The end of financial year (EOFY) is fast approaching and we don’t need to tell you that it’s one of the busiest times of the year. The added pressures and deadlines can take their toll, so it’s important to find ways of coping with workplace stress to make sure you don’t burn out.
Burnout is a state of severe stress. It’s often caused by being overworked and may leave you feeling exhausted, disconnected and unable to cope. Some personalities can also be more susceptible to burnout. For example, if you’re a perfectionist who feels out of control, you’re more likely to feel the stress.
There are loads of things that can trigger burnout and work is one of the most common. If you have multiple competing demands, not enough resources or support and tight deadlines, they can all contribute to your stress. If it continues for an extended period of time, burnout can be quite destructive – both mentally and physically. As you know, EOFY pressures don’t just end on June 30, they continue until all the accounts are done, tax returns are lodged and other compliance is completed. It can be a long and drawn out process, so it’s important to find ways to cope with workplace stress early.
Researchers have found some signs of burnout include:
If left unchecked for too long, burnout can cause severe health issues. It can wear down your immune system or even lead to depression. It’s not always possible to take a holiday – particularly at EOFY – but thankfully, there are some things you can do to help you cope with workplace stress and avoid EOFY burnout this year.
Let’s find out about them – pronto!
Before we get into some techniques that can help you deal with EOFY burnout, it’s worth mentioning how important it is to cover the basics of being healthy first. This includes things like:
In addition to covering the basics, you can manage and control burnout by training your mind. That’s where mindfulness and meditation can help. Even if you’ve tried meditation before and found it difficult to concentrate, it’s worth giving mindfulness another try. It’s not a new practice but is becoming very popular in workplaces to help you deal with work stresses and control them before they take over.
So, what exactly is mindfulness? Mindfulness is about being aware of what’s happening in the moment. Rather than focusing on what’s happened in the past or all the things you have to do tomorrow and in the future, mindfulness centres your thoughts on the present. When you’re mindful, you allow whatever you’re sensing in the moment to flow in and out without any judgement. This builds acceptance and allows you to explore the present without additional stress.
There are many ways you can practice mindfulness these include:
You may have tried meditation before. It often involves being guided through a visualisation or scenario by someone or even through an audio. Your guide might take you to a new location in your mind or ask you to visualise parts of your body to help you let go of tension. The imagery and process is designed to focus your mind, relaxing both your mind and body.
If you find it hard to meditate on your own, try using an app like Smiling Mind. This has modules that guide you through mindfulness techniques that you can then use anywhere.
When you’re working in an office all day it can be difficult to find the time to get out and explore your environment, but often you can find the outside inside. Take just a couple of minutes to focus in on something natural around you, whether it’s the sky from the window or a flower on your desk. When you’re focusing on it, don’t just look at it but really observe it. What do you see? Have you noticed anything you haven’t seen before? This process of observation is about practising being mindful and living in the moment, even just for a few minutes.
This may sound obvious, but how often do you just put all your attention into one thing? Whether you’re going for a walk, cooking or re-organising your bookshelf, try to spend some time just giving all your attention to that one task. Think about how things look, feel, smell or taste. This will allow you to observe other things that you may not normally notice and may even help you get the job done quicker and better.
Pick a number, say five. Now, each day identify five things that you normally don’t see or appreciate. This could be anything from the scent of your soap to your next door neighbour’s roses. This gives your mind permission to be creative and look at the world around you. It also takes you out of your own mind and worries and into your environment.
These mindfulness techniques are designed to take only a few minutes each day but can really help you cope with stress. So, while you’re in the middle of the EOFY frenzy, take a little time out each day to make sure you get through it without burning out.
Maybe just try 10 minutes on the train on the way to work or during that boring board meeting!
And if you’d like to reduce your stress further by outsourcing your company compliance to the experts, we can help. We have company compliance offices in both Melbourne and Perth but have clients all over Australia.