I started the Better Man Podcast because I saw a gap in the way that men talk about their overall health and well-being, and …
When life throws you curveballs, it’s easy to set your workout regimen and habits aside. Then wonder why you don’t feel as great as you normally would. You’re not immune to life’s curveballs, and neither am I.
I’ll be honest – I’ve had a rough couple of months. Traveling more than usual led to getting COVID — while I’m in the middle of moving. I hadn’t had a normal workout in weeks, which made my back pain resurface with a vengeance. And I noticed I was in a state of mild depression – until I tried a few simple grounding techniques to re-establish my habits.
And you know what?
You can use these same techniques I reveal on today’s episode to get yourself out of a funk whenever life gets in the way. It may not be easy. But re-establishing your routines is one of the most effective ways to overcome life’s curveballs.
Since today’s episode serves as a recap from season 1, I also share the top 5 episodes so far, and re-establish my main goal for the podcast:
Improving your total well-being, especially on the neglected side of your mental and emotional health.
I started the Better Man Podcast because I saw a gap in the way that men talk about their overall health and well-being.
Too often, men shove their emotions down to act more like a “man.” But this causes insidious side effects like rage, depression, and shame.
But there’s a better way to build your mental and physical health, improve your relationships, and feel more joy each day. And each episode will dive into specific and actionable steps you can take today.
In this episode, you’ll discover the most effective ways to re-ground yourself if you’ve fallen off the wagon, simple tricks to improve your mental and emotional health, and an update on the future of the Better Man Podcast and Man Flow Yoga.
The Better Man Podcast is an exploration of our health and well-being outside of our physical fitness, exploring and redefining what it means to be better as a man; being the best version of ourselves we can be, while adopting a more comprehensive understanding of our total health and wellness. I hope it inspires you to be better!
Use the RSS link to find the Better Man Podcast on other apps: http://feeds.libsyn.com/404744/rss
Watch a Clip From Episode 024
Key Takeaways with Dean Pohlman
- The 2 most rarely talked about aspects of men’s wellness which crushes men’s joy everywhere (9:05)
- Why shoving your emotions down instead of inviting them in slowly sabotages your wellbeing, relationships, and life (10:51)
- The counterintuitive way being vulnerable makes you more masculine (12:19)
- The top 5 Better Man Podcast episodes for building an impenetrable state of mental health (12:43)
- How to calm yourself in stressful situations simply by breathing (and how to unlock the power of breath in the next 28 days) (14:19)
- Why shame is the #1 threat facing men (even if you don’t think your shame consumes you) (19:17)
- 4 simple ways to ground yourself again after falling off the wagon with your daily habits (32:550
- The “Happiness Lens” mindset shift which keeps depression at bay (even when your life’s in a depressive season) (37:25).
Dean Pohlman Notable Quotes
- “The mental and emotional side of things are 2 of the lesser discussed aspects of men’s wellness.” (9:12)
- “Men cannot just soldier on and deny their emotions.” (10:32)
- “People can go through difficult life situations and come out of it for the better.” (17:30)
- “Yoga isn’t always the fix.” (34:43)
Hey, guys, it is Dean. Welcome to the Better Man Podcast. Todays episode is going to be a little bit different. It’s just going to be me. There is no guest. I feel like I’ve got a lot of cool stuff that I can talk about. Some things that I think that you’ll want to hear that you will benefit from as well.
So I’m going to talk a little bit about the process of getting grounded. I’m going to talk about that kind of just within the experience of my own life. I’ve had a rough kind of last couple of months. I had COVID. I moved. I kind of gradually ended up with my back hurting and haven’t, hadn’t been in for a long time, was not able to really exercise.
So I’ll talk about that. I’ll talk about within that, we’ll talk about the difficulty of establishing new habits when you’re in a new environment. But really, I want to get into getting grounded and, you know, just that process of how do you feel more centered? How do you feel less less anxious, less worried, more focused? And I think I got a lot of really cool things to say there that I think you’ll find helpful.
But I also want to talk about the podcast so far.
So I’m going to give some updates on the podcast to talk about what the goals are with the podcast, what they what they’ve been. And I’m also going to give you my five favorite episodes from our first season. So to speak. So I would say that Season One of the Better Man podcast, unofficially saying that this is kind of the, the, the closure of season one. And I’ll tell you about some of the things I want to cover and later podcast and just kind of the feedback that I’ve heard and how we want to evolve that.
