• Collier Landry

The Art of Routine for Trauma Survivors with Dr. Angel Iscovich


Can the everyday routines that we keep help us deal with the worst life throws at us? In episode 36, of Moving Past Murder, Collier talks with philosopher, medical doctor, and author of The Art of Routine, Angel Iscovich. Digging into Collier’s traumatic childhood, Collier and Dr. Iscovich discuss how routines, even the simplest of habits, can help us all deal with stress, depression, and trauma. Listen as Dr. Iscovich shares what he says both dogs and people who live to be older than 100 do that’s your key to a longer and healthier life. It’s a great conversation that will leave everyone with something useful.



Resources & Links Mentioned:

Dr. I's Website: https://www.angeliscovich.com/

Book: The Art of Routine: Discover How Routineology Can Transform Your Life: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1510764550/


Collier Landry:

Podcast: Moving Past Murder: https://www.collierlandry.com/



Full Transcript:


Angel Iscovich 0:00

Do you do Director of Photography for documentaries or movies? Or I thought I saw some.

Collier Landry 0:06

Yeah, so I'm a director of photography. So I made a film about my life called A Murder in Mansfield. And it's directed by two-time Oscar winner Barbara Kopple. And, but I also work as a deviation in commercials, music, videos, things of that nature. It kind of slowly, really obviously slowed down during the pandemic. And so I got into doing the podcast, which was the continuation of the film, the film was released end of 2018. It came out and, you know, did really well and then picked up a real big thing, big audience online during the pandemic. And so I started the podcast last year, and I just got really serious about this year. And that's how I met Stephen. I was in the New York Post, it was in the independent and so I ended up meeting Stephen. And you know, but I still do the DP thing I just did a commercial two days ago, I just got back from shooting a duck, like sort of weeks have been very compressed this month, because it was That's why I said I was off my routine, because I was out of I was filming in Washington State. And then there was a whole kerfuffle, there's gear that was stolen. I had cameras go down just anything that could have gone wrong when

Angel Iscovich 1:14

those are my old stomping grounds up in the Northwest there. Yeah.

Collier Landry 1:18

Yeah. So once we got to Seattle, that was, that was where the disasters really started drone, cool. Drone crashed first, and then cameras and things. It was a nightmare. But it, I got through it. And then I had to literally come back. And then I interviewed Chris Hanson and a bunch of other people. And I had to do all that with nothing, you know, a year trying to figure it out. And then I had to get all the gear fixed before I believe in three days, when I got back, I had to go to Northern California and shoot for another documentary, and just got back from doing that. And then I'm leaving tomorrow to go to crime con for three days. And after that, I'm looking forward to just coming back, getting back into my routine, because I'm a very big person into like, I need to exercise every day, I need to have this. And I think that's something you know, when Steven told me about you, and he goes, have you ever heard of this guy who wrote, you know? You know, he said, you know, have you heard this guy? And I said, I said, you know his name sounds familiar. But he's already routine. I said, Well, anyway, that's written a book like that. I've got to talk to you because I feel as a trauma survivor, having gone through and through routine is a massive part of of, and I'm not alone in thinking this, by the way, as I'm sure you could realize. But I feel that routine is so important to working through your trauma. And when I was going through, it has even told you a little bit about me or no.

Angel Iscovich 2:44

Yeah, no, no, I had your history that would you know, when you were young, your, your father, well educated ended up murdering your mother. And we're kind of left in the end, with a father in jail, no mother, growing up somewhere in Ohio, with either with family or adopted family and being a little bit of the Cinderella left out, you know, and trying to figure out how that all works, you know, so those are my own words. I'm not sure that's correct. But that I know, is that's pretty, that's

Collier Landry 3:16

pretty good. Pretty good.

