I spent the better part of twenty years in a gym or on a soccer field in pursuit of health before I hit the yoga mat for the first time. It was only then, when I finally started to "work-in" rather than "work-out" that I truly became healthy. I still run, sweat, spin, and lift, but now the thread that ties it all together is my daily work-in.


Starting this week I'm going to be sharing my work-ins with you in the hopes that you can join me in creating a healthy practice for your body and mind. Ideally, this weekly opportunity to check in with where you are and what you need will help you feel the abiding happiness you seek from your workouts. I encourage you to have a journal you use just for your work-ins, one that you can fill to the margins with scribbly handwriting and revisit often for inspiration.


This week we start off with a journaling suggestion and some homework.


bethany eanes, mental health, creating rituals, body and mind, meditation


Week 1: Journaling

When you go to the gym or for a run, you dump adrenaline and stress hormones into your system. Yes, this creates a fantastic "runner's high," but it can leave you feeling depleted. Answer these questions about how you are managing basic self-care to learn where you can nourish yourself more. Set aside ten to thirty minutes to answer each question in your journal.


  1. How much energy do I have throughout the day? Do I "crash" or require stimulants to make it through my schedule?
  2. How do I feel three hours after my workout? 
  3. What is the last thing I did to truly nourish myself? Have I gotten a massage or pedicure? Enjoyed a cup of tea? Taken a long bath? (Anything that requires expending energy does not count!)
  4. When do I feel most alive without feeling over-energized?
  5. What foods make me feel wholesome and healthy?


Week 1: Homework

Take time to create a ritual that will help nourish you and lead to toward a great day. It doesn't have to be a complicated ritual. In fact, starting small may help you build a lasting habit. Begin by thinking of something you can do once each morning, afternoon, and evening. Here are some suggestions:


  • bethany eanes, mental health, creating rituals, body and mind, meditationTurn away from electronics, close your eyes, and take ten deep breaths while picturing your perfect day.
  • Listen to a song that inspires you (without doing anything else simultaneously, just listening).
  • Recite a quotation or affirmation ten times to yourself.
  • Spend ten minutes outside or, if possible, in nature.


Create a ritual you feel connected with, but also make sure it is something simple enough you can stick with it even when you are busy. It should take no more than ten minutes.


This week, perform your ritual when you wake up (often called the "magic hour" as this sets the tone for your day), after lunch but before you start your afternoon, and in the evening a few hours before bed time. Write in your journal how you felt about your ritual.


Feel free to share your thoughts, questions, or the rituals you've chosen in the comments below.


In case you missed it:

Weekly Work-In: Week 2 - Create a Personal Affirmation That Works

Weekly Work-In: Week 3 - Create Balance in Your Life With the 5 Body Approach

Weekly Work-In: Week 4 - How to Support the Energetic Body

Weekly Work-In: Week 5 - Use Meditation to Calm Mental Conflict

Weekly Work-In: Week 6 - Getting Past the Ego

Weekly Work-In: Week 7 - Following Your Bliss

Weekly Work-In: Week 8 - Use Your Visualization to Achieve Your Sports Goals


Photos courtesy of Shutterstock.

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