And then I also want to talk about what’s going on in Man Flow yoga. We’ve been making some pretty big moves over the last few months. A big focus here is making sure that it’s easier for you guys to get started with a program to find what you’re looking for. I’ve also started doing one on one coaching for the first time since 20 I want to say 20, 20, 18, I think. So it’s been a really long time. And talk about some of the things that I want to talk about in episodes in the in the Better Man podcast. And then. And then. Yeah.
So that’s all been moving slowly though, kind of because of the whole, you know, like I mentioned, before, those, those last few months have been pretty tough, just not having my usual levels of energy and motivation. But I’m going to really get into the process behind getting grounded again. So guys, this is going to be somewhat of a, somewhat of an update of my personal life and also on, you know, Man Flow Yoga. But there’s going to be a lot of lessons in here as well. So I think you’re going to enjoy it.
So let’s get started. Let’s take it back to, so I’m going to I’m going to kind of start off with this with leading into why I felt like I was on Grounded. So there are a few things that happened. I went on vacation at the beginning of July, and fortunately, my parents were able to watch our son Declan. So it was just my wife, Marissa and I. We had a glorious six days out in Hawaii. And then on the last day before we had our flight, my COVID symptoms started so I just kind of I pretended like I wasn’t sick because my my wife tends to get really anxious. So especially when it comes to, you know, COVID.
So we took some pretty what I would consider extreme measures over the last, you know, ever since the pandemic begin to avoid it. And so, you know, it was it was it was it was it was an uncertain and for me and then also a pretty scary thing for my wife. So we took a lot of precautions. But that being said, so COVID got me on that Friday. And then I didn’t want to tell my wife because I didn’t want to make her scared or nervous. So I just kind of hid my symptoms and just pretended I was tired for a couple of days. And then on Saturday on the flight back, that was when I, you know, driving home. That was kind of when I said, okay, you know, I’ve got COVID, I’m pretty sure we have COVID.
And then she ended up isolating from me for a few days and she got it anyways. On day five. So anyways, and for me, COVID actually, it hit me pretty hard. I was out for, I would say two to three weeks. I was feeling the symptoms for a week, you know, a fever just, you know, the, the just really, really low energy That was that was it for me.
But I would say I had mild to moderate symptoms. My wife actually had a lot better. I think she really had pretty mild symptoms. And she was back to back to work within seven days, I want to say.
So anyways, COVID, so I lost a bunch of weight. I think I lost about 10 pounds in that process. And obviously I stopped working out and then we moved. So kind of in the process of me having COVID, we were packing to move. We were, you know, moving things. I was packing a lot of stuff up and that ended up leading me to have some pretty significant back pain. I know it’s a it’s always weird when I tell people that I back pain because people assume like, Oh, but you’re a yoga instructor, there’s no way you have back pain. And actually I do. I do have it from time to time.
So anyways, so that back pain was there. And then I went to Lake Tahoe. My brother got married about a week after we moved. So all that extra traveling not good for the back. I got home, I did some stretches that I probably shouldn’t have I just thought that was what my body was needed. And then the next week I was just like my back was just in constant pain.
So anyways, this is all to say that I wasn’t exercising. I had moved, so I had an entirely new environment. I had low energy I was down £10. I wasn’t look, I didn’t look the way that I used to that I that I was accustomed to looking when I looked in the mirror. So, you know, I was kind of in a I was I wouldn’t say I was depressed, but I would say I was I was significantly worse off than I usually am. So I’ll go into that a little bit more later on in the podcast. But just talk about the difficulty of that. How do I how did I get grounded again? What were some mindsets that I adopted to help get through that?
But I do want to talk about the podcast as well. So right now we’ve had 24 podcast episodes. We have had a total of 77 ratings as of this recording. That’s 77 ratings on the Apple podcast platform with an average rating of 4.9 stars on Spotify. We have 29 ratings with an average of 4.8 stars. I’ve I have learned that the, I think the only way to actually give reviews on Spotify is to do it within the Spotify app on your phone. I’m not sure about that, but that’s the only way that I found it. So that’s how you can see that.
