Jenna Brown

Jenna Brown

Loving my new space to breathe.

I’ve always treasured my space; I need it. Maybe this comes from growing up an only child. Maybe it comes from being an ambivert. Probably a mix of both. When I feel crowded, I can’t function well. My communication levels reduce to a halt, and I am not the most fun person to be around.

Sharing a home office this year for a few weeks reminded me how much I need my own space. I realised this very quickly and set about creating a space, just for me.

Since becoming a Mum, I don’t think I’ve ever actually had one space that was dedicated to me. Every area could be filled by another, at any second of the day.

Creating a space for myself half office/half relaxation area is one of the best SELF-care decisions I have ever made. I wonder why I didn’t do it sooner!

As a Mum, as a partner, as a family member and a human, I think we forget to take solitary time for ourselves. Time to read, time to have a quiet space, time to craft, time to listen to music, time to do whatever you want.

In the age of the internet and people having constant and instant access to me at all times through my phone leaves me feeling connected continuously and can make me feel anxious.

I’ve always felt the compulsion to reply immediately to people or answer the phone when it rings. In the past when I tried setting boundaries around this, I would delay response, but I would go crazy in my mind by keeping someone waiting, anyone waiting, like their time is more important than my own. Like what they have to say is more important than my peace. Not any more. Now I answer in my own time. I continue with what I am doing and then get back to people when it is convenient. Being on call 24/7 for everyone and anyone is unsustainable and unhealthy.

A few practical ways to achieve this is using the do not disturb function on your phone from 7 pm-7 am or something similar to this.

Keep your phone on silent when you aren’t taking interruptions—switching off notifications on your social media, so you only need to check it when you are ready and also to switch off notifications on your smartwatch. I was disturbed by my smartwatch in the gym last week, three phone calls during a one-hour gym class!

I’m learning now that I cannot help anyone when my cup is empty.

You help others only with the overflow from your cup, not with the contents of your cup. That’s just for me. So is my new space and I love it.


Disclaimer: The J Word NZ and its media content are created based on my own experiences and opinions, as well as those individuals who share their stories with me. I do not have any formal medical or mental health qualifications. If you are experiencing any issues with mental health, please consult your doctor or a medical health professional for advice.

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