Tax season is right around the corner, which means you’re either celebrating funds that are on their way or lamenting the dent that is soon to happen to your paycheck. Either way, the process of filing taxes can be described as anything but fun. “Money is a major source of stress on people, and what tax season does is shine a great big spotlight on the issue.” To help you take the heartburn and stress out of the upcoming tax season, file away these tips to help make your experience easier and less taxing.
1. Avoid Procrastinating
Tackling your taxes before the April 15th deadline saves you the dread of procrastinating until the last minute. If the idea of filing seems overwhelming, try breaking up the process into pieces. First, spend time gathering all of your necessary documents. Then research typical tax breaks you may qualify for this year. Once you have your foundation set, you can file your federal return one day, and your state return the next.
2. Create a Tax Paying Playlist
Break up the monotony of filing your taxes by listening to music. You could even make a tax filing playlist—although this may feed into your procrastination tendencies a bit! Finding a good groove will definitely alleviate some of the stress involved in crunching numbers. You might even discover your new favorite throwback anthem—think “Taxman” by The Beatles.
3. Get In-Person Assistance
Another option to reduce your tax stress is to opt to file your taxes professionally, instead of doing it yourself. While you may need to pay a small fee, by going this route, you’ll avoid any confusing sections you come across. You’ll finish with the comfort of knowing you’re getting the most deductions as possible and keeping more of what you’ve earned!
4. File Solo, But With Backup
Not ready to invest in a full tax service? Try opting in for one of the professional advice add-ons available through popular platforms like TurboTax and H&R Block. It’s like having a mini tax professional on-hand for any tax questions you might have along the way, so you can file with peace of mind.
5. Get a Dose of Sunny D
Did you know that “spending about 30 minutes in the sun can provide you with nearly a day’s supply of vitamin D through skin absorption”? That means a quick half-hour soaking up the rays can help you reduce your susceptibility to diseases and help decrease feelings of depression. Take a break from the paperwork and enjoy those peak hours of light, and you’ll be feeling the positive effects throughout the day.
6. Focus On Your Health
It’s easy to get preoccupied with the day to day routine of work, eat, sleep—and now on top of that, taxes. Don’t let the rush of daily life let you slip away from benefiting from exercise. You don’t need to run hours on end to get that boost of coveted endorphins either. While longer workouts are guaranteed to give you that feel-good high, “new evidence suggests that you can still raise endorphin levels with just 15 minutes of exercise several times a week, or about 150 minutes over the course of a week.” So ditch the elevator for the stairs, try taking mini jumping jack breaks, and walk across the street for lunch instead of driving.
7. Zen Out
If you thought you had to carve out some serious zen time to reap benefits of meditation, we’ve got news for you. A study by Dr. Bialylew found that “just 10 minutes of meditation is enough to support significant self-reported benefits including an increase in positive emotions, reduction in negative emotions and the impact of stress, an increase in self-compassion and greater focus in daily life”. That’s some big bang for your buck.
8. Take a Power Nap
While many turn to coffee or energy drinks for an extra zolt of enthusiasm while logging their W-9’s, we say ditch the stimulants and go straight to sleep. A half-hour power nap is all you need to get your tax mojo back when you feel like you’re fading. In fact, a “study by NASA found that a 26-minute nap was the ‘sweet spot’ for a nap, improving alertness by 54 percent and performance by 34 percent.” Time to stop counting those decimals and start counting those zzz’s.
9. Have a Me Moment
We’re constantly stimulated by the outside world, but when do we ever get a moment to just focus on ourselves? We challenge you to set aside a moment each day and dedicate it entirely to you. Read a book, listen to calm music, draw yourself a bubble bath, or do yoga—whatever will make you feel whole. Take the time to build a better relationship with yourself and you’ll reap the rewards in all aspects of your life. You deserve it!
10. Plan a Getaway
When filing your taxes, the thought of picking up, moving out of the country, and escaping from it all may have crossed your mind. While we don’t recommend taking such drastic measures to evade your taxes, we do support treating yourself to a much-deserved vacation. Luckily, Benchmark Resorts & Hotels and Gemstone Collection have the perfect solution to cure the tax time blues. Check out these extraordinary Tax Relief Getaways with offers with up to 40% savings on luxury guest rooms, spa treatments, outdoor recreation, and culinary offerings: Featured Tax Relief Getaway Offers>>