By the way, guys, if you haven’t already left a review and you have been enjoying the podcast, I would love to get a review from you guys would be super helpful. So please leave a review on Apple podcast or on Spotify.
We’ve had a lot of different types of conversations on the podcast. Most of them, if not all of them, have really followed the same format. But the, the, the questions and the answers have kind of those have gone in different directions a lot of times. Sometimes they they really focus, they stay on track, and then other times that will go completely off course. And I’m kind of, you know, I just kind of look around and like, how did we get to this particular topic right now? But that’s where we are and we just roll with it.
The lengths of varied, I think are shortest. They’ve been maybe 50 minutes, something like that. And some of our longer ones have been an hour and 40 minutes. I know based on feedback that you guys are looking for shorter podcasts, you know, so you guys want to stay, I think in the 45-50 minute range, maybe even shorter. So I, I’m going to be aware of that moving forward and make sure that I, I don’t go as long as I have been in the past in the past. I know some of them gone longer than I wanted them to and we don’t have to do every single question that I have for a guest all at once. You know, we can break that up into multiple episodes so that is something that I’ll keep in mind moving forward. I think when I’m recording, I just want to, I just want to have a really deep, really conversation. Just everything that I want answered all in that one episode and that, you know, causes it to go a little bit longer than it than it potentially could.
So and then kind of back to the you know what, the podcast, the podcast content. So a lot of it has you know, all of those episodes go with the goal of the podcast, which is really to dig into the some of the lesser discussed aspects of men’s wellness, which I think are the mental and the emotional side of things.
That’s that’s a big reason, I mean, that is the with the reason why I wanted to start this podcast is because I wanted to create more of a conversation around these aspects of health that aren’t are at the forefront of things.
There’s a lot of reasons for that. But for me personally, I just noticed that my own health was getting to this point where, you know, I’ve done a lot of stuff with fitness, I’ve done a lot of stuff with, you know, optimizing my habits with eating with sleeping with stress relief. But just the mental and the emotional side of things for me, just this it was it was starting to become very apparent that that needed to be addressed in order for me to kind of move forward with my overall mental wellbeing. And I felt that that was a general, you know, I felt that that was that was the sense that I was getting in my conversations with other guys that was kind of what I was noticing was lacking. So I really wanted to use this podcast, the Better Man podcast, to help create a new framework for what men’s mental, for what men’s wellness meant, more than just physical. It also meant mental and emotional aspects of wellbeing. It meant acknowledging that men cannot just soldier on and deny their emotions and just do their duties and, and, you know, work and shut up and just grind and, you know, like just and do everything without complaining because that’s just it’s an outdated way of thinking. You know, so many guys, I think, are just pretending that they don’t have emotions and just shoving their emotions back down and that was me for a really long time.
You know, I just I just did what I thought I needed to do. I didn’t complain about it. I kind of stuffed a lot of things down and then they would come out and, you know, they would come out really intensely, you know, something that wouldn’t have, you know, bothered me that much would push me over the edge and all of a sudden I was yelling, you know, I just had a lot of anger. And so I realized for me that this was mainly from a repression of emotions, of not having certain conversations.
And so, again, the Better Men podcast is is a goal to help men reframe what we think of as the the the the optimal man sort of speak or or a kind of re imagining redesigning values that men have so that we can incorporate more of a focus on mental and emotional well-being. So that’s what the podcast was for. And a lot of some of the conversations did a good job of that. Some of them stayed more on the fitness, more on the informational side of things. But I really did try to dig into the emotional and mental aspects of things and a lot of this through personal, personal questions of people trying to get, you know, understanding their personal experiences and getting them to go into those vulnerable places where they have to discuss, you know, the the sometimes uncomfortable conversations of, of, of emotions of of what was going on in their head, of how did they get out of depression, how did they deal with anxiety. And there were five episodes, I think, in particular, that were, at least for me, that were really impactful, not saying that there weren’t other ones. But for me, if you haven’t listened to these five episodes, these are the ones that I would say you should go back and take a listen to.
