On the cusp of a new show season, riders have a lot on their minds: preparations, goals, excitement and anticipation. It can be a lot, but it can also be counter-productive and lead to anxiety.

Heather Lillico has been dealing with anxiety most of her adult life, but as she shares in this episode of Hitting Your Stride, it’s not about a war as much as it is about understanding.

A holistic nutritionist, meditation and yoga teacher who works with businesses on corporate wellness, Heather has been dealing with anxiety since she was in university. She was able to turn her near-debilitating condition into something she manages and she did it through learning more about it and herself. She brings tips and techniques to share with Tracey Mitchell and the audience on how to deal with anxiety, how to use nutrition to make it manageable, and how meditation can play an important role for riders when they’re gathering their thoughts and preparing their mental state before, during and after competition. And it’s not a long or involved process Heather and Tracey talk about when discussing meditation, as she points out it can be as minimal or as detailed as you want, but the focal point is learning to be mindful in and out of the saddle.

It’s her personal accounts of anxiety attacks and how she was nearly felled by it in the beginning … but by choosing the right mindset, she’s stronger and in a position to help others lift themselves up as well.

Heather Lillico can be found online at www.heatherlillico.com, and on social media at @heather_lil (Facebook & Instagram)

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