How We Tech Through It: Self-care and Wellbeing Tips for Women in Tech

As a first time blogger, I’m excited to share with you what goes on in my world! 

Here’s a brief background on me, I am a native Lexingtonian, growing up on the north side of Lexington. I graduated from Bryan Station High School and attended Transylvania University, where I majored in Computer Science, played college basketball, and graduated in 2003.  Upon graduating, I started my career as a Firmware Engineer at Lexmark in Lexington, KY.  While I’ve held various engineering and technical management roles over the years, I am currently a senior manager of the Quality, Compliance, and Sustainability organization where we responsibly manage Lexmark workplaces as well as products and processes through their lifecycle. Our goal is to minimize the negative and maximize the positive!  As a manager and member of the leadership team, my job is to work alongside my staff to ensure that we have what we need to be successful and that our teams can execute their deliverables. We work across multiple geographies to set strategic direction, so that means communication, collaboration and listening are key! 

My average day starts around 5 am with a workout, then my workday commences at 7:30-8 am and typically ends between 5 and 6 pm. Although, if I am meeting with team members in different time zones, my day may start a little earlier or end a little (okay sometimes a lot) later. Long days mean that self-care is very important to me and is something I am intentional about and prioritize in my life.  Life always throws you curveballs, so I don’t just have one go-to self-care activity.  I give myself options and that has helped me maintain it as a priority in my life.

1. Music

Music allows me to temporarily escape.  I can immerse myself in music and my mind leaves behind reality and all of my tasks, worries, and stresses of the day.  All I need are my Beats headphones and Apple Music. 

Some of my faves are below:

  • Apple Music Classical Piano Chill playlist – hearing a piano massages my brain. Some of my favorites that have come from the playlist are Ludovico Einaudi – Seven Days Walking, Alexis French – Walk With Us, Martin Kohlstedt – Jul.
  • Zoning playlist – Custom list that I’ve put together. It includes music that allows me to literally “zone out” and escape.  It’s audio therapy. A few of my favorites are The-Dream – All I Need, James Blake – Mile High, Rae Sremmurd – Lost Angels, Drake – Furthest Thing, Big Sean – Full Circle, Mista – Blackberry Molasses, Fejka – Illumination.

Follow me on Apple Music — @latarika23

2. Exercise

My bike – I am an athlete, so exercise has always been an integral part of my life and a way that I recenter and recharge.  I am a hooper turned cyclist and the sport has really enriched my life. There’s something about being on the backroads with minimal access to my normal world that gives me peace. Not to mention the scenery of Kentucky – the horses, farms, and landscape.  We live in a beautiful state, and I feel very grateful that I am able to see its beauty on a bike with some awesome people who I consider family- The Bluegrass Cycling Club.

Cycling has also allowed me to see other states.  I’ve travelled to various cycling events including Ragbrai (Iowa), Bike Virginia, The Katy Trail (Missouri), and 72 hours to Key West where we started in Ft. Myers Beach.  Quite the adventure on two wheels. 🙂 

3. Organization & Focus 

When I have an opportunity to organize my schedule or focus on being present on a regular cadence, it recharges and re-energizes me for the day/week.  Below are a couple of ways that I try to do this:

Passion Planner (IG – @passionplanner) – Self-organization, highlighters, pens, color codes, stickers, and the Lex Pash Fam are all things that make me happy and provide a sense of recharge for me!

Forest App (IG – @forest_app) – A productivity app that allows you to limit distractions, mitigate phone addiction (I have a serious scroll addiction) and focus on whatever task you have.  If you are successful, you will earn credits and plant real trees around the world with those credits.  Sometimes I use this for deep breath/silence exercises or when I am trying to finish a specific task with no distractions in 25-30 minute intervals.  If you exit out of the app before the time has expired, your tree dies.  Fun fact — over 1M trees have been planted through the Forest app!

4. Personal Clutch Additions to My Self Care Routine

My book club is my jam!  We randomly formed in 2019 and the books that I have read as a result are books/topics I would have never explored had it not been for this awesome group of friends.  Like music, it allows me to temporarily escape.  Some of my favorites since we formed include:  The Alchemist, The Alice Network, The Great Alone, Glory Over Everything, and The Vanishing Half. Highly recommend!

Book Club Meetings during Covid

Moonpod (IG – @moon.pod) – There are days that I come home, completely exhausted mentally.  My moonpod always rescues me.  What’s cool about it is it responds to any body shape and movement through responsive high density beads.  In a nutshell, it’s not your average beanbag and definitely reduces my stress and anxiety.  It was one of the best purchases/self investments I made in 2019.  Once I land on my moonpod, my go-to is nothing.  That’s right, you read it correctly.  I sit in silence and most of the time just stare at a wall.  The goal is to give my brain a rest and try to focus on being present and clearing my mind.  If I am struggling to do that, I recruit a little wine to help the situation.

Meet Guest Blogger Latarika Young

Connect with Latarika at https://www.instagram.com/latarika23/ and https://www.linkedin.com/in/latarika-tari-young-6694155/

Picture of Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger

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