The first one I would say is the Fit Father Project interview I did with Dr. Anthony Banducci, Anthony is, has become, I would say, a good friend of mine over the last few months, depending on when you we actually have just released the fit Father Project Yoga Program within the Fit Father Project Universe. So that is available now on Fit Father Project. We’ve also just done a ton of talking over the last few months. He had a baby in March, you know, I had Declan back in June. 20, 20.
So anyways, we’ve just stayed in contact, you know, a lot and, and that episode in particular, we really get deep on the just some of the, some of the tough things that Anthony has gone through, his mindset, his kind of philosophy on on viewing the world on how he and how he thinks, on how he behaves. And that episode was just really powerful for me. I think I got a ton out of that and I think you will too. So check out that one.
The second one I want to mention is the episode I did with Brian Mackenzie, and this is our first episode that we released for the Better Man podcast. This episode was awesome because we really focused on the power of breathing. If you ever want to get inspired to focus more on your breathing, this is the episode to do it. And since that episode I have really, really focused on nasal breathing as much as possible. I’ve been using my breath to calm myself more in stressful situations when I go on walks. Now, I concentrate on slow controlled breathing.
We actually put out a Breath Series challenge this month in the Man for Yoga App and Numbers Area called the Breath Series 28 Day Challenge, and it really focuses on helping you unlock the power and the benefits that come from a sustained focus on slow controlled breathing. So the Brian Mackenzie episode is fantastic for getting inspired to to breathe more effectively, but learning about all the things that come to your body, to your brain, your mind, your emotions when you focus on that breathing.
And then the third episode, this this one kind of surprised me. This one was with Blake Bowman. And Blake is someone that I met at a conference a few years ago and you know, when I was looking for guest, I was like, oh, yeah, I wonder if Blake would be available. He’s got a he’s got a very popular brand called Gorilla Zen Fitness. And so anyways, we had a conversation. I didn’t know him too well, but we really got into, you know, the emotions and the mindset and kind of where he was when he lost his dad when he was I want to say he was in his early twenties, maybe he was 20, 21, maybe even 19. And we just talk about some of the strategies that he used and, and what he was going through and how he came out of that for the better.
And that’s a big concept that we talk about that has come up over and over again. In the veteran podcast is how do you go through crises, how do you make it through difficult life events and how do you come out for the better because that seems to be a really, you know, that seems to be a common, a common theme about, you know, people who have had who have gone through these difficult things in their life, but but they come out for the better. And so I’m really curious about you know, I’m really curious about that. And I’ve actually looked into some I think I read something about it. I might have been in a book. I read a lot of stuff from the self-development category and and, you know, behavioral psychology and that kind of thing. And one of these in one of these sections that was talking about this concept of of people kind of coming out for the better from you know, these difficult life situations. And it said that people who are in their early twenties have a better chance or they they do better coming out of these situations than do people who are, you know, older than that. So that was something that I think was interesting. And I know most you guys listening to this are older than your twenties, myself included. So it’s not to say that you can’t too. I just thought that was interesting when I read a read up on it.
And it definitely is a confirmed phenomenon that people can go through difficult life situations but come out for the better. I just for me, I’m curious what’s the process for doing that? And so I got to have that conversation with Blake.
The fourth episode, I say, I’ll say that I really enjoyed was Chase Chewning and Chase, I was introduced to I can’t remember how he got introduced, but Chase has a really popular podcast called Ever Forward Radio. And Chase is a former you know, he’s an Army veteran. He he had PTSD from his from his deployment. And then he came home and he had you know, eventually he realized he had to deal with it. And so a lot of what he does is talks talks about things that he does for his mental wellbeing. So I think that was a great episode because it just it just focused so well on the goals of the podcast. So I really liked that conversation we had.
And then the fifth episode that I’ll mention is Nate Checketts, and Nate is the founder of Rhone. I’m a very proud brand ambassador for the Rhone Apparel brand, but Nate’s also just a really he’s a really successful guy, but he’s also a very present father. And, you know, it was it was great to have a conversation with him just because he and he’s, he’s what I would like to… where he is is where I would like to be there eventually in terms of his success level, but also his the relationships that he’s created in his own life. With his family.
