Tax Season Is Coming: 4 Tips for Keeping Accountants Less Stressed
Author: Financial Cents
Tax season looms over accountants’ heads every year. You know it’s coming; you know it’s going to be hard, grueling work—and you know that you will have to do everything you can to keep stress at bay.
Stress is a vicious cycle. When you’re busy, healthy habits are the first to fall by the wayside. Poor stress management can lead to poor health, impacting overall productivity. Accountancy is a high-stakes industry, especially during tax season. As such, you need to do everything you can to stay at the top of your game day in and day out.
When is the Tax Season?
The tax season in the United States is usually between the 1st of January to the 15th of April (the filing deadline). The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) typically begins to accept tax filing from the 4th week of January.
4 Tips to Reduce Tax Season Stress
Here are four simple, everyday tips to help you manage your stress amid tax season:
1. Get a Lot of Sleep
Maintaining a healthy sleep schedule during tax season can seem impossible. In fact, sleep is one of the things that quickly end up on the back burner once March rolls around. Sleep deprivation leads to difficulty in thinking critically and making decisions. Your productivity will likely plummet, and the quality of your work will not be up to par.
Proper sleep and thorough rest will give you all the energy you need to get through the next workday. Be strict about your sleep schedule. Turn off your computer and put down your phone for at least one hour before getting under the covers. A sleep meditation app can help you relax and drift off to sleep quickly. If not, a glass of warm milk can get you there.
If you have trouble sleeping for consecutive days or weeks, it may be time to consult a sleep expert.
2. Maintain a Healthy Diet
Another aspect of daily life that falls to the wayside in times of extreme stress is good eating habits. If you’re on your 12th or 16th hour of work, it would be so easy to resort to a giant bag of chips and a can of soda for an energy boost.
Your food intake is what fuels you during work, and the type of fuel you put into your body is critical to how your mind and body perform. Eating a well-balanced meal and staying hydrated (with water!) will do wonders for your energy levels during the day.
There’s nothing wrong with indulging in a sweet dessert once in a while, but try your best to stay away from sugary, processed food for your health and productivity.
3. Exercise Regularly
With so little free time during tax season, it can be difficult to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. You don’t need to spend an hour in the gym every day to stay healthy—simple lifestyle choices, such as walking to work or taking the stairs instead of the elevator, can make a tremendous difference.
During the workday, set a timer on your phone to remind you to get up and walk around every 45 minutes or so. Regular physical activity will keep your mind clear and energy levels high throughout the day.
4. Take a Break
No man lives on work alone. It’s important to step away from the chaos and take the time to reflect and relax. A fifteen-minute mindfulness break in the middle of the day can significantly impact your mental health and keep you from the dreaded burnout stage. Listen to relaxing music, do some breathing exercises, or take a walk in the sunshine. You deserve it.
Managing stress in the midst of a busy tax season can be incredibly challenging. You may think you don’t have time for mindfulness techniques or exercise or even complete healthy meals when you have so much work to do. It’s essential to keep in mind that taking good care of yourself will lead to higher productivity and better work output.
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