Southern Man

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Things You're Doing Wrong

Since it is still raining and Southern Man can't go outside and play he will now waste your time with a lengthy diatribe on all of the ways that you are messing up your life and how to fix them. We'll start with the bathroom.

Brushing Your Teeth

You're brushing your teeth the wrong way and at the wrong time. Yes, Mother and your dentist said to brush your teeth after every meal. However, food is acidic (which is partly why it is so delicious), which softens tooth enamel and attacking your temporarily vulnerable enamel with a harsh brush is (surprise!) not very good for them. You're also brushing your teeth but not your gums. You're also not flossing. Admit it.

The right way: brush your teeth twice a day, but not directly after meals. During your morning routine (more about routines later) and last thing before bed works well. Use a soft or medium brush and spend equal time brushing your teeth and massaging your gums. Do they bleed? That's because they're not healthy. They're not healthy because you don't clean them. Then floss, between every tooth. Flossing is important because it gets rid of the gunk and bacteria between your teeth. Then brush your teeth and massage your gums again. Finish with a swirl of the oral rinse of your choice. Then go kiss someone.

Bathing and Showering

If you're most people, you do this too often and use too many harsh chemicals which damage the outer layers of your skin so go sans douche every now and then. And when you do shower take it easy on the soap; warm water is more than enough, most days. Pro tip: if you're working out two or three times a week (and you should be) shower and wash your hair after your workouts. Otherwise, rinse as needed. Don't rub with the towel (your wet skin is vulnerable!) but pat yourself dry. Rehydrate your skin afterwards with the lotion of your choice. Or have someone else do it for you.


There's a harsh chemical that should never go anywhere near your body, right there. Toss all of those sticks; put a box of baking soda in the bathroom and use a dab of that in your pits instead. Deodorants work by blocking your pores with ACL or some other chemical and then masking the smell (which is caused by bacteria, not sweat) with fragrance. Baking soda absorbs the sweat and odor and is naturally antibacterial. Girls, when your guy kisses you under your arms he does not want a tongue full of aluminium chlorohydrate; he wants to immerse himself in your delicious armoa. Why, yes, we do find that rather sexy. Ditto for guys; clean perspiration is part of your scent and part of what makes you the virile man-beast that you are.


You thought you'd mastered that at about age two, right? Surprise! Our anatomy is designed to poop while squatting, not sitting, and our toilets are too tall and are getting taller (they call it "comfort fit") to do so in a comfortable and healthy manner. Best solution: squat, either right on the seat (lots of people from do this anyway, to the point where some bathrooms have signs that say "don't do that") or with the help of a Squatty Potty or something else on which you can prop your feet and lean forward. Afterwards you can lean back and continue to surf the net on your cell phone. Yes, we know you do.


Your abdominal muscles put in a lot of work to support your back while you stand and walk and sit on a bench or a stool but as soon as you sit in a standard chair your legs and back are at a right angle and those muscles can't help anymore and suddenly your poor aging spine is doing all of the work of supporting your gargantuan upper torso. This leads to all manner of problems, and let Southern Man tell you, back problems are no fun at all. Solution: don't sit much, and if you do avoid the "right-angle" posture; lying back at a 135-degree angle (measure carefully) is far better. Watch how your teens slouch and you'll get the right idea.

Well, so much for the bathroom. Now for a few more minor issues:


Southern Man's advice on diets is here. Follow it.


Take a deep breath. What happened? Did you raise your shoulders and puff out your chest? Wrong! Well, take comfort in knowing that most people are chest breathers. It obviously works (you're not dead, right?) but you're taking shallow breaths and not using nearly all of your lungs. Those shallow breaths may (or may not) lead to headaches, fatigue, low blood oxygen, panic attacks, and taking advice on breathing from a blogger who won't even tell you his real name. Put your diaphragm back to work and re-learn abdominal breathing: expand your tummy as you inhale, and contract your abdominal muscles as you exhale. Make it a point to practice this whenever you think of it and it'll become habit, to the point that you'll breath properly even in your sleep. And speaking of sleeping...


Who do you know that doesn't complain about their sleep, or lack thereof? We did not evolve to live our lives around the eight-hour-a-day forty-hour workweek with exactly eight hours of sleep per night regardless of where the sun might be. Do you often wake up at 3:00 AM wondering "why can't I sleep?" No, you don't have a sleep disorder and you can throw away those pills; that's your natural sleeping pattern. When free of clocks and alarms and appointments and the routine that run our lives the natural pattern is segmented sleep: three or four hours asleep, an hour or so awake (an ideal time to read or meditate or stretch or see if your partner is also awake or simply relax for a bit), and then another three or four hours of sleep. You may find that you do this naturally in the long nights of winter anyway, when people tend to go to bed earlier. So if you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night but then waking to an alarm, go to bed an hour earlier and allow your natural sleep pattern to take hold. Pro tip - if you aren't waking naturally before your alarm goes off at least half the time, go to bed earlier.

And speaking of routines: you don't have enough routine, and you also have too much.

Southern Man is reserved and introverted and would happily hole up by himself in La Casa or out at The Land pretty much all of the time if left to himself so he made a promise to himself a while back: given a choice between staying in and going out, go out; given a choice between solitude and socialization, socialize; given a choice between the routine and the unusual, do the unusual. That's one reason Southern Man loves to geocache; it takes him out of routine every day. And that's why he pretty much automatically accepts any invitation from family or friends to do something. It saddens him that he has friends that get up and shower and have breakfast and go to work and go home to their SO and have dinner and watch TV every single day and tell him "I'd rather just stay home tonight." They have too much routine.

But you need routine and structure to live a healthy life, so develop a routine on which you can build the rest of your day. If you have young kids, they absolutely crave routine and structure, and it doesn't do the teens any harm either. Morning routines work well, and are a good way to make some of the advice above into habits; the one that Southern Man is still struggling to establish is get up, stretch, work out, shower / shave / brush teeth / etc, have breakfast, check the news, and then get on with the day. It really does something for your outlook to build your day on a morning routine. But don't allow that routine to become a prison - make it a foundation on which you can build your adventures, and have some adventure to go with your routine every day.

Hat tips: far too many to list but a few are this post at Smoke In My Eyes, this post at Roosh V, and this post at Cracked.Thanks guys!


At Sunday, May 13, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said...

seriously dude...that's too much info

Please Mr Sun....shine!

At Monday, May 14, 2012, Anonymous Your Future Girlfriend? said...

I like what you say about a morning routine.


Post a Comment

<< Home