“As soon as I heard Spence Club existed I knew it was something I wanted to be involved with”.
Psychologist and mum Jordan Bell joined Spence Club in February 2016, to build connections, meet new people and develop her career.
Jordan tells Board Member and journalist Lauren Novak why it’s been worthwhile, and what she hopes she – and the Club – can achieve in 2018.
LN: What’s been your favourite Spence Club event so far?
JB: It would have to be a tie between my very first event – a High tea and book reading where I was lucky enough to win the door prize of a signed copy of Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites – and the Open State panel on “2040 – women, power and the future of work”. Both were really fun networking events, involving things I love – reading, thinking about the future, talking to people, cake…
LN: What are your personal goals for 2018?
JB: My daughter is just about to start school, so I anticipate the level of “task-juggling” in our house is about to step up significantly. In my spare time, I love to read and lift weights. I’m honing in on my goal to be able to deadlift my own bodyweight this year!
LN: You gave an excellent presentation to members at the AGM late in 2017 about the importance of self-care. Can you tell us what it is, why it’s necessary and give us some tips to take care of ourselves?
JB: Self-care is fundamentally about your attitude towards yourself. ‘Nurturing’ self-care helps you feel good, ‘reflective’ self-care is your compass and ‘boring’ self-care holds your life together.
There comes a point where the list of other people who come ‘before’ you – partner, children, friends, customers, work colleagues – becomes so long that your own needs aren’t getting met. This is a recipe for burnout. Remember:
- Your needs are important.
- It’s OK to say “No”.
- Allow yourself to really feel your feelings.
- And make time for play!
LN: What does self-care look like for you?
JB: It’s recognising when supporting others through my work is taking a toll on my own mental health, and booking a time to see my therapist.
It’s spending money and time on something that’s just for me, as a concrete demonstration to myself that I am worth investing in.
It’s my unbreakable commitment to see my amazing personal trainer to keep me focussed on what my body can do, instead of what it looks like.
It’s keeping my brain engaged in the world of ideas by reading books instead of scrolling social media.
It’s spending time with people I care about, to stay involved in their lives and build strong connections.
LN: Where do you want to see Spence Club go in the years to come?
JB: I’d like to see a more explicitly political wing of Spence, with a remit to educate our members and the wider world, and take action throughout our lives on issues of equity.
“No amount of self-care is going to close the gender wage gap, provide high quality early childhood education or stop domestic violence – for that we have to organise, agitate, and vote smart”.