And if for nothing else, the one thing that made me go wow in that podcast discussion was his answer to the last question I ask at the end of every podcast, which is what do you think is the number one threat facing men? And his answer was shame. And initially I thought about it like, Oh, shame is not really an issue for me. And then I thought more about it and I realized that every night and every day I’m just filled with shame. Not in the sense that I’ve done something that I’ve, you know, I’m deeply regretful for, but I am filled with shame about what I perceived to be a lack of a lack of success or a lack of getting things done or just a lack of I could have done this better, or I could have been more patient. I could have I could have had this a better interaction with with my son, or I could have done better for my wife.
So I’m I’m you know, it was at that it was in the days following that discussion that I realized, oh, my gosh, I’m just, shame is is really this is a huge thing. And if it’s something that I have, you know, I know I’m not special, so I know that other men have it, too. So that was a conversation that really got me to think about things differently and and start looking at my own life and figuring out where does shame show up and how can I, how can I address that? So those are my five episodes that I would say check out if you haven’t already listened to those episodes from the Better Man podcast. So those are really powerful.
And I want to move on and talk about what’s going on in Man Flow Yoga, because ultimately this this podcast would not exist if not for Man Flow Yoga, if not for, you know, this unique, fitness centric male focus, physical fitness discipline that I’ve developed and that you know, tens of thousands of men all over the world are doing.
So big thing that we’ve been focused on for the last couple of months has been how do we improve? How do we improve the onboarding experience? So how do we make it easier for people who are new to get started? But then also, how do we keep people going? What’s the plan for people to keep going after that? And my you know, my my my previous strategy has been to give people more flexibility to be able to choose programs that inspire them the most, to be able to do what they think was going to be most helpful for them. And and now that I’m in this and kind of thinking of of creating just a better experience for people, I’m I’m much more leaning towards let’s give people a set list of programs to follow along to. Let’s give people, you know, an idea of where they can be in three months, six months, 12 months, you know, and we can, and even though I already know what that looks like for for a good amount of our members, if we kind of make that process a little more formalized, then it’ll be a lot easier for us to be able to say, Oh yeah, at six months you’re going to be doing this program and you will have gone through blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
So just giving people kind of a more, a more universal experience, so that they can expect certain changes down the line and you know, they can progress: start a beginner, go to intermediate, experienced, so on.
And what we found is that, you know, Man Flow Yoga is really unique. You know, people who come in from other types of yoga, they kind of have to relearn the way that they’re doing yoga because Manville yoga focuses so much on things like muscle activation, on active mobility versus passive flexibility, on building more strength, on integrating body weight exercises, things that you might see in physical therapy, a lot of things that you just won’t see in typical yoga.
So, you know, it it is it is this kind of this this new way of how we’re going to help people get started is going to work for, you know, basically everybody. We’ll still have programs that we that we recommend to people based on, OK, well, if you have significant back pain to the point that you’re having you know, you’re not able to exercise at all, we’re still going to direct you to our bullet proof your back program, which is awesome for getting rid of back pain. But anyways, so that’s kind of stuff that we’re thinking.
I also started one on one coaching. That’s something that I haven’t done since 2018. Initially this started off as just doing phone calls where we get on the phone for, you know, 20, 30 minutes. Some of them I didn’t time managed very well and they went up into the 50 minute range which is way too long. But eventually these I realized that the real benefit of these calls came at the end when I came up with a plan for people. So we eventually kind of pivoted one on one calls to customized training plans.
And so what we do now is or personalized training or customized training plans, I always forget which one it is, but what we do now is or what I do now is I have a few questions, a few specific questions that I ask everybody who signs up. We understand what your your primary goals are. And then I come up with a four to six week plan for you to follow. So some of this includes, you know, a main yoga workout program to follow. Sometimes it involves creating a custom list of of workouts based on your specific goals.
But we also go into other things like how often should, if you’re doing running or if you’re doing weight training, how often should you be doing each of these? Can you use yoga as a warm up? Do you use yoga as a cooldown? We’ve also looked at what are you doing in the evenings? Like, are you doing things for your mental wellness? Are you doing things to make sure that you’re sleeping well at night? Take a look at nutrition, if that’s something that that comes up.
