Craig Robertson was a guest on The All Things Sexual Wellness Podcast with R+E sponsor Kelly Engelmann. Self-care has become a buzzword in this modern day. But men rarely talk about their self-care practices. Listen as Craig walks us through his radical day of extreme self-care. The host also talked with Craig about some of his discoveries throughout the day as he cared for his mind, body, soul, and spirit and how it impacted how he approaches self-care today.
This episode was recorded at Blue Sky Studios with Kelly Englemann of Enhanced Wellness Living on January 20, 2023.
Bonus Episode – Craig and Kelly Englemann Discuss A Radical Day of Extreme Self-Care
Kelly Englemann: Welcome to the All Things Sexual Wellness Podcast, hosted by Enhanced Wellness Living, where we’re gonna teach you everything you need to know about all things sexual wellness. Hi, I’m Kelly Engelmann, host of All Things Sexual Wellness podcast. I’m a family nurse practitioner. Board certified in anti-aging and regenerative medicine, and also certified as a sexual health practitioner through A4M.
My co-host is Amanda Carter and we practice in Ridgeland, Mississippi at Enhanced Wellness Living. I’m so blessed to have Amanda. She has brought life to our sexual health program for both men and women. So we’re gonna dig into some content, but first I have a little bit of disclaimer. This podcast, we are not here to treat any health condition.
This podcast is for information only. So if you’re having some struggles and want help, please reach out to the clinic. You can reach out to us on our website, www.enhancedwellnessliving.com, or you can give us a call (601) 364-1132, or you can reach out to your current healthcare provider.
The other disclaimer is that this is adult content. If you have littles sitting around listening to this podcast, you may wanna grab your earbuds or your headphones. We do want you to listen, but we just wanna be responsible about how this content gets out. So grab those earbuds. Let’s dig in. This is gonna be awesome.
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Awesome. Well, welcome to the All Things Sexual Wellness Podcast. We’re back in production today, and I’m so excited that we have Craig Robertson here with us today. I want him to share his story. So, Craig, let’s dive in. Tell me who you. I wanna know how you got into like thinking about your health and wellness, so let’s dive in.
Craig Robertson: Yeah. Well, Kelly, thanks for inviting me to do this. I think it’s awesome what you’re doing. You have so much to share with so many people, so it’s real honor to sit with you in this environment. But, I’m a divorce lawyer. I’m in a super high stress job. I’ve done it now for 24 years, day-to-day, dealing with people who are in that type of life transition. And so that’s how I spend my days. I’m married. Uh, I’ve been married for over 20 years, and I’ve got teenage daughters. I’ve got a daughter who is a freshman at Mississippi State, and I’ve got a daughter who is a high school junior.
Kelly Englemann: Nice!
Craig Robertson: Yeah.
Kelly Englemann: That’s awesome. So what got you into, you know, when I think about this podcast, we’re talking about all things sexual wellness, and one of the things I wanna highlight is for men, particularly how important it is to take care of yourself. You guys have a big job. You mentioned your high stress job, you mentioned your family. You know, we want you guys to stay strong and stay the course, whatever God has in your plan, and what got you into really thinking about taking care of your health because oftentimes that does not get thought about until there’s a challenge.
Craig Robertson: Right. Well, I was actually a college athlete. I was a, a baseball player in college, and back when I played, there was no emphasis on health and wellness. I mean, no real em- well, there was a training table, you know, in. First floor of the dorm that we lived in, but beyond that, and maybe having baked chicken available to us, not a whole lot of emphasis on health and wellness, even as a college athlete back in the mid nineties.
Kelly Englemann: Right.
Craig Robertson: So, you know, life started happening, did law school and started working at a desk and spent, you know, 40 to 60 hours a week working at a desk and I don’t know, 10 years into my career, simple health check, cholesterol’s all outta whack. And so that was my first moment as an adult where I really started thinking about lifestyle and what that looks like because I didn’t want to be on cholesterol medicine for the rest of my life, so.
Kelly Englemann: Right. So our bodies are meant to move. Right. And you had been used to being very active as a college athlete, and now you find yourself not only stressed, but sitting for prolonged periods of time.
Craig Robertson: Exactly. And you know, I was a baseball player, so athlete is a loose term when it comes to baseball in general, and those who can hear my voice, who know baseball players already know that. But yeah, I mean a stationary lifestyle. I mean, I work on my feet in the courtroom, but you know, those moments are few and far between. And when I am there, it’s a super high stress environment where I’m trying to juggle about four or five things at one time. So anyway, cholesterol all outta whack. Started, uh, triathlon training. Got in the best shape of my life. In my late thirties, early forties, and then herniated a disc in my back, which sidelined me from doing that. Became really difficult to run on the street even though I could still swim and I could still ride my bike and COVID happens.
You know, the world changed and the way that we worked changed and quite frankly, just fell outta shape again. I got up to probably 240 pounds, was drinking too much, uh, would come home after a stressful day and you know, would, would have a drink to relax and settle in, and as time went on, It started really impacting my health in general.
Kelly Englemann: Yeah. So that, you know, drinking or eating or a combination of both kind of became the entertainment with COVID.
Craig Robertson: I agree completely. You hear people,
Kelly Englemann: we’re so incredibly bored. Let’s find something to,
Craig Robertson: yeah. Netflix, eat, drink. That’s about the deal. Yes. Yeah, absolutely. I’ve heard that a lot. It was probably about six or seven months ago. Again, I guess I’m hardheaded, but didn’t even know it. But I went in for a, another routine check and my blood pressure was high and yeah, now, you know, and I honestly, I thought that, There was something wrong with the the monitor and so I bought a blood pressure monitor, started monitoring my own blood pressure, and quickly learned that, you know, it was just, it was time to make some significant changes. And so I would say that has been the most recent catalyst for, for change in my life. Yeah.
Kelly Englemann: So we say that cardiovascular disease, Particularly high blood pressure is the silent killer. Yes. Because often times there are zero symptoms. You may feel perfectly fine and that blood pressure is ticking up. So good for you for going in for your checkup, figuring out you had a problem, deciding to self-monitor, which I think is phenomenal. And then better yet, I’m gonna do something about this.
Craig Robertson: You know, I, I’d honestly. I wasn’t feeling great, but I, it felt normal to me. Right. And so it wasn’t until I got my blood pressure under control that I really could tell the difference on a day that, you know, my blood pressure was up.
