Busy season is in full swing for most accountants this time of year, and if you’re one of the lucky ones who isn’t working crazy hours to meet deadlines, this will be helpful information for you, nevertheless. One of the comments I hear most often this time of year is “I just need to survive one more busy season.” I’d like to change the narrative on this for you- let’s focus on THRIVING instead of merely SURVIVING.

Enter Well-Being. Your key to not just surviving, but yes, THRIVING. Taking care of ourselves is key year-round, but especially when things start speeding up around the office. We’re going to talk mindset around well-being, why it’s critical, and we’ll share a few of our favorite well-being activities throughout the month on our social media.

Take a moment to think about how you relate to taking care of yourself.
“It is too time-consuming.”
“It’s selfish to take care of myself…I have kids and a family to take care of.”
“I’m ok, I don’t need any extra self-care.”
“I love it. I’ll happily put my well-being at the top of the priority list.”

Chances are, most of you didn’t resonate with the last statement. Most people fall into one of the first three categories, or something similar. In order to have a long-term change in behavior and results, we have to start with mindset. Having the experience of THRIVING during busy season requires a mindset shift before we jump into action.

On an airplane, passengers are instructed to put their own oxygen masks on first before assisting others. It makes sense in this context: it’s critical that you help yourself first, or else you’ll be of no use to anyone around you. We’re willing to do it in this situation, but not in our daily lives. Why?

Our energy is like our cell phone batteries. Once it’s depleted, the only thing that will get it back up is a recharge. Your phone can’t keep running on empty, eventually it’s going to shut down. Human energy is the same way, but we don’t often act like it. Especially this time of year, accountants expect their minds and bodies to continue to operate at 100% when there is way less than 100% left in the tank. In order to give our best to our clients, our peers, our jobs, and our friends and family, we need to take care of ourselves first. Ideally, we’re not waiting for the system to shut down before seeking a charge, either. We’re regularly charging the battery so we’re not in danger of being caught on empty (in this case, breaking down in tears in the office, etc.).

I invite you to stop thinking about well-being as something you don’t have time for, and instead, think of it as something you can’t afford not to do. Any hours that you invest in taking care of yourself over the next few months will pay immediate dividends in the form of productivity, focus and energy. It will make work less painful by helping you be more resilient during stressful times. It will also make you more fun to be around. Your
team will thank you later 🙂

Implement this: Identify what your current relationship is to well-being and taking care of yourself. If it’s negative, replace that idea with something more positive. Here’s an example:

Old mindset: I don’t have time to take care of myself… there’s so much work to do, I can’t justify taking time to [go to the gym; take a walk; read a book…].

New mindset: Taking care of myself so that I’m at 100% for my team and my clients is a critical part of my job. I can carve out [20, 30, 60…] minutes to myself daily for self- care.

Bonus Practice: Identify 2-3 things you can do to increase your well-being. These practices don’t have to be expensive or require a lot of time. It can be as simple as taking 10 minutes out of the day to get outside and go for a walk. It could also be having fresh flowers in your office, listening to your favorite music, or completing a 10- minute meditation in the morning. Whatever floats your boat and has you feeling your best- make time for it!
If you haven’t already, follow us on social media! We’ll be sharing our favorite well-being tips and tools throughout the month.

To your health,