The “season” is officially upon us! With new tax laws and government shut downs, it is shaping up to be as stressful as ever. We’ve all seen and read the reports about staying healthy and work/life balance, so hopefully this year, we can get the job done and reduce stress at the same time.
Just a quick explanation of the science behind the negative effects of stress (from webmd.com): when we experience stress, our body pumps out stress hormones to get the job done. If it’s a one-time thing, your body goes back to normal when the job is done. However, if the stress is continuous, your body accumulates those chemicals and starts converting them into cholesterol which can lead to heart disease. One in every three deaths in the U.S. are caused by cardiovascular disease! That’s pretty staggering to comprehend. Accountants do not have it easy, the very nature of the job is to get an incomprehensible amount of work done in a very short period of time.
Take a breath, you will survive another tax season, but be sure to take a minute and think about your own health during this busy time. Here are a few tips to stay healthy during this tax season!
- Make a list and put processes in place – Keep your to-do’s organized, both at home and work, and you will be more productive and accurate. Also, make sure your company has the necessary processes in place to keep workflow going smoothly.
- Learn to say no – Whether it’s a co-worker asking for help on a project or a personal mission at home. Try to not to say “yes” out of guilt or because you think you have a sense of obligation, instead focus on the projects that are meaningful to you. This may be impossible during tax season but if it’s a task that can wait until after April 15 or someone else on the team can handle, let it go. (Brannon wrote a great blog last year about this very topic, check it out!)
- Leave work at work – This may be impossible for most accountants during tax season, but turn off your phone when you go home, try to decompress and rest before Groundhog Day begins again tomorrow!
- Eat well – In our office, we have a weekly team meeting to catch up and go over our tasks. It never fails that one or more of us has “eat well” as our weekly goal. It’s hard, especially when you are busy but it has been proven that eating more fresh fruits and vegetables and lean protein helps your brain function better, gives you more energy and just makes you feel better.
- Get up and move – You have so much to do, there isn’t always time to take a leisurely walk during lunch! Research has shown that we should be standing more than sitting. Even if you can’t walk around, try to stand at work. According to an article featured on CNN, the right balance is to sit about 20 minutes out of every half hour. Stand for 8 minutes and move around at least 2 minutes. So, set a timer at the 20 minute mark and the 50 minute mark for each hour. Take a bathroom break, get a glass of water, stand up to go through that shoebox full of receipts your client just dropped off, or just get up and take a stretch.
“The reason (standing could be good) is because when we stand there are many muscles in our legs and butt and abdomen that are working to keep you standing. Whenever muscle is used, it consumes sugar and affects triglycerides, which could, in turn, lower cholesterol. Standing regularly could translate into lower diabetes and heart disease risk.” – Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, Director of preventive cardiology at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, NY
I think I should go for a walk now. We hope this helps and we wish you all a prosperous and not too stressful tax season!
About the author: Martha is the Sales and Marketing Coordinator at Poe Group Advisors. Aside from wearing many hats at the office, she loves being a mother of two, yoga, baking and is attempting to train her puppy to stop chewing up shoes!