Kelly Englemann: So it’s, it’s kind of like that analogy where you put the frog in the pot of water. And it heats up gradually over time until it’s spoiling and it doesn’t even know it’s spoiling. Right. Same thing happens with people. Yes. You know, the volume gets turned up and we don’t necessarily recognize, we don’t feel well till we start feeling better and it’s like, wow. (laughs)
Craig Robertson: so I’ve got vivid pictures of, you know, lack of cardiovascular health in my family and my father who I lost age 83. He was a man’s man. He was left-handed. He had big hands. He was an electrician. He worked on ladders with his hands above his head, you know, all of his life and. After we had a big party for him on his 80th birthday, and within six months of that he developed some vascular issues in his legs, which led to having one of his legs amputated, which was, it started him down the road to, you know, the last years of his life. And so I’ve got very vivid pictures, acute pictures in my mind of what a lack of cardiovascular health looks like. And so, just turned 49 years old.
Kelly Englemann: Congratulations.
Craig Robertson: Thank you, . Uh, I’m not 50 yet. I’m counting, counting down the days until I hit that. And so, anyway, so I have a vivid mental picture. I’m very visually driven and I’ve got a, a, a very great picture in my mind about about a lack of cardiovascular health and what I am trying to avoid.
Kelly Englemann: Yeah. So you have a picture of what not to end up with.
Craig Robertson: Exactly.
Kelly Englemann: So do you have a picture in your mind of what you want?
Craig Robertson: Uh, you know, I’m working on it every day. Okay. And so, yeah, you know, every day I learn a little bit more and trying to manage the stress associated with the work that um, that I do. I do. I am currently taking, uh, medication for blood pressure, which I- I’m hoping to be able to slowly but surely move away from, but sure.
Kelly Englemann: I’m taking, but that was smart, right? You don’t want your blood pressure out of control.
Craig Robertson: Um, exactly. Well, I felt like I didn’t have a choice. I, um, you know, I am a huge believer in functional medicine and, uh, avoiding pharmaceuticals to the extent possible, but I felt like I needed some immediate intervention.
Kelly Englemann: Absolutely.
Craig Robertson: So, so that’s what I did.
Kelly Englemann: So what other massive action did you take? So I know it’s not just taking a pill and- and thinking things are gonna get better.
Craig Robertson: No, well, lots of things really. And it wasn’t just, you know, it started at least this most recent iteration of the journey started with just riding my bike. Uh, I love being outside. That’s big for me as to being outside and, and moving my body. And so, you know, I just pulled out my road bike and would get up every morning and the first thing that I did was just get on my bike and I would ride, you know, 10 to 12 miles. And for the listener, that sounds, oh, that’s a long way. But you know, that’s only. Probably 40, 45 minutes of riding. Right. And so, so that’s where it started.
Kelly Englemann: So you recently, um, I was peeking on your website and looking at your blog and I have to say it was incredible. I loved it.
Craig Robertson: Thank you.
Kelly Englemann: Um, I noticed on your website, you know, you had, you had mention of wellness. And I was like, okay, well that, that’s what made me read the blog. I was like, I’ve gotta figure out what, what, what wellness looks like for Craig Robinson. Right. And so you had planned this day of wellness, kind of like a retreat that you were gonna take yourself on and, and you described that in those blogs or three separate blogs about that day. So share with our listener, because I thought it was really cool. Your thought process behind, you know, setting up that day what that day was gonna do for you, and then you learned some things from that day that you didn’t anticipate learning.
Craig Robertson: That is all true, Kelly, and thanks for bringing that up. The website for someone who might be listening is robertson.ms, and you can click and find the blog and, and read them for yourself. They’re kind of long, so I’ll, uh, warn the listener ahead of time. But, you know, I, I work with people who are in crisis. And so, you know, I truly embrace not just the attorney, but the counselor at law. And so it is part of my job to help people from a holistic standpoint when they are having these huge life transitions like, like a divorce or some sort of stressful family situation is turning things upside down.
So I had this idea that I would spend a full day of wellness. Um, I called it a radical day of extreme self-care cause when you read it and you hear about it, it was a little radical. And I guess that’s my flavor of wellness is the radical flavor of wellness.
Kelly Englemann: And so, yeah, we’re gonna get into that later.
Craig Robertson: Yeah, so I did, yeah, it’s a little, and you know, I wrote, so it was an idea. And when I’m well and feeling creative, then I’ll, I’ll do some writing and usually directed, you know, at people who, you know, might find themself in life transition, which entails a lot of, um, health and wellness information. And so that was the idea was what would it look like if from first thing in the morning until I went to bed at night to do nothing but self-care. And so I wrote an article, which it, it was almost like a mission statement. You know, the movie Jerry McGuire, where he writes a mission statement about how they need to work in their industry differently. And that’s what it was. And to a large degree, was a mission statement for me about what a full vacation day where I focused on wellness would look. And so I wrote it and then I did it.
Kelly Englemann: So what I learned from that was that you have the same disease I have, and that is extreme overscheduling.
Craig Robertson: Well, yes, I own that and that’s what I did in the, so when I sat down and dreamed about what a full day of wellness might, would look like, I overestimated the amount of time that it would take to do all the things that I wanted to do. And actually I did two major components of what I had dreamed that day would look like. I totally didn’t do when I actually, when I actually did the day.
Kelly Englemann: Yeah. So I think that. Is true for a lot of us in a lot of areas in our life, right? We plan, we have all these grand plans, and what I loved about your day was the day didn’t go like you planned it to go. But it went better than you planned.
Craig Robertson: Look, I highly recommend it and I, you know, when I had finished doing what I did, and I’ll talk about it as in as much detail as you want me to, but it was so incredible that I felt like if it was something that I could bottle, that everybody would want it.
Kelly Englemann: Yeah, I kind of felt that. So when I say it went better than you planned, a lot of the things that you mentioned you didn’t get to do. Right. But then there were some surprises that showed up. That’s true. And if you had done everything that you planned to do, you probably would’ve been too stressed about getting from place to place, that you wouldn’t have even noticed the things that surprised you.
Craig Robertson: That’s right.
Kelly Englemann: Yeah. So tell us a little bit more about that.
