If there is one thing I learned from the unprecedented 2020, it’s taking a break from the daily bustle and hustle of work. As an accounting professional, the first quarter of the year is unarguably the busiest and most stressful time of the year for us. From the recurring daily, weekly, and monthly schedules to the mandatory and regulatory annual filings, to audit and tax season, accounting and tax professionals’ composure and patience are tested heavily during this period.
I remember lucidly just like it was yesterday, that this time last year, I was losing myself from the stack of things that needed to get done. I was getting frustrated easily and turning impatient minute by minute. Little things irritate me quickly. I needed to getaway. I went on an international scuba trip at the end of February. After spending a week-long in a complete, distinct environment, I came back to work totally different, refresh, and ready to face the world again.
Sadly the pandemic hit just a couple of weeks after my return from vacation. Just like every business, our production facility was cut down to a skeleton crew including the front of the house staff. A different stressor propagated. From the heartbreak of seeing everybody go to the fear of what tomorrow will bring. This kind of stress is a different kind of stress accountants feel during the busy season. This kind of pain and stress is emotionally unhealthy.
Fortunately for us, just two months past we close our operation to everybody due to the pandemic, we welcomed everybody back, about over a hundred employees back to work. Things got crazy right away. Because we were bringing everybody back all at once, into a complete, unusual environment, we in the management had to work double-time to implement swift changes and employ control to make sure everybody is safe and healthy. We manage to bring back a lot of employees but because of the pandemic, a handful was afraid and refuse to come back to work. In the end effect, lots of employees, including the management, had to work long hours again. Not long enough stressful days are back in play. Stress is no constructive company. It wears you out more and affects your productivity. In a worst-case scenario, it affects your working relationship with others. You have to find a way to change the environment, no matter how short or long of a period.
Simple ways you can de-stress include turning off your phone once you get home. Do not get tempted from checking your email at night. Watch a movie or two during the week. Write, read, or learn a new song. Do something different from what you do at work. At the weekend, go someplace new or different. Take the kids to a new park or go for a walk around the neighborhood. Go to a local winery, brewery, or farmer’s market. Or, as one of my favorite de-stress activity, start a garden. You can never undermine the essence of these little, atypical activities. Work never gets done in a day, your mind can only take so much. So, de-stress as often as you can. Do not wait until it drags you down completely. If you need a company to de-stress, I can clear my way and join you. So, what are doing or where are we going this weekend?