Lack of downtime leading to stress and burn out among Britons

Almost two thirds of the British public do not take enough time to themselves, according to a new study that suggests we need 20 hours a week of “me time” to fully relax and refresh.

The research, which was commissioned by dating website eHarmony, found that 61% of people do not get the full 20 hours per week, with many also reporting that they feel tired, stressed, burnt out and depressed.

Some 15% of the 2,000 respondents to the survey reported not taking any time out for themselves at all. Of those not getting enough time to themselves, 36% felt more tired, 33% more stressed, 22% felt burnt out, and 14% felt depressed.

Almost half of those asked (42%) said that working hours get in the way of relaxation. Likewise, household chores were cited by 41% as tasks that take up time they might otherwise spend relaxing.

Psychologist Linda Papadopoulos, who assisted with the study, said, “Finding the time to simply indulge yourself, whether that be watching a movie, reading a book, or even taking a nap, is really important to de-stress and energise.”