Why is Self-Care so Difficult? | Dean Pohlman | Better Man Podcast Ep. 092

Why is Self-Care so Difficult? | Dean Pohlman | Better Man Podcast Ep. 092

Most guys who are interested in self-care and self-improvement struggle heavily with it. Flicking on the TV or loading your favorite social media for doom scrolling is so much easier. Especially when you lead a busy life and are responsible for your family. 

And you know what? 

I struggle with this too. It’s a daily battle to pick the activity that’s rewarding in the long-term instead of the one that’s numbing in the short-term. 

But it’s possible to make the right choice even when you’re exhausted and your willpower is empty. In fact, I just went through this exact process last week. After a long, stress-filled morning, I plopped down on my couch after putting my daughter down for a nap, and flicked on the TV. 

But then a voice inside my head challenged me to use my time wisely. And in this episode, I share exactly what I did to flick off the TV and work on myself instead. 

In this episode, you’ll discover: 

  • Why it’s such a struggle to prioritize self-care (and strategies to make it easier) 
  • A prose I wrote called “Choosing Self-Care” that gives you a sneak peek into my brain—and reveals how I flicked off the TV (try this next time you want to veg out) 
  • How to make time in your schedule for the activities that truly matter 

Listen now!

The Better Man Podcast is an exploration of our health and well-being outside of our physical fitness, exploring and redefining what it means to be better as a man; being the best version of ourselves we can be, while adopting a more comprehensive understanding of our total health and wellness. I hope it inspires you to be better!

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify

Use the RSS link to find the Better Man Podcast on other apps: http://feeds.libsyn.com/404744/rss

Episode 092 Highlights

  • One question to ask yourself when you’re low on willpower to hijack your brain for self-care (2:07) 
  • The insidious “mentally buzzed” trap you fall into each time you flick on your TV or open a social media app (3:29) 
  • How to choose what’s rewarding instead of what’s numbing (4:57) 
  • Why your environment is a better predictor of the success of your goals than motivation, willpower, or discipline (8:36) 

Resources mentioned on this episode: 

  1. Be The Better You Retreat: The next Be The Better You Retreat happens this weekend in Austin, TX. While I haven’t scheduled the next one yet, I will do another one later in 2024. Subscribe to our emails to stay in the loop if you’d like to come. 
  2. Man Flow Yoga Engage Beta: I kicked off the beta for Man Flow Yoga Engage recently—and we’re ironing out all the kinks to make it even more impactful for men looking for more from their life. The next cohort opens in July, so keep an eye out if you’re interested in joining. 
Episode 092: Why is Self-Care so Difficult? - Dean Pohlman - Transcript

Hey guys, it’s Dean Welcome to the Better Man podcast. Today’s episode is a solo episode, and today I want to talk about the struggle for self-care. So this is a situation that almost all of us face. I think because you’re listening to this podcast, you’re interested in self-care. You’re interested in self-improvement, and that means that we have to spend our time wisely when we do have it.

If you are interested in self-improvement, there’s a very low likelihood that you have a lot of free time. You’re probably already doing a lot. Maybe you’re a dad, a caregiver, or a busy guy with other responsibilities. Busy professional, and you don’t get a lot of free time. And when you do have it, it’s hard to choose to do the thing that will help with your self improvement or your self-care.

So when you have the availability and you’re deciding between watching TV or journaling or doing a workout, that’s a struggle. And that’s something that we face on a sometimes daily basis, something that I go through as well. Just because I’m in the position that I am in, doesn’t mean that I also have to don’t. That I also don’t have to struggle with motivation.

I do, I do struggle with motivation. And so when this happened to me last weekend, so I was sitting on my couch and, I had just finished putting my daughter down for a nap. And that entire day I had not really had any time to myself. I had gone to the grocery store with my daughter I had taken, I think I took my son for a walk, maybe went to, you know, the park.

But the point is that I didn’t really have any time to myself. I was on the entire day from the time that I woke up until that second nap around 2:30 p.m. and so at 2:30 p.m., you know, that’s a that’s a lull in the day. That’s when your energy levels definitely take a hit. So I had just sat down, I grabbed the TV remote, I flicked the TV on, and I realized, is this what I want to be doing with my time?

And so after about a minute, I kind of shook myself out of it. And I went into my office and I wrote something. So this is I don’t know if you call it, just call it prose, right? It’s not a poem, but the title of this is choosing Self-care. Choosing Self-care. Finally, a break without thinking, I come back downstairs and make my way to the living room, plop down on the couch.

I grab the TV remote. It’s so easy. Just a few buttons to click and I’ll be mentally buzzed. I deserve this break. I’ve been working, taking care of the kids all day. I haven’t done anything for myself that hasn’t involve the kids or putting the house in order. And then another voice pops into my head. You should be using this time wisely.

I recognize that it’s right, but energy to work out, to journal, to meditate. It’s tough to lean into the activity I know I should be doing when my willpower has already been spent elsewhere, sacrificing what I want to do for others needs and desires with the family’s basic housekeeping chores. Can I just veg out for a bit? Come on, just do it.

The voice is insistent and then something clicks. I remember my values. I remember how I’ll feel if 30 minutes passes and I haven’t done anything useful with my time. So I pull myself out of the door that I entered. When I flick the TV switch on, I switch off the TV. I grab my notebook and a pen instead.

