Helping you get through tough times

Banker stress test

pile of papers courtesy of Arbitrary.Marks on FlickrWork, school or college, we’ve all been there. Piles of work and inboxes full of urgent emails that needed answers yesterday. Ongoing workloads like this that leave you feeling stressed and tired can lead to fatigue.

CEO of Lloyds bank Antonio Horta-Osorio made headlines last week. He is under doctor’s orders to take time off work due to stress and fatigue. Now, bankers aren’t the most popular people at the moment but fatigue is something that can affect anyone and needs to be taken seriously.

What is it?

Fatigue is the state of feeling very tired, weary or sleepy. It’s caused by lack of sleep, prolonged mental or physical work and extended periods of stress or anxiety.

Ability to handle

Antonio has been getting a lot of negative press about his leave. In response to a Guardian poll, 56% of people thought he is paid to handle the stress. But fatigue and stress is a very serious issue. Fatigue decreases your ability to work effectively, especially in terms of decision making, concentration and memory. This all contributes to decreased productivity and performance as well as workplace accidents.

A change in culture

It can be hard to admit that we are not coping, especially when it comes to work. But working to the extent that you are fatigued is unsustainable. Hopefully Antonio’s announcement represents a change in culture where people can admit to feeling stressed and tired in work without feeling embarrassed or inadequate.

Are you fatigued?

The symptoms of fatigue are tiredness, feeling stressed, irritability, giddiness and loss of appetite. We all have these symptoms from time to time but if you are experiencing these symptoms on an ongoing basis then you may be fatigued.

Some tips for avoiding fatigue include:

•       Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day

•       Exercising regularly

•       Using your bed primarily just for sleeping (e.g., do not read or do office work in bed)

•       Avoiding caffeine, tobacco or alcohol – especially before bed time

•       Take time out to relax

•       Talking to somebody about it.

One of the best ways to avoid fatigue is to knowing how to relax when you take time out. Vegging in front of the TV isn’t proper relaxation.

Benefits of a “mental health day”

At, we think everyone would benefit from having extra time off to relax. Maybe we should put the idea of a ”mental health day/week” to Michael on Friday.

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