staying healthy during your bootcamp

Oumaima Azzat
5 min readJul 12, 2021

…and how not too be too hard on yourself

Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash


To have a healthy sleep routine is a dream (no pun intended). As adults we all strive to go to sleep and wake up the next morning refreshed and ready to take on the day. If you already have a good sleep routine then good for you. If you don’t… you may want to think about having a fixed schedule. When I first started my bootcamp it was definitely I struggled with. I was going to sleep whenever, and waking up whenever. I didn't have a structured routine and there was no way I could have continued that routine with a 9–6 class days.

Be strict with yourself. There is really no other way to start a new routine other than holding yourself accountable. I personally had a hard time falling asleep while adjusting to a new schedule… I would lay there for hours just trying to get myself to sleep. There are a couple of things that supported my adjustment, one of them being melatonin. Don’t be weary, there are great natural melatonins that don’t leave you groggy. Self-care was my #1 trick to tricking my body to fall asleep sooner. Treat yourself to a nice shower, get into some comfortable clothes, whine then and REDUCE SCREEN TIME. Being on my phone or coding until the minute I fell asleep really contradicted the idea of getting a good nights rest. Get into a routine, make sure you’re getting the right amount of hours of rest, and most importantly know when to mentally and physically clock out for the day. It makes all the difference.


Photo by Ginny Rose Stewart on Unsplash

Learn from me and my experience, GET SOME MOVEMENT IN. Prior to starting my bootcamp I was incredibly active and physically healthy. Don’t get me wrong it is definitely hard to get active when your days run from 9am to 6pm, with more coding practice and other life priorities in the evening. I went from working out 5 days a week to not at all. Lack of movement is a physical and mental strain on someone and I definitely got a taste of that. Not only is it a physical contribution to your health but exercise can be a huge stress manager. If you can find the time for activities like yoga and meditation, they make all the difference. A balance of exercise and stress management built in one — and we all know we don’t have the time so a 2 in 1 is ideal.

Take the stairs when it’s feasible. Get out of your chair during the work days and try a 5 minute YouTube yoga video (this was seriously my go to — helped a lot with back pain). I know it all sounds impossible when you’re in a bootcamp but I promise accountability is key.


Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

I’ll be the first to admit — its much easier to gravitate towards junk food rather than taking the time to prep healthy snacks. As a programmer your days are spent at a computer with little to no movement let alone extra time to make healthy food options. So yes, I did grab the chips or cookies from time to time. In the long run these types of snacks and foods are not what sustained my energy for the remainder of my days. I would feel less motivated and more sluggish. Stray away from foods that are filled with sugar, fat, and unhealthy carbs. During bootcamp, it’s in your best interest to eat healthy foods whenever possible — that way you stay full AND focused. Something that I wish I had known sooner was too be more aware of the sort of groceries I was buying. If you buy it — you’ll eat it, and if you don’t then you don’t have the option to eat it. It’s such a simple thought but many of us forget to be more cautious.

I ended up opting for mixed nuts and trail mix that supported energy. Fruits that were easy to eat like tangerines and grapes. One great tip is to prep your veggies before the start of your day or maybe even the night before — then you have attainable good foods that are not detrimental to your health and motivation. Throw in some hummus and you have yourself a delicious snack that you wont feel so bad about.

Lastly, do not forget to stay HYDRATED. Staying hydrated throughout the day is equally important. And while sugary sodas might be tempting, water is always your best option to sip throughout the day. Coffee and tea were some of my go-to drinks for my mid-day pick ups, however it’s best to cut yourself off from all caffeine by the afternoon to ensure you get to sleep at a reasonable time.

Don’t be so hard on yourself at the end of the day. It’s okay to go for that donut sometimes, and maybe you don’t want to go to the gym after a 10 hour day. We’re all human and sometimes its okay to do the opposite of what may be “right”. These are just some tips that helped me stay on top when I began to slowly lose motivation and energy. No one knows your body like you do.

“To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we shall not be able to keep the mind strong and clear.” — Buddha

Happy Coding — :)



Oumaima Azzat

Full Stack Software Engineering Student at Flatiron School