Basic health stack

In programming, a set of interacting components in a software architecture is sometimes called a “stack”. I’ve seen people online use the word to point at a more general version of the same idea. Like a lot of exported software terms, it has kind of a goofy connotation to me, like people are trying to turn our whole conceptual space into cool techy-sounding jargon or something.

On the other hand, “basic health stack” does seem to work well to describe the idea I have in mind today. I try to keep healthy habits, but I struggle to keep them all going all the time. It seems like sometimes I just have to let them go for a bit, and then pick them back up when I’m able. The same goes for refraining for bad habits. Sometimes I’ll fall back into them for a bit, but I think it’s okay as long as I can break them again later.

Photo credit: / Korean Culture and Information Service (Jeon Han)

The tricky part is, these habits build on each other in both directions. When I feel good, I have an easier time doing the things that make me feel good. When I feel bad, I let more healthy habits go, and it creates a vicious cycle. So if I want to continue to feel good, I want my lapses to be somewhat strategic, so I don’t lose a good cycle or start a bad one.

With all that in mind, I’ve tried to figure out the core set of things I need to do most of the time in order to feel well, that is, my “basic health stack”. Ideally, these would be the last habits I drop, if I need to drop some habits. Not all of them need to be adhered to daily, but the longer I go without them, the more I risk a vicious cycle.

The list I’ve come up with so far:

One more thing I’m considering for the list is something like “committments” or “obligations”. I’m not sure exactly what to call it, but I think it’s important to be needed for things that are bigger than just yourself, that you’re not doing for just yourself. Being in a relatively uncommitted stage of life, I sometimes need to seek these things out more intentionally. They keep me out of just my own little world, and they help me grow as a person.

Do you have a “basic health stack”? Are the things I listed important for you? Are there any items I’m missing you think most people would need in their stack? Let me know your thoughts at my Ctrl-C email: gome ​@ ​