Angel Iscovich 3:18

I understand the via I don't know, if there was a Cinderella at the end, but you know, but you know, kind of really, that at that age, you know, losing parents of the sword making for, you know, what happens, you know, and obviously, you know, my background is an emergency physician. Yeah. Surely I get to see, you know, people at their worst and some of the worst people, you know, in the world that happens, you know, what happens in the emergency environment, which I think that along with my background in, in psychiatry early on, then years of Emergency Medicine, then into business and from the boardroom to the, from the ER room, to the boardroom, you know, I kind of got a little broad perspective, but I think it wasn't just this a reflection of my life, but I was kind of I wrote this book is kind of an insight into human nature. Sure, not so much to be prescriptive, you know, but being a doc, they want you to give a prescription, as to Hey, this is really interesting, but what's the 123 things I need to do? You know, like the art of like, the art of routine, like the art of medicine, things aren't always black and white, you know, so it's kind of understanding some of this, but to your, to your point, just like now, you know, you know, COVID was an incredible disruption and you developed, you know, what I call a little bit of a new time bubble, a new routine, a new way of being able to do what you did, which is develop podcasts and the sort. And then yeah, and so you develop kind of a new light, and that's what people did. I mean, I think for a lot of people, there was a lot of what I call collateral damage, not just physical or otherwise. But there were also some other collateral values people learned quite a bit in shelter. random place not being able to do what they usually do. And consequently, kind of recreate what the body really wants, which is equilibrium, and homeostasis and stability and when, what what's different about my, not just the book, but more my, my thinking of this is because it started by looking at people that live 200 years old. That was the centenarians. And since engineerings, as was started, what's different about this is that I kind of tried to put together really how we're wired a little bit and the physiology of it. And things like circadian rhythms, you know, as you were mentioning, even the disruption now suddenly traveling again, when you weren't traveling again, and how to travel well, and how would disrupt one's routine and how do you maintain and the sort so, you know, you're

obviously in your very early in developmental age developed, you know, significant disruption of what I call a little time bubble, that was an analogy, you know, the way your life is, you know, a bit of a bubble that's flexible, that you do things with regularity, and then things burst as you go through life. And you have to recreate these things again, you know, and try to find that and that's how our bodies kind of work, whether you look at different physiological functions like circadian rhythms, which I talked quite a bit about, because it's a little more understandable. Sure to, to gastro khaolak reflexes, what happens your body's very has a lot of routines happening when you eat something and to you know, postprandial tides, what happens after you eat to, to you know, basically your, you know, your brain chemistry or you know, your heartbeat with regularity. So, regularity, rhythm routine are very important parts of the body, the way we perceive the world, you know, just talking a little more macro about things, you know, the sun rises and sets the sunrises and sets the seasons come and go, gives us a sense of certainty. When uncertainty occurs, as it did in your early childhood, and as a dozen other people have different degrees in life. This is when things you know, get disrupted, interrupted, and we get out of this equilibrium is homeostasis is rhythm. This what is the importance of routine. And I think part of what I wrote the book about, just so to give you a background was just that I studied centenarians, which were were developing emergency departments for older people, Jerry geriatric ers, and I got fascinated with people who live the 100 years old, and I'd read the book, you know, Blue Blue Zones, and these parts of the world that people live longer. But what I noticed with people that live longer was it they had two things in common one is that they had a stable environment, both physical and emotional around them. And to that they did things with great regularity with great routine. But what they did, what they did vary tremendously. At times, we'd say, in today's world, it wasn't particularly healthy. What the kind of behavior they did that had regularly one would, for example, say, hey, at five o'clock every Wednesday and Friday, you know, I always have my scotch, you know, and then I have my dinner. And so everything was very controlled. You know, I used to I always walk it, I always walk at 3pm, or whatever it might be. But other people would say, Well, I couldn't live my life. What do you why do you think you've lived a long life, she's Dr. Pepper, you know, Doc, I have Dr. Pepper every, every afternoon at three o'clock and, and so what what it's got me to thinking is that may be routine might be as or more important than the what you do. In other words, doing things with regularity with rhythm may be more important than what it is you actually do. And in today's world, we're being disrupted interrupted with a lot of what a lot of different things to try that we can't get into any rhythm routine, and kind of so to speak, synchronize the way our behavior with the way our body, our body works. And I started to realize that it wasn't just living longevity, but it was people who are high performers had a lot of routine that they adhere to Sure. And how we care for our young, and businesses, which I've run in worked with, you know, over the years above and beyond doing medicine,

Collier Landry 9:21

can I just ask you something? So so it's very interesting, what you said, there's two things that I pick up on here. First of all, like, do you feel that because of these central generic guns, and you know, you say something like having the Scotch every you know, Wednesday and Friday or or having that afternoon, Dr. Pepper is the way that will we live? Do you think as a medical professional, and as, as somebody who has studied this, do you think that not only that is because we're creatures of habit, so therefore, because we're creatures of habit that falls into our sort of, like you said circadian rhythm of life. And then the second thing is is also With that Scotch or that Dr. Pepper or let's say that morning, Ron or whatever, you know, you, it's like a reward. Right for it. So it hits the parts of the brain in the limbic system and that, that fire, right, that that our reward system kicks in is that is that sort of where you're going with this?

