Family? Friends? Significant others? Who are those?

Studying for the CPA Exam can take a major toll on you mentally, physically, and emotionally. And, if you haven’t noticed already, it can also take the same toll on the people around you; specifically those who are especially close to you. Although you are making many sacrifices to get your CPA designation, you have to remember that so are the ones who love you.

And for many who are working professionals or have kids, maintaining your relationships can sometimes be difficult as you’re juggling to find that study-work-life balance. But here are some tips you can use to ensure that you and the people important to you in your life are on the same page about this whole CPA thing.

Communicate openly, honestly, and often

Talk to your loved ones and have them talk to you as much as possible. Without open and honest communication, no relationship will be able to withstand its ups and downs. Establish this rule as you study for the CPA Exam and let your loved ones know that they can talk to you about anything. This will let them know that no matter how busy or secluded you may be when it comes to studying, they’re still a priority in your life. Allow them to vent or express themselves openly about how they feel. Often times loved ones feel obligated to leave you alone because they don’t want you to worry or bother you as you’re studying. But reassure them that this is not the case, because the longer they wait to talk to you about an issue, the longer the negative energy can build and intensify. And, of course, this is also true vice versa. If your loved ones aren’t giving you the support, time, and patience that you need, you also have to voice this concern. Explain what you need from one another in order to move forward. No matter what the problem is, resolve them together and remind each other that this is a temporary situation that will be extremely beneficial for everyone once it comes to pass.

Make time

You will get bogged down the closer that test day approaches, but one of the most important things you can do for your relationships is to carve out some time to spend with your loved ones. Whatever time you can squeeze in, especially on those days when you can take an entire 24 break from studying, give your loved ones the support and attention that they need from you to get back a bit of the normalcy that they lost. Although they understand the enormous amount of stress and pressure you’re facing and are being respectful of the space and seclusion you so often need, they also no doubt miss you and can find it hard to reconcile the abrupt loss of time they now have with you versus pre-CPA Exam studying. So make sure you’re allotting some minutes or hours here and there everyday to have a quality moment with your loved ones, even if this means giving them a quick call, doing the dishes together, or grabbing a bite to eat. Chances are, you need it just as much as they do!

Acknowledge and appreciate them often

Simple gestures of appreciation go a long way, and no matter how crazy things get, let your loved ones know how much you truly appreciate all of their love, patience, support, and sacrifices they’ve had to make to help you get your CPA. Send some flowers, leave a note, make them breakfast in bed, or shoot over an email. It’s quite easy to get lost in the commotion of life and to overlook those who have given you words of encouragement when you were feeling down, or gave you that extra hug when you were five pages away from completing the BEC textbook and lectures. The journey toward CPA licensure is a hard one, and it’s important to give kudos to the people who have given you a stepping stone along the way. So whenever you have the opportunity to do so, thank them for their support often and wholeheartedly. Many relationships can get damaged when one person feels overlooked and taken for granted. The least you can do is give those words of acknowledgement and appreciation to the people important to you, because let’s face it--it would have been a much more agonizing road without them!