I open it up to a fresh page and I start writing. Whatever’s in my head. I don’t have a specific prompt. There’s not a set of questions that I have to answer or a specific problem to solve. I just start writing. So I write this the struggle of self-care, of using your time wisely, of choosing to do what’s rewarding instead of what’s numbing.

Checking in instead of checking out, facing the anxiety, and experiencing the emotions that you’ve been putting off instead of tuning them out. Rarely easy to start, but once you do, it’s always better. Hopefully this baby sweeps well. The countdown is on, so I think that situation, baby or not, I think that’s a situation that we all go through, right?

We have the time to take care of ourselves, to do the work out, to to do the self-improvement, to read the book, maybe to journal. And it’s so easy to want to turn the TV on instead, or to, I don’t know, do some sort of coping activity, something that will take us away from the activity that’s going to help us grow and help us take care of ourselves for our long term future selves.

It’s so easy to choose to do the easy numbing activity instead scrolling on the phone, watching TV and, that’s the struggle of self-care is, is deciding to do the other thing instead. So this is all to say that this is something that I go through as well. and I know that it’s something that you guys probably go through this week.

this topic is particularly relevant because I have the, the be the better you would treat the be, the better you retreat is happening. This is our fourth round. And the second iteration of the way we’ve been doing it. So we’ll have 11 guys coming to Austin, Texas for four days going through a, a journey of self-improvement, of self-discovery and of, of yoga.

This time I’ll be doing yoga three times per day. And I also just launched engaged. AJ engage a couple weeks ago, which is are, hard to explain it, but it is a, a new level of man for yoga focused on community and overall health and well-being, not just on the workouts, but going deeper beyond that, going deeper into the community, more community, more motivation, more, more targeted information.

And, this idea of self-care, of, of finding the energy to be able to do the things that we need to do is a very prevalent theme, right? If all of us could just do our workouts when we said that, we would, then it would be really easy. But that’s not what happens. We’ve got other things that get in the way.

we have other stress that we haven’t dealt with. We have habits that are already ingrained that prevent us from doing our workouts. And so it takes a bit more than just saying, I’m going to do my workout at this time. To do the workout, you have to we have to look at some other of strategies. We have to address the things that are holding us back, and that’s something that we’re doing at the be the better retreat.

And that’s a theme that we explore in the engage community as well. So be the better retreat. We haven’t scheduled our next one, but that will happen likely in late 2024. Engage is in its beta period. It’s currently closed for enrollment, but we’ll be opening that back up in July, so stay tuned for that. And that’s what’s going on in man for yoga.

So I hope that, this discussion of self-care resonated with you. This is to say, I struggle with this as well. And, it’s something that most guys struggle with. If you’re interested in self-improvement, if you have workouts that you want to do on a regular basis, it’s not just automatic all the time, right? it takes energy.

It takes discipline. And more important than those things, it takes setting up the environment that encourages you to do the activities that you want to do, and remembering your values and having and and making sure that you’ve gone through the process to be able to articulate and make clear those values. And for me, something that’s really helped is remembering how I feel after I do an activity.

So for me, feeling the shame of, you know, watching TV for an hour mindlessly instead of doing something that would make me feel better and be in a better place to be a better dad, a better husband, and a better leader. If I choose to do the TV instead of the thing that’s going to make me better, I feel bad about that.

And so when I have the opportunity to remember to choose, that’s when I think, oh, I’ve been here before. And I know that if I do the easy thing and just my numb, I know I’m going to be upset later on. So I’m going to choose to put aside this little feeling of discomfort that I have. I’m going to lean into that activity and I’m going to do it.

And usually as soon as I start it, I start to feel better, I feel lighter, I feel better about myself. And then when I finish, I’ve, I’ve got I’m proud of myself. It’s another win. So. And yeah, hopefully that baby takes a nice long nap. Your dad, you know what I mean? And if not, I’m sure there’s other comparisons, but I’m drawing a blank, so anyways, you’re not always in control.

So control the time that you do have available. And, use your time wisely. I hope this message resonated with you guys. Thank you for listening to the betterment podcast. I hope this inspires you to be a better man. I’ll see you guys on the next episode. You guys are listening and haven’t left a review yet. Please consider doing so on Apple Podcasts or on Spotify.

If you want to get started with man for yoga, we do have a free seven day challenge. You can learn more and sign up at Man Flow yoga.com/7 DC. There’s no credit card required. All right guys, thanks for watching. Thanks for listening. I’ll see you on the next one.


Want to improve your sexual wellness, get stronger erections, and last longer in bed? Then join the FREE 7-Day Sexual Wellness Challenge here: https://shrtlnk.co/uA27H 

Want to unlock more flexibility and strength, reduce your risk of injury, and feel your absolute best over the next 7 days? Then join the FREE 7-Day Beginner’s Yoga for Men Challenge here: https://ManFlowYoga.com/7dc

Tired of doing a form of yoga that causes more injuries than it helps prevent? The cold, hard truth is men need yoga specifically designed for them. Well, here’s some good news: You can start your 7-day free trial to Man Flow Yoga by visiting https://ManFlowYoga.com/join.

Like what you’re hearing? Sign up for the mailing list:

Rate & Review

If you enjoyed today’s episode of The Better Man Podcast, hit the subscribe button on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen, so future episodes are automatically downloaded directly to your device.

You can also help by providing an honest rating & review over on Apple Podcasts. Reviews go a long way in helping us build awareness so that we can impact even more people. THANK YOU!

More Podcast Content

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top
Copy link