Angel Iscovich 10:22

Well, I mean, that's, that's a part of it, obviously, living to longer life. For example, longevity has more to do with simply routine, there's some genetics involved, there's some luck that's involved, you know, to make it but basically, the kinds of things that we know medically how our dopamine and serotonin systems work, circadian rhythms, how our cortisol works, there's a reason that at three o'clock the English have tea, and the Spanish take a siesta. And the French and Italians, at least in those developed countries, you know, have have afternoon sex, you know, that's all men, you know, men are bad. Yeah, never a bad thing, necessarily. But why is that, that that occurs, and, you know, this is, um, you know, brain manage, so to speak, and how we move through cortisol. And this starts to give us a little bit of what our bodies are wired, like, in the sort, in regard to issues like habit, habit, technically, is more automated behaviors, and they do work by kind of reward systems, they really come out of our studies in mice and humans, of course, and how to how to do rewards and, and, you know, positive affirmations, and the sort positive rewards, not aversive. And we know how we get stay away from aversive types of things that are paint shirtless, and away from it. So there is a lot of that. But what one learns is that routine kind of builds on itself routine is a routine, I call it a little bit more of an art. But what you do, again, the time bubble, I just that's just an analogy is, you know, the stable environment that can can burst and break from either the inside or the outside. And this time is the routine, but what you do is the art, you know, so that if you decide that what what you do when you when you awake is, and they've done studies on what do people do when they awake, you know, do do they drink water? You know, in today's times, often the first thing people do is look at their cell phones, to see just to see who's dedicated to them. And others will, you know, maybe develop a certain form of exercise or stretching, you know, others will make you know, heard of making your bed. The simple fact of being able to do something repetitively impacts your brain and allows you to give you a sense of meaning and purpose, you accomplish something. And with that regularity gets disturbed, disrupted, the body doesn't like doesn't like that. On the other hand, when it does it, it does, it gets a sense of, of, of meaning and kind of purpose, even in the worst conditions. Even the smallest things that are done with regularity and rhythm help help our bodies feel that sense of equilibrium in the store. So there's a bit of science involved in a bit of kind of more psychological behavior that's involved. But it's rarely in nature, where you are, it's it's a human insight into our human nature. And you see this, you see this, if you look historically, what do people do, like take COVID for people take war, people have migrated and moved. When there's war when there's pestilence, you know, when there's disease, they move, they move away from it, their lives become disrupted. I heard an interesting phase on when you look at, for example, Ukraine, or how people have been disrupted with COVID. And you ask them well, what is it that you seek? You know, I said, you know, I just like to have an everyday life again, I just like so what is that everyday life where you see in a world that people want a lot of stimulation, and really changing what we do, you know, so often, and we're naturally curious humans are naturally curious and try to improve their survival to find better lands better water, Better Shelter, better sense of a place that gives him that time bubble, that equilibrium, and yet life is disruptive as you go through it. And, and so that's a little bit of, you know, how I think about these things. And in the book, you know, I, I talk about a number of these situations like, like Charlie plum,

Collier Landry 14:33

yeah, Vietnam, he's a POW, right?

Angel Iscovich 14:35

Like chapters. Yeah. Even in the worst situations, you find meaning in doing even the simplest things to survive. Or others in business, you know, I have a number of other kinds of examples, stories that I try to tell.

Collier Landry 14:50

So that it's interesting. You mentioned Charlie plomb, right. Who you know, obviously is was a POW Vietnam pow, much like John McCain. And yeah, those little sort of things, you know, being in my father's incarcerated, right? I often think about, I mean, it's, you know, as a trauma survivor, you partially, you start to think about, like, well, what if that happened to me if I, if I was, if I'm destined to have that be like, give us the prodigal son, I'm gonna be imprisoned or something, you know, you kind of flow through these things. But then I think, then he kind of go further down the rabbit hole, like what would keep me sane if I was locked up in a box? Oh, routine, routine routine, right? It's you know, and it's interesting, just as I was talking earlier about the travel with the chaos with shooting here, this location, that location, and it's throwing me off my routine, I wasn't able to go swimming in the morning, like I do every day, you know, or get my exercising, which is a big part of me with sort of my trauma recovery is exercising and having that. So it just makes me feel good. First of all, it does stimulate your endorphins and your you know, but also, it just, yeah, it just makes it just is part of that thing that I really crave. And when I start to get off kilter, right, it's it, you know, certainly gets pent up inside you. You don't feel right, yeah, if you don't feel right.

