Tips to Help You Manage a Stressful Tax Season

A tax preparer manages his business from home while caring for children

Every tax season is different, and if you’re feeling stressed or overextended this year, you’re not alone. We’re here with tips to help you manage stress, find balance, and persevere through a long tax season.  

1. Set work hours and take breaks  

One of the great benefits of owning your own tax business is the flexibility and the opportunity to set the hours you work. However, establishing boundaries between work hours and personal hours can be difficult during tax season. If the pressure of work leaves you feeling guilty for taking a break, remember that unplugging and resting will help you be even more productive tomorrow.  

Aim to give yourself at least a few hours of downtime in the evenings whenever possible. Even on your longest days, you should still prioritize the basics: getting enough sleep, eating real, nutritious meals, and getting physical activity.   

2. Wear blue light-blocking glasses  

Starting at screens doesn’t just fatigue your eyes– it can also disrupt your sleep, especially when you work into the evenings. The blue light from your computer and phone tells your body that it’s daytime, preventing you from producing melatonin and falling asleep easily.  

Blue light blockers, glasses that prevent the blue light from your screens from reaching your eyes, can help. Try wearing them after the sun goes down or anytime your eyes feel strained.   

Don’t have a pair? Most modern computers and displays have a blue light filter you can activate in your system’s display settings. You can even customize the filter to activate based on your schedule or at sunset. 

If you’re using an older computer, you can install Flux on your computer instead. This free download will automatically dampen the blue light from your screens after sunset.  

3. Get outside  

Getting sunlight doesn’t just boost your vitamin D – it’s a proven way to support your mental health. So be sure to take walks, enjoy your yard or balcony, and try working outside when the weather is nice.  

4. Try breathing exercises  

When you’re feeling overwhelmed or can’t fall asleep, give 4-7-8 breathing a try. This technique involves inhaling deeply for a count of four, holding for seven, and exhaling for eight.   

While it can take some practice, many people swear by it as a stress management technique and sleep aid.  

5. Adjust your mindset  

Tax season can involve stressful work and long hours. But it’s helpful to remind yourself that this season will end. You will get a break and you can make it through. 

Lean into activities that help you refocus and adjust your mindset – whether that’s meditation, prayer, journaling, or talking with family and friends. Remember that your health is just as important as your job.  

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