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Keep calm - carry on

Server Stress Test
In a super-competitive environment like the City, the case of Lloyds chief executive António Horta-Osório brings a rare and welcome focus on stress in the workplace, and shows that no one is immune from its effects.
Stress-related burnout is no longer the classic middle-age malaise. More than 13 million working days were lost to stress last year. It's not always possible to change the cause of the stress. But we can change the way we react to it. Here are a few tips.
Don't cancel your workout. Exercise is one of the best stress-busters around. Working off your frustrations physically is a great way to reset your personal pressure valve. Plus exercise releases endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that improve well-being, confidence and alertness.
Find something that requires mental focus too. Yoga, martial arts and pilates are ideal. The more you have to focus, the less you can worry about tomorrow's meeting.
Whether it's wry gallows humour or a hysterical hoot until you can't draw breath, laughter is a great endorphin producer. It decreases stress hormones, eases tension, boosts resilience and brings a vital sense of perspective into our lives.
Most stressful situations - especially in the workplace - are marathons, not sprints. Pace yourself. A 20-minute nap is a great way to recharge during the day, especially if you're not sleeping brilliantly at night.
Water. Stress is a physical as well as a mental phenomenon - the adrenaline is running, your heart and respiration rate increases and it's easy to become dehydrated - which significantly reduces your problem-solving abilities - without noticing it. Aim for 2-3 litres a day.
A cuppa
And last but not least, the classic cure-all for everything from insomnia to a broken leg, tea is another great stress-buster. If you're already feeling wired, ditch the caffeine and go herbal. Mint's my herb of choice.
David Higgins is co-founder of TenPilates ( - Fly at a Smile-Price