The Week I Hit A Mental Slump


  • Hitting a mental slump this week. Did I overwork myself?
  • A crunchy, hard-packed, bluebird day at Brighton.
  • Making salmon tikka masala IN MY VAN #vanlife.

February 2023


Where In The World Was I?

  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • ⛷️ Brighton
  • Salt Lake City, UT

Inputs (☕️ 💻)

  • Bjorn’s Brew
  • Urban Sailor Coffee (x2)
  • 3 Cups (Holladay, UT)
  • Honeysuckle Coffee Co. (Sandy, UT)
  • Woodbine Food Hall (3 Cups)
  • Salt Lake City Public Library
  • Sprague Branch Public Library

It was a coffee-shop kind of week 🙂

Outputs (✏️ 📚 📈)

  • Video posted for Denver’s Best Kept Secrets: The Top 5 Coffee Shops for Remote Workers
  • Business venture
    • Lots of market research
    • Research into the bootstrapping process
    • Research into startup/no-code tools to use
  • 2022 Year In Review reflection
  • New Time Tracking Table note for rewarding good habits, disincentivizing bad habits (aka YouTube)
  • Notes and takeaways from Goals by Brian Tracey

The Wall 🧱

On Wednesday, I had planned on skiing, but I woke up and checked the weather at Brighton to see:

  • 0ºF
  • 50+mph winds
  • Zero sun

… and thought, well that doesn’t sound very fun 😅

So I called an audible and went to Honeysuckle instead.

I continued with a bunch more market research. And after looking up so, so, many competitors… I started to feel a bit discouraged.

This pivoted idea came across my mind and I decided to look into that a bit. I hit a rabbit hole, getting quite excited, scrapping the rest of the plans I had for that work session.

My brain was/has been working really hard to piece all of this information and data together, to find the opportunities, the cracks in the armor. I just hit a wall at 10:45am that morning, way before the usual time I throw in the towel, around 12pm.

I spent the afternoon chilling at Sugar House Park, doing some shallow work, watching some YouTube, doing some little tasks around the van, etc.

I ended the evening with more market research, struggling to piece everything together.

I meditated twice that day, but I didn’t really properly disconnect or walk much.

I ended the night trying to wrap my head around everything, just exhausted.

I boiled it down to a couple takeaways:

  • These are hard problems I’m tackling right now. Harder than the previous couple months, where the focus has been on getting into publishing content rather than solving problems.
  • I believe working every day can be sustainable ONLY IF I properly disconnect from everything in the afternoons (read as: walking for an hour with no music; not-read as: watching Meet Kevin market updates at 2x speed on my bed, lol)
  • I’m in a transition period right now, juggling a lot of balls. Maybe I need to put a couple down.
  • I’m trying to learn a new process (bootstrapping) and I’m getting frustrated because I don’t know the process. It’s worth spending some time to actually learn the process.

I decided to take a break and ski the next day. It was gonna be 10-20ºF and sunny 🙂

⛷️ Brighton Ski Day

First day there!

It seems to be a smaller resort than others I’ve been to. More chill, lots of nice groomers, and less crazy terrain (think: Snowbird). The snow was unfortunately quite hard that day, but the sun was out which helped.

It was just nice to get outside, take a little break, explore a new mountain, and get some turns in.

Unfortunately I’m starting to deal with more knee pain after skiing than earlier in the season, which I think has also contributed to skiing fewer days lately. I’ve been trying to give my knees adequate rest before destroying them again and again 😅

Getting OVER The Wall

I made it a point to prioritize walking and disconnecting wayyy more.

I did, and it worked.

(Wed – the day I hit the wall; Thu – the ski day)

I spent quite a lot of time at Sugar House Park this week – bathrooms, tons of parking, lots of space to walk, space to charge from solar, right next to a great commercial area, close to Anytime Fitness. Just, perfect.

It’s amazing what a little break and a whole lot of disconnected walking can do.

I felt quite good Friday and Saturday, good enough that I decided to go to the library in the afternoon to squeeze in another hour behind the laptop each day. I definitely ended with a fried brain, but not completely exhausted. The balance of walking/working out with focused time worked quite well.

I wasn’t worried. I knew what to do – just get back to the basics.

I would’ve made that video talking through my struggle anyway. I decided to post that moment in an effort to share more authenticity. I think there’s an opportunity for more transparency and authenticity on social media and I’m trying to do my part.

I talked through some of this during my DailyV right after skiing Brighton that I thought was interesting.

The more I reflect, the more I think it just came down to:

  • Loss (more like change) of focus/direction
  • Tackling tough problems
  • Not enough disconnect relaxing time to balance out the focus time

It’s all been a nice reminder to take care of my mental health, to disconnect more fully, and get outside and walk more.

Food From The Week

So I went to this fast-casual (think: Chipotle) Indian place (Makam’s (Millcreek)) this week, as I was overwhelmed with a craving for some Indian food.

It was a little on the pricier side, so it pushed me to think, could I make this in my van?

So I did as any normal person would do… and asked ChatGPT for an easy salmon tikka masala recipe 😂, got all the ingredients, and followed the instructions.

(I only had diced tomatoes, not crushed tomatoes, so it came out a bit more orange than red, but now I know for next time)

  • ✅ Easy
  • ✅ Actually pretty delicious
  • ✅ Nutritious
  • ✅ Filling
  • ✅ Lots of leftovers
  • ✅ Something different from my usual meals

It’s got my vote!

Some other highlights:


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