The end of the financial year is fast-approaching, but what fitness professionals may not realise is that clients may be adversely affected by the pressures that come with this time of year.

If you work with business owners, managers or accounting/finance professionals, it may pay to be aware that the end of financial year wrap up may affect their mental health, wellness, energy levels and ability to perform – both with you in a fitness environment, and in their broader life.

According to Peter Diaz, world renowned mental health expert and founder of the Workplace Mental Health Institute, end of financial year time is a stressful time for the workplace.  Many people underestimate the stress and pressure associated with hard deadlines like end of financial year.

There is a lot of pressure on people to maximise and close off sales, finalise accounts, get payments in, update and sign off on financials, lodge documents. Many teams, business units and whole businesses are judged on their year’s results. Many working parts of a business or organisation are involved in end of financial year wrap up. Lots of people work long hours, are under increased pressure to get things done by a certain deadline and to submit and review information to ensure it is correct.

Those long hours, pressure and the increased weight of responsibility affects people in different ways; some cope with the pressure and then collapse quietly at home; other people get sick while others find it difficult to gather up the energy to get back to work or feel enthusiastic about doing their job. This effect is often referred to as ‘burnout’, and the more dangerous downside is when the stress continues and/or is compounded, because that can lead to serious health issues, such as heart attacks, stroke, or cancer.

Additionally, if your clients are businesses and managers the fact they may be supporting  their staff at this challenging time of the year, may mean their mental health needs a bit of TLC too.

Diaz recommends three things you can suggest to your clients, to help them cope:

  • Take mini breaks every hour or couple of hours. A brisk walk gets the blood flowing and releases endorphins.
  • Meet regularly with your boss or staff, and talk openly about how everyone is coping and whether there are any issues that are affecting the ability of others to get their tasks done on time; if so, sort and solve the issues.
  • Make the work environment as stress-free as possible. Keep loud or long telephone calls to a minimum, allow people to wear casual clothes, bring in healthy food for people who need ‘energy snacks’.

People’s health should not be compromised at any time, so more care needs to be taken at end of financial year wrap up, to ensure the mental health of your community is being fully supported.