So these these we also look at we talked a lot about motivation, talked a lot about motivation, talked a lot about let’s see here, talk about motivation. We also talk about habit formation. So how do you go about creating habits? You know, if you have issues with sticking with a workout program, that’s those are conversations that we have. So it’s been great because I get to talk about things that I don’t talk about as much in my workout videos. But things that I do on a daily basis, things that I’m really passionate about, that I read about, that I study that I work with on a one on one situation so anyways, that one on one coaching is pretty cool and that’s something that we’ve been adapting or working on as well. New ideas for the podcast. So you know, I think we’re going to keep doing some episodes in the format that you guys are used to. You know, we start off with specific questions or questions specific to the research that I’ve done about the guests. From there we move into, you know, kind of part two, which is a list of questions that I have centered around men’s wellness. And then and then we wrap up.
I’m also going to start doing some more solo episodes focusing on the, the, the big questions that I get within man for yoga, you know, which are why do men need yoga, specifically for men? Which which is, I think, a great a great topic, one that, you know, one that I’m extremely passionate about and one that I live on a daily basis. We can also talk about motivation. That’s something that I have conversations with people about on a daily basis. It’s also something that I’m very interested in, something that I, you know, can struggle with some time. Some time is a time as well. I don’t really struggle with it that much, just because, you know, I have a lot of things in place and a lot of different understandings about motivation. But, you know, it’s something that I’m not always excited to go work out I don’t feel excited about every workout that I film, you know, but there are strategies to employ and that’s something that we can talk about.
We can also talk about specific things like back pain, like what causes back pain, how do you get rid of it? Why is there no universal fix? So those types of topics are things that I think are going to be really great topics to cover on the Better Man podcast just because they’re, you know, the thing is, this is why people come to Man Flow Yoga. So it’d be great to explore on the podcast as well.
But as I said before, it’s been a bit of a rough couple, you know, last two and a half months, and this is where I want to kind of segway back into to the initial conversation of getting grounded because, you know, I’ve been working on a lot of these things, but they have been, you know, these things that I just mentioned with Man Flow Yoga and the podcast, but they’ve been kind of slow going and that’s because so many of the habits that I had in place to keep me grounded kind of just got totally wrecked by this combination of of COVID, of moving of back pain, you know.
So COVID I lost my physical health. Moving, I lost my environment. You know, I didn’t have my traditional you know, still moving into things. I didn’t have my traditional work setup. I didn’t have things organized in the house. I didn’t I wasn’t familiar with my surroundings yet. Certain things like I didn’t have blinds and my bedroom window, so I couldn’t sleep as well as I wanted to. I ended up just putting a bunch of pillows up there eventually.
But then also, you know, with the back pain, which happened as a result of combination of COVID not working out moving and then traveling and then not being able to work out like I normally do, not just yoga, but also the more intense. I wouldn’t say more intense because you can be it can be intense. But I will say, you know, resistance training, you know, is a pretty important part of my my my workouts.
I also wasn’t able to do my resistant strain because I didn’t have access to my gym and I also did not have access to working out because my back just didn’t feel up to working out. So all of these things kind of kind of made it so I wasn’t grounded. Like I like I used to be. So so during that process, you know, it was kind of August and I had pretty low motivation to do things. I didn’t have energy to do things I also had pretty consistent pain day to day in my back. So that sucked out a lot of energy as well. And that made it that, So that at night, I was just ready to go to sleep. All right, quick pause there. I had to do something with the front door and I’m just saying this because it might sound a little awkward picking back up where I left off. And you’re like, What happened? So I’m just going to go ahead and say it that I stopped for a minute and I’m coming back in. But so anyways, you know, I had those things going on where I wasn’t able to exercise. I had significant back pain. I was too tired at the end of the day to do my normal evening habits, which would be meditating, just cooling down. I also noticed that I wasn’t journaling at all, and that really had I noticed that to have a really significant impact.