Angel Iscovich 16:17

You don't have you're not you're not having those endorphins, trying to get out of the airplane and deal with all the things you have to deal with that you're used to. And that, again, that of course is, you know, some chemistry behind why we feel good when we exercise and which is, you know, absolutely what you're saying is absolutely, it's absolutely the case. And so today's world, we don't exercise regularly, because we're not out hunting, in winter outdoors. Yeah, gathering and building shelter and the sort. So, we we form kind of a routine of artificial physicalness. Right? And then yeah, importance to be physical, and do those physical things, which are important, which then also, of course, help and sleep and all that kind of stuff. But now you've you've, you've hit the mark there, and it's one of my one of the things about, like, Why do you like you do that? Because you feel good? And you do it because you wake up? But what meaning and purpose does that give you? You know, why is that meaningful to you? You ask yourself the question, Why does swimming every morning? Why is that important to me, right? So not to some people about exercise, how you get in a little bit of a zone, how your, your mind, your mind is relaxed, it's a form of a meditative environment. And, and you find that, just like sleep, our bodies, especially in today's active worlds require, require some of this type of downtime, you know, above and beyond the actual exercise of your heart racing in the sword. So a lot of interesting things are going on there. But some people don't understand that, you know, what's meaningful to you is not necessarily meaningful to someone else. You know, I, I note in my book that my mom used to say, everybody has their own rainbow. You know, and everyone has their own rainbow. Right. Right. And it's just a simple, you know, simple saying, and she was a survivor from Auschwitz use a

Collier Landry 18:12

Yeah, talk about her surviving, you know,

Angel Iscovich 18:15

yeah, it's, it's analogous to your survival in a different way, you were in a different kind of jail, you know, sure, so to speak. And, as you I

Collier Landry 18:25

was abandoned, I was abandoned by my whole family. So I was thrown into the foster care system, and I was adopted by strangers. I mean, they're not strangers now, obviously. But they were at the time. I mean, you know, knew them through the community, but not in unity. And it's, I mean, obviously, the Holocaust. It's, it's very, yes, very analogous, but also, you know, yeah, it's, it's, the betrayal is still there. And the trauma is still there, and the sort of feeling of helplessness. And I think, and I think that like those things, like when you add the routine to that, that makes you feel more in control, it stimulates me, that's just my assessment of it. I mean, I haven't studied routine, but just my own knowing is like, when there's those things, and I guess maybe they're familiar to us, or they become familiar to us through routine. So therefore, when those things are taken away from us, we get into that fight or flight mode. Is that maybe perhaps the cause?

Angel Iscovich 19:22

Absolutely, you know, when you look at, if you look at people that have behavioral health breakdowns, right, whether, you know, what do we do in hospitals? What do we do really, in behavioral health? You know, we, what do we try to start doing with one's life that's been disrupted either through some disease or even a mental illness or some stress that's occurred? We try to put them in a cocoon we try to get a routine going when you eat when you wake. When you have your therapy session. This happens within let's say, a behavioral health hospital system, most of what we do upon stress trauma or disease, the kinds of prescriptions, the things we do to help others is to and to help ourselves which some people are unable to really ascertain is do exactly what you said exactly what you discovered, you know, yourself or, or through others of what made you be able to kind of gather yourself back from that traumatic state. And that's the same thing that happens with people that have, you know, severe depression, schizophrenia, once we get medications that stabilize some of your serotonin levels, then one needs, again, to have that stability, that equilibrium to have that sense of certainty that what's happening today is a sense of organization, a sense of structure, that's what we do, you know, you're you remember, the, the, like, the story says, you know, my, my kid, he just behaves terribly. In the old days, what they'd say is, well, we're going to, we're going to send them to military school, we're going to send them to the or the armed forces, we're gonna strike out, we're gonna strike out, and what is it that happens in these what I call, you know, group related organization structures, routines, is they have obviously a mission and objective, but everything becomes very organized, very structured, right? Yeah. And one learns how to kind of find, you know, oneself ability to do those, you might, one might not like the, the what you're doing in those necessarily, but many people thrive from it. And this is another kind of example of where routine both therapeutically, okay, but also, as our human, our own nature, it's within us, you know, is what we what we strive for. So that's a, that's an example I remember, you know, sometimes I'm not sure how it was for you, because it's you were young and needed, I'm sure some amount of guidance or develop it on your own, I'd be interested. But sometimes you need a mentor, sometimes when your life's disrupted, you need someone that you could see, is organized and structured and has a shirt. Absolutely, yeah,

