Privacy: Time that’s just for you!

by Ezra Hewing | 26 Sep 2018

Written by Ezra Hewing, Head of Mental Health Education, Suffolk Mind

Time for you in a demanding world

The emotional need for privacy is about having time that’s just for you. As important as it is to be connected up to other people, close friends and loved ones, as well as the wider community, we also need to unplug and have downtime.

All of us need time out to reflect and process and the challenges we face in our day to day lives – which can be especially difficult in a demanding world.

If you have changes you would like to make in your working life, perhaps to plan or problem solve ahead of a complex project, or to consider your career progression, you will need headspace to do so.

If you are studying, you need uninterrupted reflection time, to reflect in what you are learning and explore the connections with what you already know.

Teenagers too…

Teenagers going through physical and emotional changes often need huge amounts of privacy.

It can be easy to take it personally when they seem less than keen to interact with the rest of the family. But if they are trying to process strong emotions and feelings, reflect on changing relationships and work out where they fit in with peer groups and the wider world, they need privacy to do so.

Finding ‘Me’ time…

Many people are trying to find time to themselves at the expense of other important needs like sleep and meaning and purpose.

Have you found yourself making plans to do something special, something you enjoy like a hobby or an activity which you just haven’t had time for lately? You plan to put some time aside one evening to go back to an evening class, go to the gym or pick up a book and enjoy reading for pleasure. But by the time you get away from a busy day at work, fight through the traffic and sort your family’s needs out, you just don’t have the headspace to act on your good intentions?

You know that being slumped in front of a screen won’t give you the lift that going to the gym or picking up a book will, but binge TV is all you feel you can manage. Worse still, as it gets later and nature is telling you that it’s time to go to sleep, you still feel that you still need some time for you. Before you know it, late nights have become a bad habit.

Make it easy to take it easy

So what’s the answer? One solution is to go to bed at a regular time to give yourself a good night’s sleep, and then to get up a little earlier and have some time to yourself. Perhaps you’ll choose to sit in the garden or go for a walk, or just enjoy a morning coffee with some peace and quiet.

Factoring in time for privacy can improve your wellbeing too. Making sure that you have time away from your desk on lunchbreaks – and even daring to leave without your phone! – can give you the break you need. Perhaps, you’ll choose to walk through the park on the way home. Having time alone just for you without interruptions might be just what you need.

by Ezra Hewing

Ezra Hewing is Head of Education at Suffolk Mind and a Human Givens Therapist. Since joining Suffolk Mind in 2009, he has grown our busy workplace wellbeing service, training frontline mental health workers, doctors, nurses, substance abuse workers, members of the emergency services and heads of organisations, amongst others, in how best to understand and support emotionally healthy workplaces. He holds an MSc in the psychology and neuroscience of mental health from the internationally renowned Institute of Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience, King’s College, London, where he researched REM sleep and mental ill health, with a focus on the symptoms of schizophrenia.

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