It’s hard for me to believe, but the first quarter of the year is already in the books and taxes are due next week. Hopefully, you are one of the lucky, non-procrastinators that filed their tax return long ago and have done something fun with the refund the I.R.S. sent you.
Then there’s the rest of us for whom I offer the following.
You are not alone.
According to TheConversation.com approximately 30% of the 2014 taxes were anticipated to be filed in the final two weeks before the deadline. Why do we procrastinate?
- Laziness: We frankly don’t want to do it. Who can’t see themselves in this one?
- Thrill-Seeking: We think we work better under pressure. Generally, we don’t.
- Lack of Urgency: There’s no penalty for dropping them off at the post office at 11:59 PM on April 18th. Why hurry?
- Availability of Extensions: Extensions don’t mean you have more time to PAY, just more time to file. If you are expecting money back, why extend?
- We Don’t Expect a Refund: If you aren’t getting money back, why give Uncle Sam our money a minute earlier than we have to?
Well, whether we expect a refund or not, there is still stress and anxiety involved in filing our taxes at the last minute.
When I work with clients, and they’ve completed a task that is hard, stressful, anxiety-ridden, emotionally taxing or one they’ve procrastinated on, I suggest they spend some additional time focusing on their self-care.
Self-care takes many forms and what works for one doesn’t always work for another, but here are some of my favorites:
- Sleep: Treat yourself to an extra few minutes of sleep, or even better, indulge in a nap. According to the Mayo Clinic, napping reduces fatigue, increases alertness, and improves our mood.
- Exercise: Take a nice, long walk with a friend, join in on a fun exercise class at the gym, or even dance around the house to your favorite song. According to the CDC (cdc.gov) “People who are physically active for about 7 hours a week have a 40 percent lower risk of dying early than those who are active for less than 30 minutes a week.”
- Eat something that makes you feel good: There are physical and mental benefits of sitting down to a healthy fruit and cheese plate, a nutritional smoothie, or a nice bar of dark chocolate (it’s good for us, right?). Indulge!
- Meditate: Sometimes we need to block out our crazy world! According to Charles L. Raison, MD, clinical director of the Mind-Body Program at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, meditation improves both physical and emotional responses to stress.
So, whatever your tax filing situation is, know that once it’s behind you, the stress may not be. Relax, rejuvenate, and have some fun. You deserve it!
Cindy Jobs, COC, ACC
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Level I Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization; ADD; Client Administration; Time Management; Mental Health; and Hoarding.
Level II Specialist Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization and ADHD.