Yesterday marked one year since I packed up and sold my grandmother’s condo. It also was when we launched The Hospital Bar as a community for caregivers of all kinds. Over the last year, advocating for patients and caregivers has been my primary goal, all while being both a patient and a caregiver myself. I would be lying if I didn’t say that at points during the last 365 days, I’ve experienced burnout, wanted to change my life, or just needed a massive break. While being a caregiver is an honor and a privilege, it also means that I am constantly in ‘on’ mode with little time to power down.
Horseback riding has been one way that I’ve been able to feel more like myself through all of the changes this past year has brought (and, honestly, more like the changes of the last few years). And the more I ride, the more I feel immensely grateful for being back in the saddle. In a way, returning to riding has been a full-circle moment, as I’ve often credited my resilience as a cancer survivor and caregiver to my years in the show ring.
But, most importantly, riding has brought back the sense of inner peace that I had been missing. It rebalances my nervous system after a long week and sets me up for a calmer week ahead. After a weekend at the barn, I feel like I could conquer the world. It’s what fills up my cup so that I can be the best version of myself as a blogger, entrepreneur, content creator, caregiver, and all-around productive human being.
Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, it seemed like a good time to talk about inner peace. While this looks different for everyone, having an outlet or a passion is important as you get older (and busier and take on more responsibilities in life). I’ve also come to the conclusion that sometimes prioritizing what you need to do for yourself is not selfish, but an act of self-care. To be completely transparent, there have been occasions where I have canceled plans because an opportunity to ride emerged. While I feel bad in the moment, I know how important riding is to my overall health, and I’m at a point in my life where being true to my needs outweighs appeasing someone else.
Being back in the saddle has brought me so much peace as I navigate many challenges simultaneously, and it consistently reminds me of the importance of doing what you love.
Check out my latest Reel for more on this topic!