Busy season is officially over! On behalf of Roger CPA Review, we'd like to salute you accountants, CPAs, CPA candidates, and everyone in general for getting through the 2016 Tax Season. Give yourselves a nice pat on the back. You did it! And a well-deserved night's rest and dinner actually at dinner time are rewards in and of themselves.
But don't stop there (and we're pretty sure you weren't planning on it, anyway). All those long hours sitting at a desk hunched over numbers for the past few months has surely taken a toll on you physically and emotionally. So here are some great tips to get you started on the road to living like a normal person again and relieve some of the stress that's been pent up since January and February!
Do some spinal exercises
Working out is a great way to get back in shape (both literally and metaphorically), and focusing on your back is a great way to start. After all, if you spend your work hours sitting at a desk, back exercises can do wonders to prevent lower back pain, as well as strengthen the muscles you use most. When done daily, this can dramatically improve health and overall energy levels. A good one to try is the prone arm/leg raises:
1. Lie on your stomach, keeping your neck in line with your straight legs while arms are outstretched overhead.
2. Slowly raise and lower each arm and leg, one at a time.
3. Do 5 repetitions on each limb.
4. Work alternate limbs by lifting the right arm and left leg at the same time.
5. Do 5 repetitions and change to work the reverse pair.
Because we really value the art of self-expression in writing, we highly recommend journaling as a great way to relax and unwind. Especially if you haven't done it before or in a while! Writing things down is good therapy for the mind and soul. It allows you to reflect on your thoughts and feelings, sort out any troubles you may be facing, or simply record your daily wanderings and whereabouts. Here are some ways journaling helps reduce stress:
- Know yourself better: Routine writing will help you get to know yourself better, such as what makes you happy/unhappy, and what situations/people aren't the best for you.
- Solve problems more effectively: Sometimes problem-solving can only be done creatively, although we'd like to think that it's done analytically most of the time. But writing unlocks your creative side, allowing you to delve into the area of your brain that gives you ideas and opportunities for unexpected solutions for problems that would otherwise seem unsolvable.
- Leaves room for improvement: If you take a look at your journal over time (weeks, months, or even years) you'll be able to see the patterns or trends that maybe keep you from achieving your goals or aspirations. Journaling is a great way to track your personal growth, leveraging your strengths and weaknesses and eventually enabling you to see how you can reach your fullest potential.
Be in nature
This is probably one of our favorite tips to give to people for really any situation. If you feel like doing something to celebrate an accomplishment, relieve stress, or just want to get away, nothing does the job quite like a nice camping trip in the woods and being with nature. Check out your local (or, if you feel like going somewhere far, not-so-local) national and state parks to see where you can do some day trips or even a whole weekend of hiking, smore roasting, sight-seeing, river rafting, fishing, and star-gazing! Ooh, just talking about these things is getting us all hyped up! Get together with your family or friends and plan an outing where you're not surrounded by city lights or noise. One of the best ways to really reconnect with yourself and the important people and things around you is to get in touch with where it all started: earth! Be sure to double-check the area for warnings and protocol for bears, cougars, endangered animals, camping site regulations, and whether or not you can bring your pup!
Explore a new environment
This could be our way of saying take a vacation, but you don't always have to get on a plane to feel like you're away from home. Discover some cute downtowns in your state that will make for a nice little day trip or one-night stay. Sleep in a bed and breakfast in a small town, support the local businesses, and finally get to try what has been acclaimed by everyone west of the Mississippi the best doughnuts in your state!
Of course, exploring a new environment can also mean getting involved in a situation that you wouldn't normally. Spend some time with your friend and her newborn doing some baby duties. Help your parents remodel or redecorate the living room. Offer to help your old college buddy move to his new place. Participate in some weekend volunteer work to help out your community. Whatever your choice and definition of a new environment is, we hope you'll put some time on your calendar to do that exploration or new activity.
Hopefully with any or all of these experiences, you'll walk away with a new and refreshed perspective on things.
Congratulations on surviving Tax Season and hope you all have a great one!