So, you know, I just I had a lot of habits that weren’t happening. I wasn’t able to exercise the way that I was used to and that just that made that got me into this state of I just wasn’t feeling great. You know, I, I wasn’t able to stay focused with work. I didn’t have a lot of motivation and to do work, you know, I think I, during that time, we just recently moved. So I ended up just doing a lot of stuff with, I ended up just doing a lot of stuff with the house, you know, like looking at furniture, thinking about different projects that I wanted to do, unpacking things, arranging things, looking at plans, you know, I just did a lot of stuff that was that I wanted to do rather than do things that, you know, I really I needed to do for work. I will say kind of, you know, fortunately with, you know, what I’ve set up with Man Flow Yoga, it is not absolutely imperative for me to to work 8 hours a day. So I’m really grateful for the, you know, the type of business that I’ve set up and of course, also for all of our amazing community members and our team members. So, you know, it’s really great. I’m really grateful because I was able to kind of give myself some time off, you know, even though I really don’t give myself that much time off. And I, I work a lot, but it was nice to be able to take that time off and not, you know, not see the website blow up in a bad way. So so anyways, I was doing a lot of other stuff and instead of, you know, the things that would make me feel fulfilled, I was kind of distracting myself a lot. I had I had a lot of difficulty focusing. So even when I was working, I just wasn’t able to stay on task. I wasn’t able to you know, kind of see the view from 3000 feet or 30,000, whatever, whatever the phrases, I just I wasn’t able to really take a step back and look at things as a whole. And I realized one day it just dawned on me, you’re not grounded. And I was like, Wow, you’re right. You’re right, Me, I’m not grounded. And so so eventually I started looking at what are the things that I need to do to feel grounded. And I started journaling again. I started making, you know, exercise in the morning a priority, even though I wasn’t able to, you know, do my full exercise. I was able to do some exercises, some yoga.
I started doing just a little bit of resistance training just when I could I couldn’t, you know, I couldn’t I couldn’t do my normal you know, go deadlift 300 plus pounds or work on, you know, squatting a lot of weight, work on doing, you know, a lot of heavy stuff. But at least I could do some stuff that wouldn’t aggravate my back. And then I actually started, you know, talking with my wife for physical therapy purposes. My wife is a physical therapist, so I started learning, OK, what are the exercises that I really need to do here to fix my back and also to address this issue long term? Because this was actually something that kind of popped up in 2020 when I had had Declan and just a lot of sitting there caused cause very similar but less severe back pain. And it eventually kind of just went away I was able to focus on exercises that didn’t cause pain. But this time around, I want to make sure that I’m doing the right exercises to prevent the pain from ever coming back. So for that, you know, having a physical therapist nearby is great.
And I will also say that yoga isn’t always the fix. This is something that I’ve set a lot of. I don’t pretend that yoga is the only thing that I do. And I also don’t pretend that yoga is the the ultimate fix for for everything it can be helpful, but, you know, it can also be harmful. And you also need to do the appropriate exercises. So, you know, taking a more open view of fitness and not relying on a single discipline, but understanding that it’s about finding the right movements, finding the right expertize, the right whatever discipline that means. It’s about, you know, doing what your body needs rather than sticking to a specific discipline. So anyways, and then in the evening I started, so one reason why I didn’t meditate is because in my previous home, I had this great tiny little you know, it was like 15 by seven feet, just a little screened in back porch where I was just able to sit and think at night and meditate and wind down. And it was quiet out there. It was outside of the house. There wasn’t any TV sounds. I didn’t have to worry about anything while I was out there. Declan was asleep, and that was where I went to kind of, you know, process the day.
And I don’t have that here in in our new home. That is something that I’ve, I’ve made a priority. I’ve looked at, you know, all the different tasks that we have to do on all the different little projects that we have. And I have decided that putting in a little screen porch is a priority because it’s mental health related for me. But anyways, so I realized, well, you don’t need a porch to meditating. So I started doing my meditation again in the evenings, just sitting down, letting my brain process things. And that’s been extremely helpful too.
Another thing that I do is walking. I’ve reestablished my walking habits. You know, for me, that’s really important that I walk in the morning, that I walk in the evening, I’ve also found walking during the day to help break things up is really helpful. I just went on a pretty, you know, nice little 30 minute walk before I started recording this podcast episode.
So, you know, there are all these things that I, all these habits that I’m slowly like getting back into and making them consistent. But it didn’t all happen at once. You know, this is something that has taken me the better part of the last month to do and if I have you know, one thing that I want to impart on you is that this is a process. This is not something that happens automatically.
And one thing that has really helped me through this process has been to understand that I need to look at where I currently am, through a certain lens. I need to look at where I am understanding that I am in a worse place than I normally am. So instead of looking at it for what it is, I look at it through this lens of, hey, you know what? You’re not doing your habits. Your back isn’t feeling great. You’re 10 pounds down from what you’re used to be. You don’t have a lot of motivation for work right now.
