The End of Financial Year (EOFY) can be a particularly stressful time for professionals, with the pressure to finalise accounts, submit tax returns, and meet compliance deadlines. Managing stress on an individual level is crucial to maintaining productivity and mental clarity. Here are three actionable tips to help manage EOFY stress with a focus on personal health and wellbeing. 

1. Prioritise Self-Care and Healthy Habits  

Implementing self-care routines and healthy habits is essential for managing stress effectively during the EOFY period. 

Self-care Tips: 

  • Regular Exercise: Physical activity is a natural stress reliever. Exercise releases endorphins, which help improve mood and reduce anxiety. Incorporate regular exercise into your routine, whether it’s a daily walk, a gym session, or yoga, aim for 30 minutes of movement daily. Even short bursts of physical activity can make a significant difference in stress levels. 
  • Balanced Diet: Maintaining a balanced diet is crucial for mental and physical health. Avoid excessive caffeine and sugar, which can exacerbate stress and anxiety. Focus on nutrient-rich foods that support brain health, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Prioritise 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruits daily. 
  • Adequate Sleep: Ensure you are getting enough sleep each night. Lack of sleep can increase stress and impair cognitive function. Aim for at least 7 hours of unbroken sleep and establish a regular sleep routine to help improve sleep quality. 

2. Practice Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques  

Mindfulness and relaxation techniques can help calm the mind and reduce the physiological effects of stress. 

Mindfulness Tips: 

  • Meditation: Incorporate meditation into your daily routine. Even a few minutes of meditation each day can help reduce stress and improve focus. Use apps like Headspace or Calm for guided meditation sessions. 
  • Deep Breathing Exercises: Practice deep breathing exercises to help manage stress. Techniques such as box-breathing can activate the body’s relaxation response, lowering heart rate and reducing anxiety. To try box-breathing, inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds and hold for 4 seconds. Repeat this for 6-8 rounds.  
  • Practice Daily Gratitude: The act of daily gratitude reduces anxiety and improves overall mood. Writing down 3 things you are grateful for first thing in the morning or before you go to bed, is a quick and simple way you can practice daily gratitude.  

3. Manage Your Workload Effectively  

Effective workload management can significantly reduce stress during the EOFY period. 

Actionable Tips: 

  • Prioritise Tasks: Create a to-do list and prioritise tasks based on urgency and importance. Break larger tasks into smaller, manageable steps to avoid feeling overwhelmed. 
  • Set Realistic Goals: Set achievable goals and deadlines for yourself. Avoid overcommitting and be realistic about what you can accomplish within a given timeframe. 
  • Take Regular Breaks: Ensure you take regular breaks throughout the day to rest and recharge. Short breaks can help improve concentration and reduce mental fatigue. There are various methods available such as The Pomodoro Technique, which involves working for 25 minutes followed by a 5-minute break. Taking a 10-minute walking break has also been found to promote focus and productivity.  

By prioritising self-care, practicing mindfulness, and managing your workload effectively, you can navigate the EOFY period with reduced stress and improved wellbeing. Implement these tips to ensure a smoother transition into the new financial year while maintaining your health and productivity.