Craig Robertson: Okay. Well, the idea was, You know, starting early in the morning, even with the first cup of coffee, to just be a little bit more intentional of the ritual associated with it. And so that’s what I did. You know, most days I’ll go to the coffee machine, I’ll drop a pot in, make a cup of, you know, coffee from a Keurig, and then, you know, move on about my day.
But on, on full day of radical self-care. I took the time to grind the beans, to drop them in a French press to, you know, steam a combination of almond milk and coconut milk, and then, you know, to pour the water in the French press. And as the coffee is being prepared then at moving to foaming the milk and making myself, you know, Cappuccino type coffee, and so the day took off from the first cup of coffee, really.
Kelly Englemann: Yeah. So you were very mindful. About that ritual.
Craig Robertson: Yes.
Kelly Englemann: You know, where normally that would be a mindless activity for you, right? Kind of engaging the senses, doing something you really savor.
Craig Robertson: Yep.
Kelly Englemann: So that’s a cool way to start.
Craig Robertson: It was a great way to start. And the other thing did on that particular day, and I’ve tried to make a part of my life and that I am counseling my clients about making a part of their life is meditation.
Kelly Englemann: Yes.
Craig Robertson: And it is- it is super simple but is so hard because, you know, we are inundated with so much information all day long and I am doing my best that when I wake up in the morning not to pick up my phone and that be the very first engagement that I have. So it is cause it is so easy to look at what time it is. Jump into email, jump onto social media. And then all of a sudden your, your mind is racing right? And it might not even be 6:00 AM So I tried to, on the day, my plan was to not have a phone at all. Right. And that, that was the plan. But when I the morning that I did the day of self-care and I picked up my phone really to look at what time it was, it was dead as a door nail. And so I immediately almost panicked because I’ve, you know, I had my schedule appointments. I mean, there were things that I legitimately you needed to know, right? I needed the device for, and it wouldn’t come on. And so for a moment I was like, whoop, there goes that. I mean, I didn’t even made it to 6:00 AM yet.
But, um, so I put the phone. I saw that it didn’t come on. I put it outta my mind. I en- I sat, I enjoyed my coffee, and then I went into 10 minutes of meditation.
Kelly Englemann: So what does meditation look like for you? Is it something that you listen to? Is it. A breathing technique? Like what does it look like?
Craig Robertson: Yeah, it’s both.
Kelly Englemann: Okay.
Craig Robertson: So I, um, the listeners might, um, know about a personality typing system called the Enneagram. Yes. And I did an advanced workshop in the Enneagram, and one of the facilitators of the workshop presented this concept of contemplative prayer.
Kelly Englemann: Okay.
Craig Robertson: And from a, from a Christian perspective, it’s pretty simple. It’s, you’re not speaking words, you’re not reading anything. It’s, it is. It’s meditation. And so for me, it looks like sitting upright in a chair or sitting on a cushion on the floor, and closing my eyes and being very intentional about my breath work. Um, breathing in, um, breathing out, you know, the pace of the breath, the temperature of the breath.
It is, it is focusing, concentrating as much as I can on, on breath. And as I’m doing that, my mind inevitably wanders. And what I try to do is honor the thought that I’m having. And then I imagine- I was in Yellowstone. 10 years ago, and I was sitting next to this river and there was a little null that protruded out. Into the river, and it was above this enormous waterfall. And so sometimes I’ll visually take myself to that little grassy spot with that powerful water in front of me. And so when a thought comes into my mind, I’ll honor it and I’ll release it back to, to flow on down that river in my mind, if that makes sense.
Kelly Englemann: Yeah. I love it. Yeah, I love that. You know. Doing meditation like that is a way to get your body into a parasympathetic state, which is so powerful for healing. And you know, we all need healing. Our body’s breaking down every day, and we need that time to repair. Right. So it’s such a powerful practice to get into.
Craig Robertson: Yeah, and it’s hard, let me tell you. It sounds simple. You know, sit for 10 minutes. and literally do nothing but be present and concentrate on your breath. Yeah, but I always, the days that I get to do it, I always feel better than the days that I don’t get to do it. And sometimes I’ll do a guided meditation.
I use an app called the Insight Timer. Mm-hmm. . And they’ve got simple tools where you can have little reminder bells that go off, you know, however you set ’em. One minute, two minutes, five minutes, whatever that might look like for you. But they also have guided meditations. Right. And there’s some that I like better than others.
Kelly Englemann: And yeah, I like that app, I love Calm. Is another app for, and then I use the Peloton app. You know, I have a bike and a tread and, um, I use their other classes just as much as I use the bike and tread. Right. As far as meditation and also yoga.
Craig Robertson: Yeah. And it’s, um, that, so anyway, so that, that was the next part of the day was, was meditation.
And then after meditation, I did journaling. I read a book years ago, um, by Julia Cameron called The Artist. Way Way. Yep. I love that one. And I’ve given, I’ve probably given 50 copies of that book, that book out, but one of the things that she talks about doing is the morning pages, right. And essentially it is stream of consciousness writing for five minutes, filling one or two pages, and it’s just getting the energy, the words out of your mind and onto paper, and so that was the next part of the full day day of healthcare. Yeah. Cool.
Kelly Englemann: Okay, so I have to take a break and say, ask, what is your Enneagram?
Craig Robertson: Do you mind sharing? Oh yeah. I’m an eight. I’m a hardcore eight.
Kelly Englemann: You’re a hard I’m married to an eight. Yeah.
Craig Robertson: Everybody who knows, I love eights. Everybody who knows me, who knows anything about the enneagram, they’re like, yeah. Oh yeah, he’s an eight. He’s an eight. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, I’m an a and so my, so when I, when I did that, um, Enneagram cohort with Suzanne Stabile, who wrote a lot of popular books, including The Road Back to You when I did that, and what, what happens in that cohort is from all over the country, they bring together people of different numbers.
So there might be five ones, five eights, you know, six fives or, and whatever. And so, so I, I learned a lot from the other eights. Yeah. And, you know, some of them were doing- the, the, the, the trick for an eight for somebody who’s high energy and you know, has the modality of seeing the world like I do, is to be intentional about slowing down. So that is my biggest challenge, is to do things that slow me down. So things like journaling, meditating yoga. All of those things intentionally help me to be slower, and that is my challenge, is how to unwind, how to slow down and how to be present.
