Want to make the most of your summer holiday? Then it might be best to leave the rose-tinted spectacles - and your Blackberry - at home.

West India Quay counsellors Owen Redahan and Jane McChrystal say that unrealistic expectations and work intrusions can add dark clouds to clear blue skies.

Jane said: “Because of the constant 24-hour emails, the inability to stop working has crept in to holidays.

“People say ‘I don’t want to switch off because there’s a risk of losing a big deal’. Or ‘If I don’t answer my email, I might not seem keen and that might put my job in jeopardy’.

“But to be more efficient at work, you need to take a break. Those who switch off perform better than those who don’t.

“You should be focussing on your holiday but, if that’s impossible check, your emails once a day and stick to that.”

Owen added: “There’s this belief in perfection – that something is going to be wonderful. For some people it isn’t wonderful, it’s a disaster, so be realistic.

“Trying to make your dreams of a perfect fortnight come true can put you and those around you under too much pressure.”

If you are travelling with your partner:

Jane said: “Find some time to do something you enjoy on your own. Spending time apart doesn’t signal a holiday failure. Time apart is good – just like time away from work is good.”

If travelling with family:

Jane said: “Be clear with others about what you want, including your choice of holiday destination and how you want to spend your time. Try to find some time for yourselves as a couple. Children can be all-absorbing so arrange the holiday so there are people who can look after them. If you are travelling with your parents, they might want time to themselves too.”

If travelling alone:

Owen said: “There’s nothing wrong with going away alone if that’s what you need. Find a holiday that fits with an interest, so if you like mountain climbing, find a group that’s doing that. That means you’re in a social group with a subject you can talk about.”

Counsellors Owen Redahan and Jane McChrystal in Canary Wharf