Open Source and Self-Care

Open source and self-care is a big topic at the moment. You see people talking about burnout, taking time off, a better work-life-balance, and how to make open source more sustainable a lot.

This is a more personal post than the blog posts I usually write for our Pinax blog but the topic is near and dear to my heart so I wanted to take the time and write a short blog post about open source and self-care.

Pinax is an open source project, which people contribute to in their free time. We appreciate each of our contributors a lot and are thankful for the time and effort they put into making Pinax better. Sometimes people get a little impatient when it takes us longer to reply to an issue or merge a PR. I totally understand that, this can be very frustrating, but we want you all to know that we don’t do this on purpose, are lazy, don’t care, or don’t appreciate your efforts. I can assure you that we’re all good people and that we all do our best so please bear with us! :) The reality is that we’re all just humans and we’re not perfect. We get busy working on other things, issues get lost, sometimes it’s really hard to manage the 40+ Pinax repositories and to track what needs to be responded to, what has been read, etc.

And the reality is also that sometimes we just need a break, and that is okay. A lot of us, who work in technology, tend to spend a lot of time online and in front of our computers, not only for work but also for the various projects we contribute to in our free time, and while that is awesome, what’s not so great is that we sometimes forget to take breaks. When people don’t take breaks and don’t take care of themselves they can burn out, projects can become unstable, and we lose people. We don’t want that to happen.

So I’d like to encourage you to ask yourself:

  • Am I spending enough time not working?
  • Am I asking other people for help when I need help?
  • Am I taking enough breaks?
  • Am I enjoying what I’m doing?

Alt Text Image CC BY 2.0 Sacha Chua

And I’d also like to encourage you to care about others and ask them these questions as well. Be kind to yourself! No one else can do that for you. When you take care of yourself you have so much more to give. It’s okay to take a break, it’s okay to ask for help, it’s okay to say no to things.

If you ever need to chat to someone, please join our Pinax Slack team and ping us. And if you aren’t good in asking yourself the questions I mentioned above and need someone to ask you these questions every once in a while, please contact me in Slack at @anna or send me an email. I’d be happy to be that person for you :)