Don’t let taxes stress you out

Tax Day is fast approaching. If you’re like millions of other Americans who haven’t filed their taxes yet, you’re probably starting to get stressed out worrying about the April 18 deadline.

Stress can quickly have serious effects on your health, leading to symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, an upset stomach and tightness in your chest.

Keep these tips in mind to manage your Tax Day stress so you can stay healthy and productive while getting the job done on short notice.

  • Be calm and face the challenge. It may seem hard to in times of stress, but try to resist the temptation to ignore the problem and decide how you can face it head-on. Tax Day is an annual thing that everyone deals with, and it’ll be over the sooner you work on it.
  • Put the extra time to good use. Tax Day is three days later this year, so plan your best course of action to be done by April 18. If your problem is sitting down and filing all of your taxes at once, consider spreading that work out over the extra days.
  • Feeling overwhelmed? Remember to keep yourself in the present. The present is rarely as stressful as how you may imagine the future, so try focusing on your breathing or calming sounds to keep things in perspective.
  • Reach out for help. Talk to your friends and family about how they’re handling their taxes. If you still have questions, you can always hire a tax preparer or use tax prep software that will help resolve any issues that are causing you stress.
  • Avoid fighting over money. The last thing you need to do is argue when you’re already stressed out. If others are worried about how you’re spending, or vice versa, keep things civil by finding ways to discuss without an accusatory tone. You can work to find better spending strategies after you’ve filed your taxes on time.
  • Find time to relax. It won’t be much easier to file your taxes if you’re completely bent out of shape, so at least once or twice a day, spend time helping yourself unwind. Once you’ve finished some work on your taxes, reward yourself by taking a walk, reading a book you enjoy or exercising.
  • Plan for next year. Scrambling to meet a deadline is never fun. Since you know that you’ll go through this process again next year, consider how you can keep track of spending better and be ahead of the deadline next time around.

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