Kelly Englemann: I was gonna say that probably turns into your superpower. because eights are very intuitive too, if they allow themselves to tap into that. And that’s one of the things I’ve learned about my husband is that oftentimes his intuition, especially in something in a negative way, would show up as irritability. And I learned to ask him, okay, what’s really bothering you? And get him to slow down enough to figure that out.
Craig Robertson: Cause we think fast. We process fast, and so I make decisions very, very fast. Yes. And I’m married to a six, and Rachel is a very stereotypical six. She’s, she’s extremely loyal. She, and, but what Rachel does that I don’t do is she is constantly scanning the environment for danger. And I, a lot of times have blinders on and don’t see danger. Right. And so that’s how we compliment each, each other.
Kelly Englemann: We’re respecting each other, right? Yeah. Respecting each other in that way. Love it. Love it.
Craig Robertson: Yeah. So we go from coffee, meditation, journaling. And-
Kelly Englemann: Your bike ride, right?
Craig Robertson: That’s right. That started moving my body. And so I got on the bike and rode out like 11 or 12 miles, something like that, about 45 minutes. After that. I’ve got a swimming pool in my backyard that’s not heated. So I went straight into
Kelly Englemann: You did your cold plunge!
Craig Robertson: Plus I went- that was cold plunge number one. There were multiple cold plunges throughout the day, and the another, a theme that developed was this hot, cold and moving from, you know, the heat into cold plunge.
So I, so I jumped in the pool, maybe stayed a minute or two. I, it wasn’t crazy cold, I would imagine it was probably, you know, 55 degrees or so. And then, you know, got my gym clothes on, and I’m headed to the gym after that. Awesome. Yep. So the, and then, so I had signed up for a, uh, yoga class, right. And, um, so anyway, the HEALTHPLEX in Madison has a great yoga class that gosh, probably a hundred people go to, it’s on the turf and that’s what they call it, turf yoga. It meets Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8:00 AM And so this was a Friday. Um, it was also Veteran’s Day that I did my full day of self-care, and so I had my yoga mat walked into yoga, and I saw a former client that I helped.
15 years ago, a guy named Bob and Bob had the biggest smile on his face and greeted me so warmly and immediately started expressing gratitude to me about helping him so many years ago. Introducing me to the people that were a, around him as, you know, somebody who helped transform his life. And that expression of gratitude on his part was unplanned.
But it really, I mean, this was, well, eight o’clock in the morning, I’d already done a lot of things right before eight o’clock in the morning, and it was really, really impactful for me in that moment and had, since that day, I have been thinking more and more and more about making gratitude a part of my day every day.
Kelly Englemann: Yeah. So you mentioned a gratitude practice that you have.
Craig Robertson: Yes.
Kelly Englemann: So can you tell me a little bit more about that practice?
Craig Robertson: Well, and again, all of this stuff I’m talking about is a practice. I don’t have any of it figured out. There’s some days that I still spend the day hunched over my desk and you know, have a bourbon at the end of the day. So I do not have any of this stuff figured out.
Kelly Englemann: But that is life.
Craig Robertson: Oh, well that, that is-
Kelly Englemann: Right? That is real life.
Craig Robertson: You’re right. And it’s imperfect and-
Kelly Englemann: It’s all about navigating.
Craig Robertson: Right. And so, so anyway, the, uh, some of you might have seen the movie Stutz on Netflix, and it’s, it’s really cool. There’s a, the psychiatrist to the stars, if you will, this guy named Phil Stutz, and he has a lot of different tools that he uses, uses in their visualization tools, and one of the tools that he uses is called the Grateful Flow, and it’s very simple and very powerful, and you simply stop and pause. And start naming things that you’re grateful for.
I’m grateful to be here with Kelly on this show. I’m grateful to Casey and his team for, you know, hosting us and for having this great facility. I’m grateful for cookie cake because my wife brought me a cookie cake today because we’ve dropped 51 episodes of my podcast, the Robertson and Easterling podcast, and so just little. I’m grateful for reading glasses because I can’t see that well. I’m grateful for my children. And then you search for the next thing that you want to be grateful for, and without naming it, somehow, And it, it just, it is just true that it just opens you up to, to the divine and the book called the tools, calls it things like the source and the universe, and for Christians like me, I mean, it’s God, I mean, and it is the expression of gratitude, which opens you up to receive what, what God has for you and it, and I’m telling you, it works. And also looking someone in the eye that you care about or that you’re grateful for, and just telling them that you are grateful for them, for being the friend, for being your partner. It is really incredibly powerful, that simple act of gratitude.
Kelly Englemann: This is so powerful. So, How long or were you doing that Grateful practice, gratitude practice before you ran into this gentleman?
Craig Robertson: No.
Kelly Englemann: Or did it stimulate your thought that I need to dig into this more?
Craig Robertson: It stimulated the thought that I need to dig into it more. I would think we all have expressions of gratitude, you know? Sure. Routine expressions of gratitude, but being very mindful and intentional about moments to express gratitude, I think, is definitely something very new for me. And it, and it wasn’t just one thing, it was the interaction that I had with my former client. It was, um, the movie, the Stutz movie and the tools book that talks about the grateful flow tool. And so that has been my mantra, if you will, for this year, is. To express gratitude very often.
Kelly Englemann: I love it. Thanks. I love it. Yeah. So, you know, a lot of times I think back to your day when it got started and your cell phone didn’t work, how derailing that could have been for your day, how that could have put you in a bad mood of not being receptive and how all or none thinkers that we can oftentimes be. So for you not to go down that path of, you know, well, you know, I gotta go take care of my cell phone now.
Craig Robertson: Yeah, well Kelly, don’t gimme too much credit. Cause the thing came back on , so, you know, that was a big part of it. So had it not come back on, I probably would be standing in line at the Apple store, but thankfully, you know, a, a YouTube search away and the, the thing came back on.
So, Crisis averted, so, right. So anyway, yeah, so, so I ran into Bob, I did the yoga class, and after yoga I went for a swim. And so I’m not a great swimmer, but I’m a decent swimmer. And so I swam probably for about 20 minutes, which for me is about a half a mile swim. Yeah. And, um, after the swim, then I kind of continued the, the hot cold, uh, therapy, if you will, I call it today- I didn’t call it this then, but now I call it the tri-bath-alon. And Kelly, I’m an evangelist for the tri-bath-alon, and so the way the tri-bath-alon works and if my friends are listening to them, I’m actually taking some people on a tri-bath-alon tomorrow.
