'I spent 20 years on a deadline – but when I stopped, I found true happiness'

After 20 years as a fashion editor in London, I didn’t think I would ever leave the capital. But then I was made redundant. I'd basically been on a deadline for two decades and the change of pace from 100 miles an hour to zero was brutal.

Add to that the fact that my alcoholic ex began stalking me, and the decision to leave the city that I'd called home for 20 years was made for me.

I knew I needed to change everything and throw myself into something new or face losing myself completely.

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Amber worked in fashion for two decades

It wasn't all doom and gloom though; the decision to leave London was made easier because I fell in love with someone who, to me, is the most amazing person on the planet. He lived in Hertfordshire and we set up a home there together, along with my children.

Fast forward two years from when I fled London and I barely recognise myself. While I don't know a mum who isn't at the end of a long line of priorities, making time for me and reconnecting with my hobbies has helped me find happiness again.

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Admittedly, I have to force myself to take time out, but there is no doubt that when I do take that time it makes me a happier and better person.

When I do something that takes me out of my routine, I effectively reset my brain. I immerse myself, let go, and fully enjoy the moment.

The pursuit of happiness is unique to everyone, but for me, it's about challenging myself and taking myself out of my comfort zone.

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Carving out time for myself makes me happy. Taking that hour allows me to escape the everyday and focus on something else. Then when I return to my usual routine, it feels different, and I feel refreshed.

I spent most of life on autopilot, not really questioning what I was doing. I am a very hyperactive person; I need to be busy and find it hard to switch off, so I've learned that for me, happiness is found in doing something that takes me into a different mental state.

And that's where my rediscovered love of horse riding comes in. It was a childhood passion but I never thought I'd ride again after everything I went through. But it was reconnecting with horses, and making time to do so, that changed everything for me.

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Making time for herself is crucial for Amber's happiness

There's something undeniably calming about being around horses. They are incredibly intuitive animals that can form lifelong and emotional connections with humans. They have the ability to recognise and respond to our emotions and anyone whose experienced this will tell you how incredible it feels – especially if you've been through a hard time, as I had.

The key to being a successful rider goes way beyond ability, it's all about the emotional bond you build with the horse, and reconnecting with these magnificent animals helped me reconnect with myself and find my happiness again.

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