Staying Healthy During the Tax Season Crunch

John Krautzel
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As April 15 approaches, accountants gear up for a push to the finish line, with thousands of tax forms to fill out, each of which must be perfect and on time. Clients pressure the beleaguered accountants or fail to deliver needed documents, and the stress builds. A healthy tax season sounds like a contradiction. If this is familiar, take a look at these tips to get through the tax crunch with health intact.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Tax season doesn't have to mean a doughnut at the desk, a fast food lunch eaten on the run and gallons of coffee propelling you through the wee hours. Prepare for a healthy tax season by filling the office kitchen with healthy snacks such as fresh fruits and veggies, nuts and low-fat yogurt. Banish of the high-fat, high-sugar choices that so often populate office kitchens, at least until tax time is over. High-sugar snacks in particular are deceptive; it may feel as if they're giving you a quick energy boost, but you'll pay for it later when your blood sugar crashes. Take time to step out of the office for lunch, or even for dinner if you know you will be working into the evening. You give yourself healthier and more appealing choices that way and have a chance to clear your head as well. Finally, don't overindulge in caffeine, but stay hydrated with water instead. If you need coffee to stay awake, it's time to go home and get some sleep.

Move Around

Sitting at your computer for hours on end is bad for your back, your joints and even your mind. For a healthy tax season, you need to get up every 30 to 50 minutes and move. Take a walk around the office or even around the block. Do a few stretching exercises. Consider switching to a standing desk some of the time to keep your blood flowing. The more you sit in one place, the slower your brain processes what's in front of you, so get up and walk your way back to a healthy tax season.

Be Mindful of Mental Stress

A healthy tax season means paying attention to more than just physical health. During the pre-April tax crunch, health issues include your mental health as well, with even the best accountants becoming anxious, crotchety and nervous as the 15th approaches. Keep your tax-time sanity by being clear about your priorities and focusing on the most important things first. Find 30 to 60 minutes a day to check in with your family, scroll through Facebook or read something just for fun, and do it without feeling guilty about it. Give yourself a mini-vacation during March to let your mind relax for a day or so before the final push. Watch something funny on TV, and see how quickly laughter lets you relax.

Your physical and mental health are crucial to making it through tax season unscathed. If you keep stress at bay, your immune system is better able to fight off any nasty bacteria or viruses floating around. Making your physical and mental health a priority is key to experiencing a healthy tax season.

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