As we head into the busy season for accountants, CPAs and tax preparers everywhere, take some time to remember that stress can be very dangerous to your health, your self-esteem and even your family. Some accountants talk about gaining weight because they eat fast food at their desk, long days that end with too little sleep and missing important times with their children and spouses. It’s not a matter of if stress will harm you but when it will.
I have written about stress and how to deal with it before, and from the conversations I have with colleagues in accounting, it is an ongoing concern for firms, businesses and sole practitioners. So before crunch time really hits, here are some tips on easing the stress in your life:
10 tips to ease stress
- Keep a positive, realistic attitude. Accept that although you can’t control certain things, you’re in charge of how you respond.
- If a client is rude or difficult, stand up for yourself in a polite way. Share your feelings, opinions, or beliefs, instead of becoming angry, defensive, or passive.
- Learn and practice relaxation techniques. Try breathing exercises, meditation, prayer, or yoga.
- Exercise regularly. You’ll feel better and be more prepared to handle problems. Step away from the desk for 15 minutes – walk around the building or better yet, outside.
- Eat healthy. When you’re stressed, you may want less-nutritious comfort foods, but they can add to your problems. Can’t leave the office for lunch? Bring a healthy lunch to work, or at least pack a few snacks like fruit or vegetables.
- Try to manage your time wisely.
- Get enough rest and sleep. Your body needs time to recover from stressful events. A 10 or 15 minute catnap can work wonders.
- Don’t rely on alcohol, drugs, or food to help against stress. Ease up on caffeine, too.
- Spend time with people you love. You may not have much “free time” but when you do, plan something special – meet your family or a friend for breakfast or lunch.
- Find a reason to laugh every day.