Opportunities for people to recover from stress are insufficient, because demanding and excessive life activities leave little time for recovery. Downtime is a self-care behavior that can occur in any life domain (ie, work, home/family, leisure).
Using survey data from a cross-section of 422 U.S. workers, we tested hypotheses regarding downtime as a buffer of the effects of time pressure and whether downtime's benefits were related to the domain in which it was taken, or influenced by perceived time control.
In situations of high time pressure, work and home/family downtime were beneficial when time control was high, while relaxing leisure was beneficial when time control was low.
Downtime is available whenever people recognize their need for recovery and respond by entering a state of physical relaxation and psychological detachment from stressors.