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The privacy checklist

Four ways to know you're not getting enough privacy (and what to do about it)

‘Private time? What’s that?’ It’s a sentiment we hear a lot, and it’s not uncommon from people juggling a job, home life, relationships and a circle of friends.
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In fact, there are countless reasons to parcel out your time to anyone and everyone except yourself. Elderly parents may need extra care. You’re afraid to disappoint a friend in need. You’ve overcommitted your time on a big project at work, and that’s not to mention the responsibilities you may have with young children or a partner.

Whatever the case may be, you’re not alone. We’re all spread thin. But to grow and thrive, we need time to ourselves – that’s why 76% of people say they believe privacy is vital to our wellbeing. It’s an established truth and the sooner you can read the warning signs of not getting enough privacy, the better you can find some great solutions.

Privacy: four ways to know you’re not getting enough and what you can do to change it:

1. Your downtime is swallowed up by the collective of your home, your family or your friendship group. It seems like every time you attempt to have some ‘me time’, you’re either made to feel guilty or asked to take part in an activity that you can’t comfortably say ‘no’ to. 

Solution: Stand your ground and make time that’s just for you, even if it means saying no to something or someone else.

2. Living with strangers can cause anxiety if there aren’t enough opportunities for privacy. This is especially true if you live in busy cities like London, where access to public space can be hard to come by. If this is you, it’s time to do some homework. 

Solution: Plot out the nearest greenspaces to your home, and make a list of libraries and historic buildings that have public rooms for you to get some anonymity in.

3. You’ve wanted to learn a new language (or any other activity or skill) for years, but never find the time. When you have a free day or hour, it’s always spoken for. The whole thing is getting you down.

Solution: How about setting a goal in six months time, and work out how much time per week it’ll take to achieve it? Then schedule it in with yourself and the people you live with.

4. Your relationship with your partner has hit a rough patch, but with work schedules and other responsibilities, it’s almost impossible to find time to reconnect. Someone always needs your attention or is always in your space. 

Solution: Start by creating simple, private moments together. Play a board game, do a crossword puzzle, wake up and watch the sunrise before the house stirs – it doesn’t have to be a big gesture for it to be intimate.