Collier Landry 22:07

you're looking at let's start, you mean, you just look at like the inner cities, right? So you have athletes that are coming from very places where routine does not exist, right. And I feel that, you know, what you're discussing here is, is is, you know, something that is very, that exists in our society that, you know, ends up sort of controlling populations, you know, or let's just say, let's just say the prison population, right? Where if prisoners get a little too comfortable, or you're, they're always tossing your cell, or they're moving you to a new cell they're doing, they're disrupting that routine before you get settled in. Because I feel like when you get settled into a routine, you sort of gain your power, which is why I think it's so interesting and important in Trauma Recovery, is having that routine does give you your sort of power back. Even though it's the most simple of things. It really has such a dynamic impact on your brain. And the way we're wired. I believe, look, I'm not a neuroscientist, I haven't studied this, but just speaking from personal experience, enables you to take that power back. I mean, I remember what I was testifying against my father, I was 12 years old. And I you know, I had witnessed the murder, I testify the grand jury securing his indictment, and then I, you know, obviously was in the foster care system, and then testified against my father in court, you know, in front of him staring him down to, you know, two and a half days a trial. And the thing is, is that I remember during that time I would play tennis, or I would, you know, I had these little small outlets, where I would just try to have some sort of sense of normalcy like, I just wanted to feel like a kid. If you there's a great line from the film Shawshank Redemption, which is ironically shot in Mansfield, Ohio. And the character Andy dufrane, is played by Tim Robbins, does some tax stuff for one of the main guards and gets asked for asks, you said, What do you want as payment? He goes, you know, two beers for each of my co workers because they're touring the roof of this factory. And they come up to give him a beer. And he says, No, I don't want to quit drinking. And everybody kind of looked at him like he was crazy. And you get and the narrator that manga Morgan Freeman says, you know, nobody knows why he did it. But I think he did it to feel normal, if only for a short while. So there's these things that when you're going through this process of extreme trauma, depression, and I think that was that was the biggest thing with the pandemic is people couldn't get to the gym, they couldn't get to this, besides all the other things that have occurred, right, and the stresses of being ill or family members being ill income, yada, yada, but just that those outlets that make you feel normal, and I think a lot of times in society, you know, people get caught up in the rat race. I know I did look, I quit drinking during the pandemic, right. And that was a way when I would drink you know, I would take time I would you know, I I would just, I'm just gonna check out in it. I mean, and I would. And that's not healthy, right. And I think that people do things that they, they get themselves so stressed and so worked up that they do they resort to unhealthy behaviors, to let themselves check out because they're denying themselves other routine. And that's why I'm acutely aware of it's like, if I get off my exercise program, or I get off this, or I get stressed, I start to feel a little crazy. And I'm like, Okay, I need to focus on me, just with those simple things. Because we do get caught up in like making money traveling kids work this and that we fall off those things. And those stressors kind of boil up inside of us until bubbles over and we do something, you know, hopefully not extreme, but we might, you know, and I think it's, I think it's a, it's a wonderful example, in the EU, I was just talking about this last last weekend, is talking about the CIO, they'll take, you know, one month in the summer off, or the siesta, like you said, and those little moments where we think that that's a lack of productivity during those times, but it's really not, because it makes you way more productive, because it just wires your brain in that way. And again, I'm not a neuroscientist, you know, I'm not a medical doctor, you are and you studied these things. So, so what do you like, you know, maybe I'm being redundant, what I'm saying,

Angel Iscovich 26:18

I think you're I think you're right on, you know, first of all, that whole sense of, you know, I mentioned before wanting an everyday life, I think that's what the fray was about. He wanted the everyday life to feel, not like he was in jail, but have an everyday life. And I think that's, that's kind of the body wanting that, that, that routine, that homeostasis, and so forth, coming back. So I think you're, you're right. And there's a lot of, you know, science behind it. In the end, you know, science helps explains these things. But in the end, your ability to have, like you said, you will use some of your terms have some that organization structure routine, give you a sense of power, a sense of self, a sense that you have meaning and purpose, you know, and what in life and what you do become very important. And I think that you obviously sensed in a very natural way that you didn't want to escape, but you wanted to develop a new routine, where your routines have been disrupted. In and now you're, you know, sheltering at home, you're not able to go and do shoots and do your work. You're trying to develop or create, again, like I talked about it, like a little time bubble, you know, so to speak.

Collier Landry 27:32

And but it is a time bubble, right. And it's a time bubble. It isn't, you know, I,

