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Tax Season Doesn’t Have to Be Taxing

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Tax day is upon us, and with that can come an added amount of stress. Chronic stress can lead to unwanted health conditions, such as increased blood pressure, inflammation, and even heart disease. Stop for a moment and think about how stress affects you physically, mentally, and emotionally. For example, you feel anxious, have brain fog, are quick to react, and your heart races. 

Are you ready to change all that for the better? Managing stress is an essential component of living a healthy lifestyle, no matter the time of year. 

Here are five tips to help you manage and prevent stress:

1. Take care of your time!

Time management can take so much stress off your shoulders by giving you direction when you feel overwhelmed. For example, when you’re not waiting until the last minute to do something, you feel more free and less anxious about the task at hand. 

Try this: Pick out your three most important tasks to accomplish and sort them into three tiers of importance: high, medium, or low. Set a time stamp next to each task so you know when you want each one to be complete. 

2. Get your body moving

Even a five-minute walk can transform your mood and perspective. Anything that gets your heart pumping can lower cortisol levels and enhance your mood. 

Try this: 10 jumping jacks, squats, and lunges. Repeat 2-3 times.

3. Control what you can 

Not everything will be in your control, and as difficult as it may be, letting go is necessary. Focus on what is in your control and do something about it! Create a plan for the things you can tackle, little by little. 

Try this: Write down everything that’s in your control that will improve a situation and take action toward the easiest thing on the list. Once you get started, it’ll be easier to keep going!

4. Breathe it out

The stress of life, especially during tax season, can cause us to take shallow breaths and tense up. This actually increases our internal stress and makes matters worse. Instead, set intentional time for deep breathing exercises, at least a few times a day. 

Try this: Put one hand on your belly and the other hand on your chest. Take a deep breath in through your nose, and let your belly push your hand out. Exhale through pursed lips as if you were whistling. Repeat 5-10 times and take your time with each breath.

5. Recharge your battery 

What helps you feel reenergized? Taking time for yourself increases overall happiness and decreases anxiety, stress, and fatigue. 

Try this: Schedule time each week to read a new book, spend time with family and friends, or take a walk in nature.

The anticipated stress of tax season doesn’t have to be overwhelming this year. You can reduce your stress levels by practicing these five tips. You got this!