Kelly Englemann: I love it.
Craig Robertson: We’re doing an an indoor reverse triathlon, and then we’re doing the tri-bath-alon. Um, and then we’re doing a yoga class and going to breakfast. But, but, so the tri-bath-alon actually, my brother-in-law told me about the term tri-bath-alon in a duck blind earlier, this duck season. And so essentially it is three hot exercises and th and three cold plunges. And so you go from hot tub, to cold plunge from steam room to cold plunge, and then from sauna to cold plunge and then, and then into the shower, which is the last hot. So you’re in the pool, the hot tub, the cold plunge, the steam shower back to the cold plunge, back to the sauna, back to the cold plunge, and then into the shower. And so that’s what I did. I did a tri-bath-alon next.
Kelly Englemann: I love it.
Craig Robertson: Yeah, it was awesome. I love it. Listen, I, if you can hear my voice right now and you have access to all of those things, go try it.
You can do five minutes in the hot tub, one minute in the cold plunge, double the time for the steam room. So 10 minutes in the steam room, two minutes in the cold plunge, and then the sauna, which is my favorite, the dry sauna. 20 minutes in the sauna, three minutes in the cold plunge. Take a shower. A hundred percent guarantee you will feel amazing.
Kelly Englemann: Love it. Yeah. I can’t wait to try it. Yeah. So if someone doesn’t have a steam room, could they just use sauna and cold plunge?
Craig Robertson: Oh yeah, sure. You could do that. You can modify it. You might not be able to call it a tri-bath-alon, but you totally- and the healthplex has all these things. I mean, I’ve been member of the healthplex for years in Madison, Mississippi.
But the, you know, that was one of the really things that I really dove into recently is all of those amenities that are available. And it’s not just me. I mean, there is a, there is a tribe of people who are into all of those things. They might not call it a tri-bath-alon, but they’re doing it.
Kelly Englemann: They’re doing it anyway. Yeah. So I, you know, I have a full gym at home, but you’re kind of making me wanna go join the Madison Healthplex just to be able to experience this! (laughs)
Craig Robertson: Let me tell you, it is totally worth it. It’s not supposed to be a commercial for the Madison Health . If they wanna talk to me about sponsoring my podcast or your podcast or people are-
Kelly Englemann: Yeah,, we’re open.
Craig Robertson: We’re open, yeah, we’re open to, to hearing from you guys. But no, it’s, it, it’s been fantastic. And so as that, that happened next, the tri-bath-alon happened next, and from there it was snack time. I went by, Kale-me-Crazy, got a green smoothie and then I went from there to core cryotherapy. And so I did cryotherapy, I did the Norditech booths while doing oxygen therapy, and it was fantastic, was relaxing, almost fell asleep doing- doing the boots.
Kelly Englemann: I bet you did after all of that activity.
Craig Robertson: Yeah. Compression boots. Yeah. And so I, and I totally skipped that. I had had a, a smoothie. Beforehand. So what I typically do in the morning is, uh, make a smoothie. And so I had made a smoothie and usually I’ll pour it into a Yeti Cup and kind of keep it in my car.
And so after I work out, then I’ll, I’ll have the smoothie after that. So.
Kelly Englemann: Right. So what happened after cryo?
Craig Robertson: After cryo, I went and got a haircut and so-
Kelly Englemann: There you go!
Craig Robertson: I, you know, for me-
Kelly Englemann: if you’re gonna feel good, you better look good.
Craig Robertson: That’s right! For me. And a lot of my friends are like, okay, I go get a $20 haircut at whatever barbershop. I, I don’t exactly do that, but a haircut super relaxing for me. So I went in, had my-
Kelly Englemann: They do the hair massage? They do the scalp massage?
Craig Robertson: The scalp massage while they’re washing my hair. Get, you know, I’m, I’m getting older now. I’m getting close to 50, so they gotta clean up the eyebrows and, and got a haircut and felt, felt fantastic after it was over. So from the haircut, um, this was another key was I had scheduled lunch with a friend and not just any friend, my funniest friend. And so he’s, uh, my friend named Daniel. Daniel is a professional exaggerator. If he caught a two pound fish, it would be 20. And he is, he’s a blast to be with. And so he and I had scheduled lunch. And so that was next on the agenda was lunch.
Kelly Englemann: And y’all had an interesting lunch, right?
Craig Robertson: Uh, yeah, we had a lunch. Wait, so I had, so I had found myself actually watching my clock a little bit more because I’d scheduled a lot. And so if I had to do it over again, I probably would. Well, I will do it again, but I’ll probably be a little looser as far as the scheduling is concerned, because there were certain appoint- you know, I had a haircut appointment, I had an appointment for, um, a massage. I had an appointment. I had a reservation for lunch and all of these things, and Right. Like I said, as the day went on, things, things changed.
Like the- for example, I had thought that I would have therapy on my full day of self-care. Well, my therapist doesn’t work on Friday. I thought I was going to have a massage. I, I get a deep tissue massage every three weeks, and the person who does my massage got the flu. And so that was out. Yes. And I had, I had also, uh, wanted music to be a big part of my full day of self-care, and I had booked an awesome concert for me and my wife to go to at Duling Hall, but it turns out that we had already made plans that I totally forgot about to go to Starkville, where my daughter’s in school to enjoy the football day weekend or the football game weekend. And so I had to change those plans.
So what I had anticipated and what I’d even scheduled, you know, it was quickly changing. Yes. And so the, um, so one thing that I chose to do, and I’ve been doing it periodically, is, and my daughter likes to call it that I’m a flexitarian, but occasionally I’ll eat vegan and I’m not a vegan. But I’m interested in, you know, experimenting with veganism or-
Kelly Englemann: Right.
Craig Robertson: A plant powered diet.
Kelly Englemann: I think we could all get more vegetables in our diet. Yeah. And so doing a meal like that is, is awesome.
Craig Robertson: Well, so I, um, that was not part of the plan, the gratitude. Expression and inspiration was not part of the plan. And certainly the way the digital aspect with my phone or without my phone was not part of the plan, but I wasn’t planning on eating vegan, but when I sat down, there was a vegan option. So I was like, and I’d already, the smoothie that I always make is vegan and I use, you know, plant protein for my smoothie, but, so I ate a vegan lunch and my friend made me laugh. That’s what we did.
Kelly Englemann: I love it.