Angel Iscovich 27:37

in the book, I talked with my first note, I, I kind of learned this when I was doing an emergency C section as an ER doc called up to, to do a C section on a woman that was not wasn't labor, unable to deliver. And, you know, that whole process of being in a womb, you know, kind of as analogy, because there's a lot that happens, because I studied quite a bit about what's happening, what's the homeostasis, what's happening as you're growing in this womb. And there's a lot of stability and a lot of a lot of equilibrium and a lot going on there too. And you know, then you're born into this kind of disruptive world with all of these sensations, you know, but you're cared for, right? You're cared for. And you're grown up. And I think, of course, to you, you understand that that piece very well. But yeah, so in that way, I've made I kind of thought that the analogy of a time bubble. And you know, I was talking about mentors, I had an insurance inspector that, yeah, just like to talk about analogies who came by and he said, Oh, I saw your I saw the book you're writing it's, it's really great. Boy, I'll tell you that, that kind of helped my life. And of course, as a doc, it's always satisfying when somebody. Yeah, that's good. I really liked what you you know, I get some nice notes. You know, some people don't get get it, because they all want the 123. And my book is not a real 123 book. It's more of an insight into here that you can kind of follow. But, you know, he said his life, he got divorced, he lost child custody, he lost his work. This, this just kind of a continuing domino effect of kind of what happens with trauma and disruption. Whether it's an accident that occurs, you know, whether it's being a pilot, I kind of know how I've studied how accidents occur if one thing leads to another leads to another. And it's a little bit that way, both of what happens in life that leads, leads, leads you down this kind of track to the point that he lost his work, he was completely and he had no sense of organization or structure in his life, you know, there were and arguably he was either very melancholy or clinically depressed to a certain degree, but he was able to get himself up enough to want to get back to exercise because he remembered the exercise and made him feel good. And he went over to the gym one morning, and he started on the treadmill and he found this kind of older guy that was incredibly organized and structured, and exercising kind of hooked up and became friends with this person showing him like a coach. Yeah, and he mentored him kind of into, well look, tomorrow, we'll do this, but we'll do that. And hey, if you want afterwards, we'll go out for lunch, you know, you have to get some, you have to get some normalcy and rhythm back in your life, to the point that he was able to kind of recover from this, and, you know, get a job and deal with the issues related to life. And, and very thankful and meaningful and feeling really good about where he was at. So these are, you know, these are examples that were, you know, routine organizational structure. My, my point about it is, is that, that, and the stories that I tell are, whether it was how, where did you learn that to become such a good business person? What was routine became important to you? Yeah, or, or, what did you win for Charlie plum? You know, you're, you're being tortured for eight years, how did you survive that, and suddenly, you know, there's a spray of bullets that comes from a, from a, from an aeroplane that opens up the light in his in his room where he has no light, and he's suddenly able to follow the day, and able from, because he's got a time sense of the day, you can actually begin to do things when he exercises when he eats. Yeah, when he leaves. And so suddenly, life becomes, you know, meaningful and, and so anyway, so I think these are, you know, these are, this is just kind of the way we're wired, I think that we're being a bit disrupted and interrupted, now, you know, I see people like start on, so let's say a form of exercise, like yoga. And yeah, they get distracted, because then they want to do Pilates, because somebody told them to do Pilates, and then sure, their total, you know, if you do Tai Chi, that's going to be actually something better to do. But you know, if you do swimming, that's really good. Because it's good for strength and cardiovascular and really, am no one sticks too much of staying with, with a routine, trying to let it develop. Now, there's nothing wrong with changing routines, if you don't like it, or it's disruptive, it can't work in, in your lifestyle. When people say, Well, you know, do routines are boring, I said, Well, I'm you know, I'm, I'm not telling you what to do. That's the art of routine, you decide yourself what it is you want to do. But when you do it, do it with some rhythm, some regularity, do it regularly, your body will like that you will feel better because of

Collier Landry 32:25

it. And other human beings recognize that in you, it's like a consistency factor, like this person always shows up at this time, it always does this, right? It's just like delivering episodes of podcast every 7am On Fridays, moving past murder comes out, right? And so they start to work that into their own personal routine. So there's so much to be said for that. Because, you know, I think a lot of part of my upbringing, too, is you know, because of everything that happened to me, I kind of became a little rebellious in my view of the world. Like, I'll do it my way. Because, you know, if this didn't work, so I'll you know, to hell with that. I'll do it the way I feel like doing it. And I think, you know, that ultimately is very counterproductive. First of all, because you're fighting a system that is not, I think, when you start to look at these things in a, in a more macro scale, versus you're a little microcosm of the world of this is how we're wired as a species. And you need to adapt to that, because it's good for you. And it's good for everyone around you to behave in this manner. Because you can't find it, you're fighting against nature. And it's, you're not going to win. And I think that that's really key. So, as far as you will concur with that, right?

Angel Iscovich 33:37

No, I I completely agree with that. And I think that's sometimes you know, the rationale is there, but the behavior, they're, they're very disrupted, they can't get in a rhythm, you know, how do you know sometimes people asked me to be prescriptive, and they asked me, Well, how do you how do you? What do I do? How do I get started?

Collier Landry 33:54

I mean, well, that's what I want to know, I want you to be able to, like silver for that. On that note, for our listeners who are struggling with this. And a lot of there's a lot of people that are in Trauma Recovery, that listen to this program, because of my background. What what could you tell them that is, is going to be most conducive to their path of healing? Using the art of routine? So I'll let you I'll let you answer that.

