Best Therapy Method (Janita Singh)

Want to know the secret to long-lasting joy? Sometimes it’s as simple as scheduling some well-deserved ‘me time’. These women are happier – and less stressed– because of it

‘ Having my own space taught me the power and importance of time out’

Janita Singh, 51, lives in Blairgowrie. She owns a gift store and is a holistic healer. I shared everything with my three sisters while growing up, from toys to clothing and make-up, but there’s one thing I didn’t have to share and that was my bedroom. This was my space where I could escape to after a long day at school and disappear to read a book in-between doing my chores. Being part of a big family meant that life outside of my room was loud and a little chaotic, but when I was inside my bedroom I felt calm and collected. Later, when I left home I realised the importance of having my own ‘time out’ space. I had a very diicult marriage, and my work life was stressful: I owned a food franchise with long hours and employees to manage. Desperate to have a space of my own where I could go to destress, I started to fill my home oice with trinkets that sparked positive feelings for me – like photographs of my children and fragrant candles. Doing this helped me work through my emotions and think about my future.

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Nine years ago, I divorced my husband. My two children had left home and for the first time I had the house all to myself. It was strange at first not having to go into a specific room to have ‘me time’, because I could do it anywhere – my whole house was filled with special objects! When my friends and family visited, they loved that my home felt so tranquil. They convinced me to open my house as an events venue because of its size. In 2017 I started my business, Tejavu, where people can use my home to host events, like bridal showers. During this period, I really started to believe in the power of ‘me time’ – it helped to bring me self-awareness, which put me in a better position to manage my life and even be of service to others. Wanting to share this realisation, I decided to ofer ‘me-time’ retreats for women at my house, too, which now run over the weekends. Besides giving them the space to relax, I also ofer activities like meditation. By word of mouth my business has grown: on average, I host five events in my home each month. From having my house all to myself to it now being filled with all sorts of people, I have had to consciously make an efort to protect my valuable alone time. That’s when I built a ‘she shed’ in my garden. It’s a simple structure, but has a table, chair, couch and some of my favourite pot plants in it. It’s separate from the house, so I really can escape to it, and spend time on my own getting in tune with my feelings. I sometimes allow close friends into the shed for a chat over tea but draw the line when it comes to other guests. While I’ve experienced a number of challenges in my life, the one constant that’s helped me is having my own space. Taking time out in my sanctuary, whether it’s a home oice or ‘she shed’, has let me focus on the positive and find tranquillity.

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