Craig Robertson: Yeah. And so from there, uh, it was time to have fun. It was, it was time to go play. And I, like I said, I’m an old baseball player and so I’ve kind of gotten into shooting shotguns and so there are sporting plays, which basically… take a shotgun.
You go on a golf course type, you know, you get in a golf cart and you go from station to station and you’re shooting at clay targets that are propelled in different directions. And for me it’s, it was a whole lot like batting practice. So you, you’re seeing something, you’re firing the trigger and you’re hitting it. So, and there is, for me, a huge just visceral release from firing a gun. Maybe it’s just a man thing, but, and that’s what we did. So we had a great lunch and then we rode out to Turcot, a local facility near the reservoir and we went and shot shotguns.
Kelly Englemann: I love it. I love that you built play into the day.
Craig Robertson: Yeah. I thought it was super because that’s something I don’t do. I mean, you know, the um, when I was a kid, play for me was always competition. . And so I was playing football, I was playing basketball, I was playing baseball or or whiffle ball or some game that we made
Kelly Englemann: up. So wasn’t playing for playing sake?
Craig Robertson: No. There was always competition involved in the, in the play. And I think that’s something, as adults, we get away from. I mean, for me, riding my bike is a big part of play. Mm-hmm. , because when I was a kid, I mean, my, my a bike was freedom and as an, it was, and as an Enneagram eight, freedom is a big deal for me.
And so, you know, when I get on a bike and I head out on the street, there’s a, there’s a high level of freedom associated with that. So I didn’t, it was really done on the full day of self-care for exercise, but there’s a lot of freedom associated with, with the bike and so, Yeah, for and for everybody play might look different.
It might be, it might be golf, it might be like, like what I did sporting plays. It could be painting, it could be whatever, whatever play looks like for, for you. Right? Um, it could be going to an antique store. Anything that, that is playful. I
Kelly Englemann: think the intentionality of bringing laughter. , like you chose your friend wisely.
Craig Robertson: I chose my friend cause he’s hilarious. Yeah. And you know, I don’t laugh enough. I mean, I don’t, I think anybody who’s listening, uh, to my voice would agree that when you get to be an adult and you’re taking care of kids and business and everything else, sometimes laughter escapes you. And so, yeah, I picked Daniel because I wanted to laugh and he always makes me laugh and he likes to shoot shotguns. So that worked out too. So we did that.
Kelly Englemann: That’s awesome.
Craig Robertson: Yeah. Cool. And then, so anyway, We had the, just for, from a logistics standpoint, we had met, uh, at Overlook Point at the reservoir, Ross Barnett Reservoir. It’s a kind of a hotspot where you can see the mm-hmm. , the water. And so we had, after lunch we had kind of met up there and we went and shot shotguns.
We had a great time. Don’t, I don’t keep score cause I, I don’t practice that much. And so I’m out there just to do it and be outside and be with my friend. And that’s what we did. And we, we were talking about, you know, it’s also an opportunity to build community and, you know, to be, to catch up on what’s going on in, in his life and for him to catch up on what’s going on in my life.
So we had, you know, hours of conversation as all this was unfolding. And so after that was over, my car was at overlook point and I still had my yoga mat in the back of my car. So I spread my yoga mat out under a pine tree and sat with the intention of meditating outside, overlooking the water. But I had my phone next to me and so I decided, you know, maybe I’ll just start making some phone calls.
So I picked up the phone and, and I called my daughter Emma, and I checked in with her, and then I called my older daughter Molly Ann and got to hear her voice. She was with some friends and they were having a good time. And then I called my wife, told her about the day that I was having so far, and then I called my brother, and that connection with the people that I love was again, one of the unexpected moments in that full day of self-care that really was enriching for the whole experience for. And it wasn’t planned. It wasn’t if you read the plan right. What happened wasn’t exactly like that, and, and that was okay. It was totally okay.
Kelly Englemann: I love it. I love that. It sounds like you were learning about yourself and building on yourself the whole day.
Craig Robertson: I think that is definitely true, Kelly. It’s, you know, Sometimes things that are true about you aren’t obvious.
Kelly Englemann: Right.
Craig Robertson: And it takes that intentionality of unplugging and putting yourself in an environment where maybe some of those things come into sharper focus. Another thing that I learned is I did a lot before 9:00 AM And so is that typical of your day? Uh, you know, it just depends. Maybe more so now. Mm-hmm. , uh, I try to get up, you know, between five and five 30. Most days and try to be on the move to some kind of physical activity, you know, early in the day.
But it’s, um, it is becoming more typical for me because there’s, I had, I had done all kind of things that were great. By nine o’clock, I mean by nine o’clock in the morning. I had meditated, I had journaled, I had cold plunge. I had done a yoga class. I could have totally gone to work and would’ve had a fantastic start to the day with, you know, roughly three hours of things, you know, to help build my own health and wellness.
Kelly Englemann: Right.
Craig Robertson: And so that was another thing. Gratitude became a big thing. Connection with the ones I love, um, was a big thing. Unexpected and also, How much I could do in a short amount of time if I was intentional about it.
Kelly Englemann: That’s key.
Craig Robertson: Yeah.
Kelly Englemann: That is so key.
Craig Robertson: Well, it’s simply a little planning. I mean, let me tell you, um, and if you try this listener to do a full day of self-care.
Kelly Englemann: Extreme self-care.
Craig Robertson: A full day, a radical day of extreme self-care. There’s a lot of planning that goes into it for, cause. For me, I was planning a massage. I was planning therapy. I was planning dinner reservations. I was planning concert tickets. I was planning a haircut. I mean, there’s- there were some logistics involved. Yes. Uh, and I’m, I’m, I’m a lawyer. I’m comfortable with logistics and scheduling and things like that, and I’m used to thinking in terms of how long things take and how long it takes to get from one place to another. But it, you have to do a little planning to do it right. And my- we’re planning one for my wife and her day of self-care is gonna look totally different than mine. Mine was radical.
Kelly Englemann: Right.
Craig Robertson: And you. I think that right now we’re up to maybe three o’clock in the afternoon, right? So that’s what, so anyway, we, you know, the meditate, the outside meditation turned into connecting with family. And then from there, my wife and I hopped in the car and headed to Starkville and then I was able to tell her about what I had been doing all day. So we had, you know, two hours of time. Uh, connecting with each other, you know, and the only thing we had to do was get from Madison, Mississippi to Starkville, Mississippi. And so I was able to share, share with her everything that I’m sharing with you and our listeners right now. I love it.
