Danni Pomplun on Self-Care for Men

After starting his journey with Wanderlust as a hiker, Danni is very familiar with the magic of Wanderlust and is an excellent guide for die-hard travelers and newbies alike. You can see Danni doing yoga conditioning on Wanderlust TV, a mixed practice of strength and mobility training with the basic principles of yoga.

Self-care has been a focus for women in recent years as research has surfaced into the increasing stress women experience in balancing work and life. Women are increasingly realizing that making healthy choices about exercise, sleep, and diet, as well as an arsenal of self-care tools such as essential oils or restorative yoga, can prevent tension from building up in both body and mind. But what about men?

Research shows that men have a harder time coping with stress than women, making them more prone to depression and withdrawal, but men do not tend to report their situation and self-care is rarely discussed. At Wanderlust there are of course men too – many of them are brought along by their partners. For many men, the festival is perhaps the first best place to learn how to better take care of their emotional and spiritual health.

"The two easiest ways to relax are to have a drink or watch TV," says Danni Pomplun, a San Francisco-based yoga teacher. “These decisions are not bad, but they are not sustainable in the long term. After both, you don't necessarily feel refreshed or relaxed, ”he says.

Research confirms it. Studies show that nightly binge-watching television, for example, leads to fatigue, symptoms of insomnia, and poorer sleep quality. And while alcohol can help manage stress in the short term, in the long run it can contribute to depression and anxiety that make stress difficult to deal with. For this reason, like at a festival, encouraging men to engage in wellness activities can be a viable antidote.

The Challenge of Self Care for Men

Danni says he went through a period of burnout when he started teaching yoga. "The easiest way was to go home and have a beer to relax, but it made it worse and I knew I had to find a strategy to replenish my energy reserves."

He says that one of the challenges men face when it comes to self-care is even recognizing that it's okay to take time to relax or unwind. “One of the reasons we don't talk about self-care for men is because, as a man, you feel like you have to push it through or make it persistent. You can be ashamed if you take a moment. ”In yoga classes, Danni says, he sees men pushing themselves beyond their capabilities so that even exercise is sometimes not a helpful stress reliever for men. A place like Wanderlust can help men find support and fellowship by meeting other men who are into wellness.

The very term "self-care" can be scary, he points out. "As men, we often talk about 'manning' or 'muscling,' so even talking about something like self-care can feel very vulnerable." But he hopes that self-care for men can be normalized – "even if it's called 'time off' or 'me-time'," he adds.

Small changes = big changes

Small changes in a routine or schedule can work wonders, says Danni. "Going to a park during your lunch break, turning off the phone an hour before bed, or listening to music in a relaxed position in the morning or evening … Simply finding ways to signal your body and mind that it is time to settle down can be very helpful."

He says he established a bedtime ritual that includes making tea, listening to music or meditating, and turning off the phone. "Just these little inclusions of self-care can reduce stress," he shares.

Since men don't tend to be self-sufficient, partners and girlfriends can be helpful in helping the men in their lives relax, find alternatives to watching TV or going to a bar.

Danni says one way is to participate in healthy activities together. “Go to the park with your partner or friend, take a yoga class or cook or make tea together. When we do things together, it shows that it is normal to take care of yourself. It shows that there are many ways to spend time rejuvenating, and that these ways are not that uncommon. "

It's also important to take the time to take care of your body and have fun, he adds. “Spending time in an environment where your body is cared for and you are surrounded by people who take care of themselves can really help reset the system and encourage a commitment to more downtime during the work week. "

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Helen Avery is a Senior Writer at Wanderlust Media. She is also a journalist, writer, yoga teacher, pastor, and full-time dog walker for Millie, based in Brooklyn, New York. You can find more information about her on her website, Life as Love.

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