Five self-care tips to avoid burnout during an unusual tax season

Posted on Thursday, May 21, 2020 by Nicole Fracasso

The deadline extensions intended to relieve stress for CPAs and accountants are resulting in what feels like a never-ending tax season, writes Billie Anne Grigg in a recent article from Accounting Web. In this article, Grigg provides five tips for taking care of yourself and your clients in uncertain times.

First, while your work schedule may not look how it did back in January, it’s essential to maintain one. Having no schedule at all can lead to over work or burnout, writes Grigg.

“Establish working hours for yourself and stick with them,” she writes. “If you’re working from home, set up a comfortable working environment away from the areas where you relax.”

Second, she says to accept the fact that your to do list will never be complete. If you’re used to completing your to do list every day, it may be unsettling to watch it grow. But keep in mind that not everything needs completed right away.

“Regardless of what is happening in the economy, there are always things that could be done right away but that don’t have to be done right now,” she writes.  “We’re just noticing it more now because we are under more stress than usual.”

Grigg also recommends organizing your list into an Excel document and categorizing them based off their importance levels.

“The idea is to avoid overwhelm by only allowing yourself to see the top three things you have to do at any given time,” she writes.

Third, remember that self-care is non-negotiable. Determine what self-care means to you, whether it’s exercising, meditating or eating right, make sure there’s time on your calendar for it.

“Self-care isn’t selfish,” she writes. “It’s necessary to do the things that nurture you first so you can show up as the best version of yourself for your clients.”

Fourth, Grigg says to be kind to yourself. If you find yourself over working because your to do list stressed you out, remember that over working is a habit, and habits take time to break.

“The great thing about taking care of yourself is you can’t do it ‘wrong,’” Grigg writes. “If you slip up a few times – or a few times every week – be kind to yourself. Reprioritize and resolve to do better tomorrow.”

Lastly, if you’re practicing these tips, give it time to work. You may feel as if you’re causing more harm than good at first, she writes. However, once you adjust to a new normal, your clients will too.

“With time, though, you will realize you are more effective and efficient when you put your own needs first and take care of yourself,” Grigg writes.

For more self-care tips from Grigg, click here to read the article in full.

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