Kelly Englemann: And then you guys went to dinner?
Craig Robertson: We went to dinner and it was amazing. Uh, my friend Tyler has a great restaurant in Starkville downtown called Restaurant Tyler. And again, I didn’t in, I didn’t intend to do this, but there was a great vegan option on the menu. And so I had not planned to eat vegan on my full day of extreme radical self-care but we did. Oh yeah, we did. And it was, I love it. You know when I sometimes. Look, I love if anybody who’s seen my Instagram before, I mean, I love to grill and I love food and um, I love great meat, but on occasion it just- I feel lighter when I skip meat on occasion.
Kelly Englemann: Yeah.
Craig Robertson: So, yeah, we, so we had a great dinner. Uh, we connected some more. Had a, a great single barrel bourbon to finish off the day, and I think I was in bed by nine o’clock.
Kelly Englemann: I love it.
Craig Robertson: Yeah, it was, let me tell you, if you can hear my voice. and you are even remotely inspired by spending a day doing that. Uh, just get out a piece of paper and, and plan it. Start mapping it out. And just plan it. And to, for me, it was important for it to be on a workday, and I don’t, I don’t know why, just because I, I wanted to be doing that instead of work. I mean, you could do it on a Saturday or a Sunday afternoon, right? You don’t have to go from 5:00 AM to 9:00 PM like I did.
But the idea of carving out an intentional slice of time to do things to care for yourself, it’s you have to do that to, to be able to optimally care for the people in your life that are important to you. And for me, it’s my, my teammates a work, my clients, first and foremost, my wife, my children. And so, you know, I tell my, I tell my clients that if- if the plane’s going down, you’ve gotta put on your oxygen mask first before you care for those around you. And so that’s what that day was about, was putting on my oxygen mask so that I could be the best version of myself. And I’ve tried to make it a part of, of my routine. And again, like said tomorrow, uh, my friends and I are gonna, are gonna, it’s not a full day of self-care, but it’ll be about a four hour window of self-care.
Kelly Englemann: I love it. And you know, oftentimes when I work with clients, you know, I get the question, where can I go for a retreat? Where can I do this? And, and I said, listen, you’re trying to change your lifestyle and a retreat is great if you need a respite, but you’re gonna come back home to the same things you left and you’re gonna be just as overwhelmed if not more overwhelmed.
And I said, why not spend that time right here at home? Building your, your wellness team. Right? And it sounds like you have a lot of good players on your wellness team from the gym that you go to from the Madison Healthplex to where you chose to eat, getting a smoothie at Kale Me Crazy. Um, your massage therapist, your cryo.
Craig Robertson: Yeah, so, that’s what, um, some of the people in my office after I wrote the article, You know, I want to get feedback from ’em, but they’re like, sure. You know, you sure are. Depending on a lot of other people for self-care. And, well, they’re right. But they, but you know, to do what I wanted to do that- sure. I don’t need anybody to help me meditate.
Kelly Englemann: Sure.
Craig Robertson: Um, well, sometimes I do because it’s not easy to do, and so there’s certain things that I can do on my own and the way I’m wired. I, I need space and time to myself on occasion, but I also need community and connection. Yes. And that was a, that became a very big, integral part of that. And not just this, that, that’s an extreme example of what self-care looks like, but it’s just, it is just little moments where, you know, you can take, for example, something simple that you can do that takes less than five minutes is, is deep breathing, for example.
Mm-hmm. , which helps down-regulate. And I talk to my clients about doing that and so literally, Taking, you know, one or two minutes to slow down your breath and to think through, uh, and be very intentional about the feeling and the process of your breath has, you know, and that takes less than five minutes to do.
You can do it sitting at your desk. You can do it standing in line at the, um, at the grocery store. You can do it sitting in your car before you’re walking into a meeting. It’s very simple tool for down regulation. And we are so hyperstimulated by billboards and phones and the TV and everything. Yes. And so taking a minute to close your eyes, to breathe and to allow, allow to be spoken to for, for creativity, for new thought. Um, that’s not someone else’s thought.
Kelly Englemann: So even though your day was radical and extreme, I think it was extremely powerful for you to experience that. And I do think it would be a great experience for someone else to kind of map out what their extreme radical day of wellness would look like and, and see what that feels like.
But to your point, that’s not something you could do every day or every week, or even every month. Right, right. And so you mentioned that planning piece, you know, planning some things and you know, I oftentimes spend Fridays planning my next week. I have a calendar. I write everything in my calendar so I know where I need to be, where I need to focus more of my time, where I need to be focusing more of my energy, and mornings are a big part of that.
So for me, my morning, if I’m doing things the way that I want to do them and have plan to do them, I get up about five as well. You know, I’ll have meditation and then I do visualization, and then I do affirmations. You know, to just get my brain really engaged with what I wanna have happen for that day, and then I move my body.
Craig Robertson: Right.
Kelly Englemann: You know, scripture’s a big part of that. Sure. You know, getting spiritually connected, that’s a big part of what I’m doing with the meditation and visualizations as well. Um, but if I find, if I do that, if I spend that first hour getting myself ready to interface with the world. Then everything else goes better.
Craig Robertson: I agree completely.
Kelly Englemann: You know, even if things don’t go the way I planned or the way that I wanted them to go, my perspective on that is so much richer.
Craig Robertson: Right.
Kelly Englemann: And so much more powerful. So it’s uh, when I read your story I was like, I’ve got to have ’em on the podcast to really talk about that, cause it’s not often that men talk about their self-care.
Craig Robertson: Yeah. The planning was a big part of, I’ll be honest with you, the way this went was I got some inspiration for what would a radical day of extreme self-care look like. I wrote the article and somebody very close to me said, okay, that’s fine, but you can’t put that out in the world until you do it. And I was like, okay.
Well I, it took me a while to write this article. I don’t know if I’m gonna be able to carve out the time to actually go spend a full day of self care, but I really liked the article. I really wanted to publish it and. I, the day that I sat down the planet, I was in a, I was in kind of a bad mood, honestly, and so I started planning it to kind of kickstart myself out of that mood and as I mm-hmm. looked for concert tickets and looked for dinner reservations and booked the, um, massage and booked the haircut. And then my whole manner of being, you know, my mood just started going up in the process of just doing the planning for it. And so I’m a big, you know, I’m a lawyer, so I’ve got to keep up with a schedule and I’ve gotten to be more intentional about putting moments of self-care on my schedule. If you looked at my schedule for this week, you would see, you would see yoga, you would see the gym. Um, so I try to intentionally schedule, uh, I, you know, I’m following that schedule all week anyway. Right. So I try to schedule some of those activities.