Angel Iscovich 34:18

No, so that's good. So I've tried to become a little more prescriptive and learn from some of the stories here that I've told and people I work with, and also my clinical background. So it's kind of funny, because they I didn't want to give a prescription, you know, I said, Listen, it's up to you, you know, to understand this, and then I realized that people say, Doc, this is great. Love understanding this, but can you just tell me, this happened in medicine, right? I tell someone why they had this problem or this cardiac issue and they go, that's great. But can you just give me the 123 things I need to do? You know, so some people don't want to have that deep knowledge and sometimes that's not what they need. They can't really deal with it even in a traumatic state or situation. So they need a prescription. And we talked about what we do. And in a lot of when there is psychiatric disease or stress and try to organize. So someone asked me that, and I said, well, and I, this was kind of an example of their lives being disrupted, can't get any rhythm eating poorly, just cannot do well at work. And I told him to get a dog. Okay? Because wood, wood, wood, and being a being my wife, and I, being dog owners and owning X

Collier Landry 35:31

dogs or have dogs like routine, they really, they get thrown off, it's amazing,

Angel Iscovich 35:36

you know, start, you know, so dogs are like, you know, sometimes they say they're like three year olds, there's kind of a variation. And we talked about, I think I mentioned, that's one of the things I learned is that, you know, caring for the young has a lot of routine involved with it, right? When they sleep when the and with dogs is the same. So if you want to start getting in a routine, you know, get a dog, and you're going to learn that you need to walk you need to feed it begins to feed on you're developing your organizational structure around the day, just like you said, when when my structure was disrupted, that what I do in my routine, it becomes more difficult to travel, I talk a little bit about, you know, the travel time bubble, right? How do you How can you? How do you maintain a sense of traveling routine, you know, and, and it's funny, because people say, Well, I travel all the time, I don't need routine, you know, and then I, I said, I was talking to as a CEO, for example, about travel. And I know this a little side note to what I was saying that's one of the prescriptions of dog but the other, you know, people would travel and say, Well, I traveled when I needed to, I'd have to go to London, this was in a big in a business, we're really moving across. I don't really believe in routines. And I'd say, Well, let me ask you this, when you go to London, do you live in a certain time? He says, Well, yeah, we always leave in the morning, because, you know, I want to be there in the afternoon and so that I could sleep at the right times as well. Do you like to particular seat or do you like a specific area and you don't care? What seat? You guys? Oh, no, no, I like my aisle seat. I said, you go to just any hotel, or anywhere. It's just Oh, no, I've got my two hotels that I like, depending where my meetings are. I know exactly the rooms that I want. This is the body wanting to have also not just routine, but physical environment. You know, the hospitality business, hotels have really learned this. i In the book, I described a study of the Hilton Hotels that try to make them all look the same. That's how they get loyalty should want you to have the same feel in the same environment. Yeah, I had a See, I had a COO that was working for him and my Chief Operating Officer, I say, Hey, listen, you could stay at nice hotels, you know, I like this a nice hotel. I like the Courtyard Marriott, I take the same, so you have to go to eight cities for a so you have to work out he says, I know each flight that I want for those cities. When I go to the Courtyard Marriott it's always the same, they look the same. I know that I want a courtyard room, not a side room, freeway. And so what you find is that people really also want to find physical environment. So this just is my point to the theory that even in travel, one begins, especially if you're a traveler, like I did travel quite a bit on business, you start to learn how important is structure and routines because you're disrupting your circadian rhythms when you're moving, you know, an hour or two or three hour more out of your time zones when you do international travel. To the point, so some things I learned was, yeah, I kind of get this from the dog that's happened to us, we have show dogs actually, which I never had till a year or two ago, you know, Miniature Schnauzers that actually show and all and so we kind of, you know, you start to learn exactly what's needed in that routine, both for performance and for daily, you know, walking in the sort. So, dogs are one thing. Another thing that I told some people I say, Well, I just don't know what to do in the morning. It just seems I do whatever, depending on what I feel like I never did the same thing. I said, Well, hey, why don't you do this? Let's use a little of your current tech, take your cell phone and schedule it. Seven o'clock people average time of waking up in the United States is like 643 or something, you know, it's actually been studied, in bars in input been put in where meditation can be a little more complicated for people because it requires, you know, learning a little bit and practicing something. I said, Why don't you just do a daily affirmation? So a daily affirmation is something I remember from Stuart Smalley. Kind of an older, no good movie, really little funny movie that, you know, says, you know, you wake up every morning and say, I've got to I everyday, you know, you do a daily affirmation, it would be like, I'm, I'm good enough. I'm smart enough and Gosh, darn it, people like me, you know. So one of the simple things to do and I have that on my phone. It's for mine. It's 7am and it says daily affirmation. I let that daily affirmation could be something positive or it could be a moment To schedule what your day is going to be like, here's what I'm going to do. I'm gonna have a good day. So I like daily affirmations. I even like evening affirmations, you can put it in schedule, it comes up pops on your phone and gives you a moment to think. In fact, they noticed that the new Apple phones have a kind of mindful moment

Collier Landry 40:17

now. Yeah, they do.

