Taking stress home from the office has a destructive effect on home life, and vice versa. The two can combine to form a vicious circle with no escape. Remember: to make any stress-reducing action effective, it must be complemented by taking some time off.

Making time for others

The first step towards reducing stress at home is to allow plenty of time for family matters. Make your family aware that holidays with them are sacred, and show friends that they are worth more than just a quick drink on a Friday night every other month. Make sure that people at work are aware of your commitments to your family – your child’s sports day, for example, or a special anniversary – and that they have priority over work issues. Simple things count for a lot: make an effort to have lunch regularly with your partner, or time to kick a ball around with your children.

Spending time alone

If you do not enjoy your own company, you are condemned to be dependent on others. Learn to enjoy yourself by yourself.

Planning an anti-stress day

The world is changing faster than ever, and the speed of these changes is putting us all under unprecedented pressure. It is important that we regularly visit the stability zones – dependable activities such as walking the dog, going for a bicycle ride, reading a book, watering plants, washing the car, or watching a television soap full of familiar, predictable characters – that make us feel comfortable with ourselves and convince us that all is well with the world. There is nothing better for recharging flat batteries than a well-planned anti-stress day. Organize your activities well in advance, take a day off from work and plan out your time. If you have any children, arrange for them to stay with some relatives or friends, or include them in your plans for your relaxation day.

Taking exercise

Exercise is a major stress reliever; take up a non-competitive sport, and build your strength gradually.


Make sure that when you wake, you wake naturally. Do not leap out of bed, but savour the prospect of the day ahead. Once you do get up, take a few minutes to do some simple stretching exercises. Drink a glass of water before enjoying a light breakfast, which should include at least one special treat.


For some, a non-competitive day on the golf course might be the most pleasurable thing to follow breakfast. Others may want to set out for some retail therapy – a spot of shopping and a leisurely lunch with a good friend. Try to leave the car at home and walk, ride a bicycle, or use public transport.

Early evening

Resist the temptation to read the papers or watch the news on television. In the treatment of stress, no news is good news. A key feature of any anti-stress day is not knowing what is going on in the rest of the world – it will carry on without you. Read a book, curl up with a video, listen to music, or go to the cinema.


Have a leisurely bath, and pamper yourself with body oils. Listen to music while dressing slowly for a relaxed dinner in a restaurant with your partner or a friend. Take a taxi, and do not worry about time. When you get home, have a cup of soothing herbal tea before going to bed and drifting into sleep.


Plan activities for each weekend. Try not to let the days just drift past.

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