So I have to look at life through this lens in order to make sure that I maintaining my overall levels of happiness of of content. Because if I just looked at them and compared it to what it was a few months ago, I would be sad, I would be depressed. So looking through things, understanding that this is kind of just a blip on the radar, it is a temporary process that I’m going through. It’s a temporary down period. Being able to look at it like that has been incredibly helpful for getting through this period.
And I’m telling you all this because this is something that we’re all going to go through. It’s just going to happen. You’re going to have ups and downs, but the important thing is to look at these periods as temporary. You know, a few weeks ago, you know, I think there were some points where I thought, wow, is my back ever going to feel better? And, you know, that’s something that I think people that’s a normal thing to think when you’ve had back pain for you know, days or weeks and you’re wondering, will I ever do what I want to do again? And, you know, the logical part of me or the part of me that was deep down or, you know, whatever said no, Dean, you’re going to get back to what you enjoy doing. You’re going to figure out how to make this back pain go away. And things are going to get better. And so having faith in that, having faith in that has been something that has a, has gotten me through this and it took me a while to be able to.
I haven’t done, I’ll say that I also haven’t done much content creation for the last couple of months. I’ve done a couple short videos, but I haven’t sat down in front of a camera like this and talked at for an extended period of time. I haven’t made something for an audience. Yes, I’ve done the one on one calls for my personalized training, a customized training plans, but I haven’t done like something longer. I haven’t I don’t think I’ve I haven’t recorded a workout in, in a few months just because we recorded a lot of workouts in advance. So it’s going to be interesting when you guys start seeing some of the, the videos that we will be filming in the coming weeks because my body is going to look a lot different like, whoa, Dean, what happened to your, your legs? Because, yeah, I lost a lot of I lost a lot of muscle thanks to COVID. But I’m pretty confident that, you know, within a few months I’m going to get back up to where I was and I’m going to be strong and feel the way that I normally do.
Anyways, that is all to say that I just I haven’t felt you know, I haven’t felt up to my usual standard and I haven’t been creating I haven’t been I haven’t felt motivated to to do something like this in a long time. So it was a process of getting back to where I am currently and I’m saying that because I want you to know that that that this is it is a process. It will be a process for you as well. So if you’re feeling down right now, if you have moved recently, if your environment has changed, if you’re not doing the things that you normally do, then keep all of this in mind that you can get back to where you were. But it’s going to take time and you just have to do, you know, one habit at a time, slowly getting things back into it.You’re not going to be able to do it all at once, but try to focus on the things that you know are going to be most impactful. For me, that meant doing exercise on a daily basis and it meant journaling. Those are that those are I think, the two big things that really helped me start to start to feel grounded again. And I feel like I’ve kind of turned a point and I’m really looking forward to getting back into content creation to to recording more podcast episodes, to recording more workouts, to, to, to doing more social media, you know, and all the stuff that I do with Man Flow Yoga.
So I’m going to go ahead and just just end it there. That’s kind of what I want to talk about. Guys, if you enjoyed this episode, if found it helpful again, please leave a review on, on Apple podcast or on Spotify.
If you haven’t listened to any of those five episodes that I mentioned earlier in the podcast, I would highly recommend it. Again, we had the Fit Father Project interview with Dr. Anthony Baldacci; we had the Breath Focus with Brian Mackenzie; with Blake Bowman, Gorillaz Zen Fitness; Chase Chewning of Ever Forward Radio; and Nate Checketts, the CEO of Rhone. So those are five episodes that I think you’ll really get a lot out of. I’m looking forward to recording more episodes. I hope to hear you. I hope, hope to you. I hope you can hear me soon on another episode. Check me out on YouTube, the Man Flow Yoga YouTube channel. If you’re looking for structured programs to follow, that’s of course, the Man Flow Yoga app and members area. We just put out a brand new 28 day breath series challenge, which has been a really cool experience for a lot of people. So definitely check that out if you’re interested. And I will look forward to hearing from you guys again soon.
All right. Thanks for listening. And I hope this inspires you to be a better man.[END]
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