Tax season is in full swing and that means some of us are really starting to feel the stress of the situation. Deadlines have passed and deadlines are coming up, all the while fines are looming overhead, pushing you to get everything done correctly and on time (the first time around).
In such stressful times as these, it’s almost encouraging to say things like “I’ll relax later” while you continue to power through the work that’s causing your blood pressure to rise. Needless to say, that’s not really the most healthy way to handle things.
A little bit of stress every now and again isn’t too bad; in fact, it helps keep our senses sharp. However, long-term stress tends to be more detrimental than helpful. It leads to headaches, upset stomachs, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and trouble sleeping. Some research even suggests prolonged stress can bring on or worsen certain diseases.
So, for the sake of your health, we’re here to tell you that you do have time to step away from the IRS form preparation because doing so will help keep you a little bit healthier as well as a little bit saner.
Meditating for just a few minutes a day has been shown to help the brain in all its aspects. Think of it as like an exercise for your brain. Meditation reduces stress, improves concentration, increases self-awareness and happiness, and even benefits cardiovascular and immune health.
If it helps, you don’t have to think of meditation as sitting in a room full of incense chanting “OM” for hours. That is one way to meditate, but you can also do so by sitting in silence for five minutes while trying to keep your mind clear or focusing on a mantra. You can even find guided meditations to help bring some focus and clarity to other aspects of your life.
Go for a Jog
It could be argued that jogging is a form of moving meditation. Think about it: have you ever been able to concentrate on anything other than how you feel when you’re jogging while you’re jogging? That’s where you want to get with meditation: being completely in the moment, allowing your brain to focus and reap all the benefits of that little exercise.
Plus, since you’re actually exercising you’re getting your blood flowing and heart rate up, helping your body flush out toxins while keeping your muscles and organs in tip-top shape. When you’re getting your daily mental and physical exercise, you feel more in control of your body; when you feel more in control of your body, you feel more in control in other aspects of your life. And when you feel in control, you feel less stressed!
Get a Massage
Ahh, just think of it. A trained masseuse working out those knots and kinks, almost literally kneading and pushing the stress right out of your body. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?
When we’re stressed, we get tense. And we tend to hold that tension in certain muscles in different areas of the body (back and shoulder muscles are big ones to look for with this), oftentimes without even realizing it. For instance, take a minute to really focus on how you’re sitting. Take note of your breath and your muscles and see which ones you can relax a little when you exhale. Start with the face muscles and work your way down – I bet you’ll relax more than you’d think you would.
Massages work as a literal hands-on approach to promoting blood flow through your muscles and tissue, which helps relax them where fluids have built up to make knots and where over-working has caused strains. Trust us, the amount of stress you’ll lose after a massage makes it more than worth the hour of work you’re giving up.
Unplug Everything for a Night
I wanted to name this section “Don’t Forget Your Vacation Days,” because, in this day and age, we’re all too eager to, but with the busy-ness of the season and deadlines popping up left and right, that might just not be realistic.
So instead, have a stay-cation. Take a night where you unplug everything and take the time to enjoy silence or the company of those around you (depending on your home situation). Allow yourself to read that book you’ve been meaning to finish or soak your cares away in a warm bubble bath.
While taking the time to “get away” from it all, so to speak, may seem counter-productive to actually getting your work done, research has shown that taking a break from what you’re doing allows your brain to really process the work you’ve done. This leaves you feeling refreshed and even more prepared when you revisit your work later.
Journal the Stress Away
Something most every successful person has in common? They keep a journal. When you journal, you take the pressure off yourself to remember every single thing you have going on. Plus, when you’re able to write out what’s going on in your life, you’re able to approach it with a new perspective and maybe even with some new ideas about how to handle whatever the given situation is.
For consistency, try to journal around the same time each day and before you know it, you’ll be less stressed and remembering more than ever before!
One way to deal with even less stress during tax season is to e-file with ExpressTaxFilings! We have everything in place to make sure you file correctly and on time. We’ll even answer any questions you have and are here to help if things get too stressful. We’re available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST, by phone at (704) 684-4751 and live chat on our website. We also provide 24/7 assistance via email at support@ExpressTaxFilings.com!