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6 Mental Health Tips to Help You Survive 2020 Tax Filing Season

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2021 by SafeSend

Tax season is upon us (again) and with the additional complications of a global pandemic and government relief programs, it may be the most stressful yet. That is why it is time for the tax and accounting profession to prioritize their personal health. Studies show, mental health issues are a growing concern all over the world and continue to have significant impacts on day-to-day life. According to research by CABA, the accountancy profession is amid a mental health crisis; finding only two percent of accountants are unaffected by stress. 

But you can take hold of stress by introducing habits this busy season. Plus, building healthy habits now can lead to a happy work life balance beyond tax season.  

Here are some healthy habits that could give you a mental boost in particularly stressful times: 

#1 Start Your Morning Off Right 

Creating a self-care routine every morning can set the tone for the rest of your day. It does not matter if you are a morning person or not, establishing simple feel-good activities will set you up for success. Start your morning with a workout, yoga, enjoy your morning coffee in silence, listen to positive podcasts, or cook yourself a healthy breakfast. Are you unsure what to make? Here are 50+ different types of healthy breakfast to jumpstart your day! 

#2 Eating Well-Balanced Meals 

Nutrition plays a key role in managing stress in your life. Eating healthy meals can reduce the negative stress of tax season and can help stabilize energy levels. Every tax profession understands the reality of stress during tax season and typically the last thing on their mind is eating a healthy meal. Start by packing healthy lunches and snacks the night before or morning of. Taking the initiative of adding well balanced meals into your routine will boost your mood and help alleviate work related stress.  

#3 Consistent Sleep Schedule 

I know what you are thinking, “Wait a minute, you expect tax professionals to get any good sleep-in midst of tax season”? Yes,sleep is a powerful stress reliever. Creating a consistent sleep schedule calms and restores the body, improves concentration, regulates mood, and sharpens decision making. It might seem near impossible to establish a consistent sleep schedule during the busiest season of the year but, is a crucial part of your mental health. Lack of sleep creates major effects on the brain by reducing your energy and mental clarity. Intentionally shutting down every day to get a good night’s rest can be a game changer in your performance and in total make you feel refreshed for the next day. 

#4 Encourage Virtual Lunches or Happy Hours 

In the unprecedented times of COVID-19, co-workers have found ways to incorporate stress relieving and fun virtual events. Virtual lunch dates or happy hours can help break up any stressful day by adding socializing to the workplace again. Happy hours can help cultivate a positive team spirit, allow for casual conversation, and give tax professionals an opportunity to motivate one another. Here are some great ideas for themed happy hours: 

  • DIY Beer Tasting: Share your favorite local beer by sending it to your guest or if shipping is not an option, simply share a beer list to pick up before the event.  
  • Virtual Mixology: Every week, each team member takes a spin at creating their own cocktail for the group. A list of materials is sent beforehand and during the call the team attempts to make a delicious beverage.  
  • Show and Tell: Just like when you were in grade school! Each member takes time to speak about a particular object or item in their house that is special to them. This is a great way to bring your team closer and add some laughter to the day. 

#5 Create a Work Support System 

On average, a tax professional’s workday during tax season is 12 to 14 hours. Everyone is different in the way they handle stress and mental health in the workplace. Creating an outlet to offer help or just lend an ear can go a long way in supporting a fellow employee at the busiest time of the year. The amount of time spent working through tax forms can make a person feel extremely isolated and overwhelmed.  A simple way to offer help can be by doing daily or weekly check-ins with a trusted co-worker. A daily dose of social interaction and communication provides people with a much-needed mental break. 

#6 Implement Tax Automation Solutions 

Sometimes the most work comes before, after, and in between the work. Automating the manual processes before and after the tax return preparation can be a huge time-saver. Automation is the key to simplifying the time-consuming processes of the busy season. Prevent stress by reducing work for your staff and helping them perform their jobs more efficiently. SafeSend provides automation solutions that give firms the power to eliminate labor-intensive tasks across the tax engagement. With SafeSend Returns and the SafeSend Suite, you will automate the manual tasks associated with the back and forth of client communication through each season of the tax year! Save time, prevent stress, and make the entire busy season a better experience for your staff and clients.  

By taking these small but effective steps to improve your mental health, you can set your firm up for success. Remember, you cannot control everything that the tax season throws your way, but you can prepare for it. Do not be afraid to try new ways of managing stress and know the signs of someone that may need professional help. Here is just one of the many online resources:  

Get Started (betterhelp.com) 

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SafeSend Returns, is a multi-year winner of the CPA Practice Advisor Technology Innovation Award. SafeSend Returns eliminates the manual, labor-intensive elements many tax departments experience producing client-ready tax returns. Schedule a demo! 

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