5 Ways to Stay Chill During Tax Season
Just thinking about tax season and the need to file your taxes is enough to send you over the edge. Stress is an unavoidable part of life, but you can use the following five tips to help you manage that stress and stay calm during the tax season.
You might be thinking that “breathe” is a useless tip because you’re breathing all the time already! But if you take a five-minute break to really focus on your breathing when you start to feel anxious or overly stressed, you can counter the physical effects of stress caused by crunching numbers during tax season. The best way to breathe with intention is to sit up straight and close your eyes, and then slowly inhale through your nose until you feel your abdomen fill up and expand. Hold your breath in for a moment and then exhale completely through your mouth. This type of deep breathing will slow your heart rate down and lower your blood pressure – two things you need to do to feel stress free.
2. Avoid Burying Your Head in the Sand
For some people, the stress of tax season is enough to make them want to hide. Unfortunately, you can’t hide from your tax responsibilities. You’ll feel much calmer if you avoid putting your taxes off until the last minute. Your stress will increase as the tax filing deadline approaches, and you’ll be more likely to rush through the process and make mistakes that cost you money. Even worse, you could miss the filing deadline and have to pay penalties and fees as a result. Procrastination will not reduce stress now or in the future! Plus, if you are lucky enough to get a refund then keep in mind that filing sooner means you’ll get your refund sooner.
3. Get Some Exercise
Moving your body will help you manage stress better, and you don’t even have to run a marathon to get what they call the “runner’s high.” When you exercise, your brain releases chemicals that boost your mood, and your body gets to practice dealing with the physical effects of stress by increasing your heart rate and then lowering it again. Take a daily walk around the block, run up and down the stairs in your home or office, or try yoga or stretching. If you find it hard to stay motivated to exercise, join a community of like-minded individuals who can help keep you on track and join you on your daily walk or fitness adventure.
4. Take it One Step at a Time
People often become overwhelmed when they start thinking of all the little tasks they need to complete. Your taxes can feel overwhelming because of how important and time-consuming they are; you can quickly lose concentration simply because you’re lost in what feels like an insurmountable amount of work you have to do – looking for every receipt from the last year is a lot of work! Instead of thinking about everything you need to do to file your taxes, just pick one thing to concentrate on, finish it, and then move on to the next. Don’t worry about the rest.
5. Eat Nutritiously and Get Enough Sleep
Eating poorly puts a lot of stress on your body, and if you aren’t getting enough sleep your body doesn’t have a chance to recover from the day’s activities. Focus on eating a low-sugar, high-protein diet to give your body the fuel it needs to get through each day. If your stress is keeping you up at night, focus on deep breathing exercises to help return your mind and body to a relaxed state and encourage better sleep.