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Making Time for Yourself

July 2017 by Tanja Mitton, Mindset for Success, www.tanjamitton.com

Making time to ride or to do anything for yourself is often a difficult task for many. Especially for us women. As women, making time for ourselves is often a foreign concept, but this is exactly what we need to do.  

I want you to look at your riding a bit differently for a moment. Instead of feeling guilty that you are taking time away from the family or spending too much time with your horse when you should be doing housework, studying or working in general, think of it as you are taking time for your own wellbeing. 

Health is something a lot of people take lightly and for granted. Most people think good health comes mainly from exercise, eating good food and having regular checks from your doctor.

But, that is not the case, health comes from the inside out, and our mental and emotional health is equally as important as our physical health.

We often put things off, thinking we will have more time later. But, sometimes this is just not the case.

I am writing this article as I am sitting on a plane flying from Germany back to Australia after attending my uncle’s funeral. He died very suddenly and unexpectedly, and he too thought he had more time left.

What I want to share with you this month is the awareness of time. 

We live in a society that sees priority in the trivial things, the shallow tasks that we accept as being important. We define ourselves by the mask we wear and the role we play. But, is this really who you are? Is this the memory you want your friends, your kids and loved ones to remember you by?

When we ride horses we don’t just have a hobby, we don’t just participate in a sport, we live a lifestyle that draws us in, that consumes us completely and that, in return, provides us with the most incredible life experiences. The learnings are endless and the personal satisfaction is indescribable.

Being with horses makes us better human beings. 

What makes horses so different is they provide you with a constant mirror image of yourself, the kind of self-reflection we all need to get to know ourselves better.

Self-reflection leads to better awareness and this is when change can become our best friend.

So, what does it mean to take time for yourself?

  • It means you see yourself as equally important to others.
  • It means not putting things off and leaving yourself last.
  • It means making your own happiness a priority and others will be better off as a result.

We tell our kids to go after their dreams and find their life purpose but, unless we show them how it is done, they won’t know what to do. Seeing our own needs as important is showing them how to value their own needs.

So, here is why you need to learn the secret of time.

Time is the same for everyone; we all have 24 hours per day - how we use our time is the secret we each have to learn.

  • Learn to use your time wisely.
  • If you tell yourself constantly you are running out of time, this is the focus that will be on your mind and you will make choices accordingly.
  • Instead, tell yourself you have ‘plenty of time’, then watch how you will feel more relaxed and make better choices as a result.
  • If you need to find time to ride your horse, pick the same time every day and make this your own personal riding time. 
  • Create a structure in your day that allows you to ride early while everyone is still asleep, or ride during the day while everyone is somewhere else, or ride late in the afternoon after you have done a day’s work. 
  • Let go of the guilt. Guilt is the most toxic emotion and does not serve anyone. Instead, have an agreement with your loved ones - “this is my time and this is your time”, “you support me here and I will support you there”.
  • Give your family permission to do the things they love. Encourage things that make the individual happy even if the activities are not done together.
  • Make family time count. Short, quality time together is far better then constantly being together and detesting it.

Routine can help you to make the most of your time. 

If you feel better after a ride, your family will notice this too. 

We make others happy when we feel happy with ourselves and we make others miserable when we feel miserable. Sacrificing yourself does not bring happiness to you or your loved ones. 

Sometimes, it is necessary to make compromises, just don’t compromise yourself all the time.

Be the role model your kids and loved ones need to find their own path in life. 

We think by sacrificing ourselves, our loved ones will be able to live their life to their full potential but, what we don’t realise, is that we teach them how to let themselves down too.

When you make time for yourself, embrace it. Cherish the moment and give yourself permission to enjoy it. 

Remember, a regular half hour with your horse is better than the occasional full hour ride. 

Happy riding everyone!