Wellbeing

Make the next financial year the best yet with these five mentally healthy habits

- June 30, 2022 4 MIN READ
Woman in business suit relaxing on grass with shoes off

Stress and burnout are absolutely real, especially at the end of the financial year when business owners are under the pump. Writer and former Flying Solo editor, Kelly Exeter, shares five excellent mentally healthy habits to start now, that will make the next year less stressful and more successful.

With a financial year finishing this week, it’s likely you’re a bit burnt out mentally from all the hecticness that goes with this time of year. So it makes sense to heave a big sigh of relief and take a mental break when the calendar ticks over to July 1.

But something I’ve learned the hard is that July can become November in a heartbeat. At which point everyone goes into frazzle mode trying to get things done before Christmas. Then comes a month of new year/school holiday ‘down time’. After the kids go back to school in February, it takes a month to feel on top of things again.

And by the time you catch your breath, it’s March and you only have four months before it’s end of financial year again!


5 healthy habits to make the next year a winner for your wellbeing

One way to avoid getting caught in this frazzle trap is to take stock this week, and commit to some habits that will see you tackle the next financial year in a more mentally healthy way.

Here are five habits that will help.
happy tradie using computer

1. Stay on top of your finances

One of the greatest forms of stress in a business is feeling you’re always a bit ‘behind’ financially. You might be constantly worrying that the money you need to pay yourself, your staff and suppliers won’t come in when it’s needed. Or you might be aware you’re spending more than you’re making, but you can’t see another way.

It’s easy to stuff our heads in the sand in these situations, not confront the problems, and hope a big chunk of cash arrives from somewhere unexpected to save us. But this seldom works.


As unappetising as it might be to dig deep into our numbers, run realistic budgets and frequently check in on cash flow, it’s a lot less stressful than being constantly anxious because we don’t know how we’re looking financially.

2. Prioritise sleep

Sleep is the one productivity and wellness tool that rules them all. Yet, it’s the first thing we tend to sacrifice when things get hectic.

Prioritising sleep by ensuring we have a good sleep routine (same bedtime each night, hour-long system for winding down) and good sleep hygiene (quiet, comfortable bedroom, no screens in the bedroom, staying away from caffeine after lunch) is an easy way to boost your mental health, concentration and clarity of mind.

It’s also a habit that makes it easier to build the three remaining habits below.

3. Get outside (especially in winter)

The mental health benefits of being outdoors are well-documented. In the perfect world, ‘getting outdoors’ would involve getting out into nature in some way.

Spending time in a ‘green’ environment has been shown to boost mood and self-esteem. But even if it’s not possible to get to a park, or out for a bushwalk, the simple act of being outside in natural light and fresh air has been shown to improve sleep, reduce the effects of seasonal affective disorder (the winter blues) and improve mood.

Even if your only opportunity to do this is for ten minutes at lunch time each day, it will be ten minutes well spent.

Woman relaxing with eyes closed on park bench

4. Make time for a mindful moment each day

Mindfulness is another tool where the mental health benefits are well known. Yet many of us equate mindfulness with meditation and put it on the ‘nice to do, but I just don’t have the time’ list.

While meditation is a form of mindfulness, it’s not the only way to be mindful. There are countless opportunities for mindful moments each day:

  • You can stop and really savour that first sip of tea at your desk in the morning
  • You can spend five seconds losing yourself in the blueness of the sky, or the sound of rain on the roof
  • You can listen with all your attention when your child gives you their one-minute summary of their school day

These mindful moments have a calming effect on your brain and before long, it will be habitual to take a deep breath and centre yourself in the moment whenever an opportunity presents itself.

5. Choose discomfort over resentment

We’ve all had those experiences where someone has asked us to do something, we know it’s something that’s not in our best interests to do, but we say ‘Yes’ in the moment because saying ‘No’ would make us too uncomfortable.

The problem here, of course, is that when we’re doing the thing and it’s putting us under pressure, we feel mad at ourselves and resentful of the person who asked.

It’s always good to remind ourselves in those moments that the discomfort of saying no will be much less than the resentment and anger we’ll feel down the track if we say yes.

As with any habit, it takes a while to ingrain the things above into our daily lives. But I guarantee, if you start today and make the above five things a focus for the next few months, come the end of the next financial year, your only regret will be that you didn’t start doing them years earlier.


This article originally appeared on Flying Solo, read the original here.

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