Angel Iscovich 40:21

Popping up popping up. So. So obviously dogs for requirement, a structure, of course, that requires a lot of not freedom and responsibility. You know, that's how you get responsibility and accountability was, but affirmations, even evening affirmations? You know, we're replacing a lot of behavior that happened with religion, you know, there used to be this tradition of night prayers before you went to sleep, you know, so that you're thankful for the day you had and thankful for the night that's going to happen. And so evening, evening, evening, affirmation, you know, becomes a good thing. Maybe before you go to sleep to gather your thoughts, people, some people do this naturally, by the way, they naturally think are organized to think what their day is going to be like. And they they naturally do that they think of their day and think what tomorrow will be like, so yeah, I like affirmations. I do that a lot. But yeah, it'll be Yeah. And then. And then. So those are some prescriptions of things that can help you through, you know, how you gain routine and develop trauma or by get starting to do something regularly of that nature. Another one that is kind of a sense of mindfulness specially in today is one of the CEOs and chairman of a very large company that I work with running a pretty big, you know, it's got you got a lot of people in your ear, and it's probably not too different in your life, you've got a lot of people trying to coordinate a lot of texts, emails, you're trying to absolutely prod or get through the day, what he would do is at 330, you know, during that time, that circadian rhythm time when you're, when you're down with your cortisol and your glucose levels, and Americans are going to, to Starbucks or whatever, you know, to get coffee and get, and this is fairly natural, some people have a little bit more of larks and it the circadian rhythm is well defined, he would just pretty much close the door and have quiet time. It shut off all of the all of the input and sensations that comes from the computer's sounds and the sword, and just take a little bit of time quietly to ponder maybe even to ponder important decisions that may be coming up, but a time where no one's in the ear, you know, in your her ear. And so I think that that that was a good practice, you do that for about a half hour, it's arguably a form of meditation, a way of regenerating your brain versus swimming, running whatever it might be one does to do that. So I think, I think that ends up being a good practice. So if I talk about a couple practices, you know, affirmations, a moment of your scheduled quiet time, that happens all the time, nothing gets in the way, you know, nothing gets in the way. It just like, you know, in in people that are religious, nothing gets in the way of someone in the Muslim religion doing their prayers. To the time they said to the time of day. So why is that? Why do we do behaviors like that? So, in a modern world, which many of us are much less religious don't have that. That's why I believe like for groups, organizations, businesses, for your family, why I believe that, you know, routines are important because they they become rituals, and rituals become traditions. Yeah, and it's really important to have ritual traditions, I think we're losing is just another topic, you know, hear about stability, certainty,

Collier Landry 43:50

or losing that sense of ritual? Absolutely. I've just discussed that a lot with a with my psychiatrist or psychologist that it's about, you know, it's a ritual and and all these things and roared. Dr. unhealed. Escovitch. Thank you so much. I'm sorry, I have to this has been a great conversation, I'd love to have you back because you're just a wealth of knowledge and so much, we could sit here and talk about

Angel Iscovich 44:14

AI now. I've really enjoyed it. And I'm glad to talk on it is kind of an eclectic subject. So it's broad, you know, so yeah, you'll wellness or if we want to talk about, you know, health and what we do in medicine, or want to talk about how you implement this in businesses, which I've done, you know, why it's important. So anyway, I've enjoyed it. Thank you. And your insights are very, very good. You know, your insights from your personal experience are good and how they why you gravitate and have naturally gravitated to this these states? Yeah.

Collier Landry 44:48

Well, thank you so much. So how do we find you tell us where we can find the book? The book is The Art of routine. Where can we find all these materials? Yeah, you

Angel Iscovich 44:56

know, the art of routine is on it's on Amazon and on any of the bookseller's. So just again the art of routine it will come up. And I've also got a, you know, web page Angel Escovitch if you can spell it, NGLS, cov IC h.com. And I've got a number of the podcasts and things that I've done that maybe bring a little bit of more depth and insight or interest for other people related to this subject.

Collier Landry 45:22

Well, my guest today has been Dr. On Hill Escovitch. It has been a pleasure. He is the author of The Art of routine, and we will put all of his necessary and appropriate links in the show notes for this episode. Dr. Escovitch on Hill, thank you so much for being a part of the program. I really appreciate it.

Angel Iscovich 45:43

I'm ready to come back and we talk on a more specific subject in the broad and call your you do a great job and I know you're helping people. So

Collier Landry 45:50

thank you so much.


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