Kelly Englemann: See, you said something really powerful that I don’t wanna just blow over, but what you, what you said was you were in kind of a bad mood. And you took action and that action changed your mood. Right? A lot of times we get in a bad mood and we don’t do anything because we’re gonna, we’re waiting for our mood to change, for us to do anything and it doesn’t work that way. In order for our mood to really change and shift in a powerful way, we typically do have to take some action.
Craig Robertson: Mood follows action. Yeah. Every time mood follows action.
Kelly Englemann: So that’s a good lesson.
Craig Robertson: That’s true.
Kelly Englemann: Yeah. To um, really think about, you know, what are we doing to change the channel Right. Of what’s going on upstairs.
Craig Robertson: Yeah. And that’s why, that’s a, I don’t have an action problem. I’ve, I’ve, if anything, I have a lack of action problem cause I, I do. And that, that is, it’s my greatest strength, but it’s also my greatest weakness. Right. And um, but in that particular moment, I was feeling bad. I, I didn’t feel like doing work. I was at my desk. And I was looking at this article that I’d written. I was like, okay, well nothing really on my calendar next Friday. I’ve already got my, you know, um, periodic massage scheduled. I’m gonna build around that. Right? And so that’s what I did.
Kelly Englemann: So, let’s talk a little bit more before we come to a close, cause I don’t often take the time to talk about this, but let’s talk about overscheduling.
Craig Robertson: Sure.
Kelly Englemann: And what you’ve learned from that. And I feel like you’re getting to that age. You know, I’m, I’m, I’m ahead of you. So, um, you’re getting to the age where overscheduling has a price and sometimes that price is something that you don’t wanna pay, um, like your health or sacrificing a relationship or… so how are you building in safeguards? For yourself to be productive and feel really good about what you’re doing, but resist the temptation to overschedule.
Craig Robertson: Well, Kelly, that’s a fantastic question and I, and I wish I could tell you that I’m really good at it, but I’m not. I’ll gi- I’ll just give you an example. So I was working up in the Mississippi Delta last week, and I had two big events in a case or two days of events in a case scheduled. And so that meant that I was working about, I worked probably 50 hours in about three days, so mm-hmm. , you know, started 6:00 AM on Monday, worked till, worked until 10:00 PM stayed in a hotel, spent a full day in court.
Worked with a client, spent that evening preparing for the next day of activity, did a third day of activity, traveled back home, and you know, I have found that the older I’ve gotten the, the harder it is for me to recover from those bursts of activity, so, It was super important for me. If, you know, sometimes that’s just how it is, right?
You know, if I’m in a trial or I have some big event, then you know, that’s the activity level that, you know, I have to engage in. But the ver the next day I was back in the gym, I was back exercising, I was meditating. I gotta be 12 shot and, and so I had to do some things. You know, I could not do that four days in a row, right?
I mean, I did it three days in a row and. Day four had to be a day to relax and to heal and to give my body time to recover. Mm-hmm. . So that’s, that’s a big part of it. And for me, it’s scheduling plenty of preparation time for the things that I have to do. Yes. So if I have a three day trial, Then I’m gonna block off.
Kelly Englemann: You go into it planning, you’re going to prepare. Yeah.
Craig Robertson: Three days to prepare. I’m gonna, I’m gonna keep a day free on the backside of that for recovery. Yes. And so that’s, you know, hard work is inevitable. I love it. Um, love what I do. But planning time for preparation and planning time for recovery is super imperative.
Kelly Englemann: Love. Yeah, I love it.
Craig Robertson: It’s the only way I can do it at this point.
Kelly Englemann: That’s the same for me. Like I plan, I use my calendar and it’s an old fashioned calendar. It’s not even my phone calendar, you know? I need to see it on paper, and that’s helped me so much be realistic about what I can accomplish. and then give myself time on the back end to recover. Or like you said, time ahead of time to prepare.
Craig Robertson: Right. I, um, I’m proud of my oldest daughter who’s in college now because when she was, um, when she was in school, and she would have exams, then I would, we would print out calendars for her and we would plan study time and so, so she could see it in black and white, you know?
When the tests were and what she needed to do to prepare. And I use a Google calendar and I like to, when I look at it, I like to look at it in week increments. And so I can look at a glance and what I have going on in, you know, that five day work period. I’m so proud of her because, uh, in college now she’s using her Google calendar and she, you know, she has her classes mapped out.
She has her sorority activities mapped out. She has her OrangeTheory classes that she does mapped out, and her friends were like, how’d you get to be so organized? Like, well, my dad’s a lawyer and he- this is what he showed me how to do. And so that’s, that’s kind of how we.
Kelly Englemann: That’s awesome. Yeah. So I know our listeners are thinking, okay, this is all things sexual wellness podcasts. What in the world does have to do with sexual wellness? I think it has everything to do with sexual wellness. You know what Craig mentioned before, you know, we have to put our oxygen mask on first before we take care of anybody else. And I think it’s true with how we take care of our bodies on a day-to-day basis, that if we keep ourselves strong and fit and well cared for than we’re able to care for our significant other in a way that’s way more meaningful. We can be available, be present, and engage with them in a way that we probably wouldn’t be able to if we weren’t doing those self-care things.
So Craig, thank you for being here. Thank you for sharing your story and for being so transparent, uh, with all the things that you’re trying to, um, keep yourself as fit as possible.
Craig Robertson: Kelly, thanks for letting me be on your show. It’s fantastic. And again, if your listeners want to find out a little bit more about this crazy idea, uh, my website is robertson.ms and you can click on the blog and find these articles that I wrote.
And if you like what you, um, have read, I hope you’ll reach out and tell me about your radical day of extreme self-care.
Kelly Englemann: Thanks guys for listening.I hope this information really sparked some interest and curiosity in you. If you liked what you heard, please follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Again, you can reach out to us at Enhanced Wellness by the web, www.enhancewellnessliving.com. And then of course you can give us a call at (601) 364-1132.