relationships and a feeling of belongingness. This social belonging that we all strive for can come from friends, family, or a significant other.
As you learn to build a work-life balance that works for you, it will be important that you find time to break from the digital world and work on forming new friendships and relationships. And it’s equally important that you nurture your existing relationships with friends and family. We’re social creatures, and it’s good for our mental health to unwind with people we care about.
If you find yourself in a new city or feel like you’re lacking friends at any point, it’s up to you to make an effort to change that. Try to get out of your comfort zone a bit and meet new people. It’s extremely hard at first, but the more you do it, the more you’ll feel comfortable with it.
exampleHere are some ideas for meeting new people:
If you’re close with your coworkers, ask them if they’d like to hang out after work or on the weekend. You already know them well from working together, so try to find any shared hobbies or activities that you’ll enjoy together. Some people personally don’t like to mix work with pleasure, but other people have met lifelong friends and partners who started out as coworkers.
Attend local meetup groups in your city. If meeting other people is hard for you, try attending some technical meetups first to get your feet wet. You’ll be around like-minded people, and you may even learn about a new technology, language, or framework while you’re at it. It’s even better if you can find and attend some nontechnical meetups related to a favorite hobby or interest. You’ll meet some interesting people, and as you attend more meetups, you’ll start to recognize familiar faces and get to know people better.
Join a sports league. Adult sports leagues are popular, and your employer may even sponsor some. You get the advantage of getting exercise in addition to meeting other people and getting out of the house.
Volunteering can be rewarding in more ways than one. Not only are you giving back to your community, but you’ll be working with other people who want to help too.
These are just a few examples of what you can do in your free time to get out and meet other people, but it doesn’t have to always be in person. Even a phone call to your parents, siblings, or close friends can give you a mental boost and lift your mood after a long day of work. It’s easy for us to let our relationships dwindle as we get older, but a little bit of effort to keep in touch with people close to you can go a long way.
Take Care of Your Body
Programming is mentally taxing, but it also has a big impact on our physical health. You may be able to get by on pizza, energy drinks, and sleepless nights when you’re young, but as your career develops, you’ll need to put more focus on taking care of yourself in order to stay sharp. Your health is crucial to your well-being, and issues with your health may contribute to issues in your career and personal life.
If you take care of your diet and your physical health, improvements in your physical and mental health will follow. A few changes in your lifestyle can snowball into daily habits and routines that can pay dividends well into your future, and it doesn’t necessarily take a big time commitment each week to see results.
exampleImproving your diet and physical fitness will:
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