“Taxes and Death, the only things that are guaranteed in life,” that’s what they told us! It’s a pretty pessimistic viewpoint considering there is breath, experience, human connection, love, emotions, exploration, ice cream and so much more. However, I understand that taxes can be stressful. If you’re filling out a 1040EZ form this year, congratulations, and this post is not for you. But, if you’re like me, and you’re filling out your 1040 with a Schedule C, it’s the time to deal with higher cortisol levels.
It’s a temporary thing and it doesn’t have to be too stressful. We just have to learn to deal with taxes the same way we manage our well-being. Taking care of ourselves on a regular basis by eating right, exercising, meditating, doing yoga, etc., enhances our life. Now it’s time to take control and make our weekly finance appointment to stay on top of that impending April 15 deadline. That is one way to help conquer the tidal wave of tax day. Oh and yes, you’ll have a much better picture of what you’re spending and you’ll be able to see where you can save more money, which is what we all want anyway, right?.
If you have a bookkeeper in your business, make sure you’re meeting with them at least once a month, preferably once every week. Don’t let the receipts and bank statements pile up. It becomes way more difficult to get through the mounds of paperwork and shoebox of receipts than it is to reconcile and file it away on a weekly basis. Whether you’re using Quickbooks, Quicken or some other accounting software, make it a part of your regular schedule to keep it up to date and avoid the days of college test cramming.
For those of you who have to file an extension, I’m with ya. This year won’t be my first, but let’s commit to making it our last. Take the next 6 months to not only get 2014 tied up in a nice little bow, but get completely caught up for 2015, so middle January of 2016 all is well with the world. Showing up early to appointments opens up a whole new world if you’re always running late. Similarly, being ahead of your paperwork for taxes opens up a whole new world of financial opportunities!
If you’re not quite at the point when you’re taking advantage of those opportunities, follow these 5 steps to manage your stress levels until you’re ready to get ahead.
1. Stand up and take deep breaths! Deep breathing allows us to let go of the intensity of the moment.
2. Make arm circles and twists. Getting the blood moving is a good thing, this will change your state right way. You’ll get out of your head and into your body, even if it’s only for a few moments, it will help.
3. Stretch! A simple forward fold, with your knees bent if necessary, but a forward fold is going to help your mind relax. The blood rushes to your head and you’re forced to stay present, let go of the mound of receipts next to you.
4. Meditate. Sit up in your chair, close your eyes and take deep relaxing breaths. This will help you out of the moment. A short meditation will help your mind sort itself out and get you back to neutral. You’ll go back into your work feeling much calmer, more alert and ready to take on the next pile.
5. Go outside. Breathing fresh air from the outdoors is a fantastic remedy for changing the intensity of work. Plus it gives us perspective that our world is not the only world that is moving. We’re part of a bigger picture and while we will die some day, there is more to life than taxes and death.
Photo Credit: flickr.com/401(k)2012