1. a brief respite from something constricting or a difficult situation
the loan has afforded me some breathing room
This expression can be used in either a social or professional context to refer to giving somebody sufficient space or freedom to do something. If somebody is being overbearing towards you or is trying to put pressure on you in some way, you can ask them to give you some breathing space/room. It can also refer to a period of rest from a difficult situation that allows you time to replenish your energy, or think of and try different solutions. The expression is commonly used in relation to financial difficulties.