4 ways CPAs can manage their stress

January 3, 2020

stressJofA Article
By Amy Vetter, CPA/CITP, CGMA

(image by inchendio/iStock)

At the start of another busy season, accountants across the country are bracing for the long weeks, longer hours, and mounting pressure generated by way too much work being squeezed into too few days leading up to the biggest tax deadlines of the year.

The ability to manage stress is an important skill for CPAs, and not just during busy season. Accountancy has long been a high-stakes profession. Ensuring that a client's books or taxes are in order is a great responsibility.

In today's age, that sense of stress is compounded by reams of discourse about how the rise of advanced technology will forever alter the way we do our jobs, if not replace them altogether. We have to deal with innovation happening at an ever-increasing rate, which can induce a feeling of stress akin to whiplash.

Stress isn't all bad. Internal pressure, after all, signifies that your work matters to you, that you care about doing a good job. But stress shouldn't be so constant or overwhelming that it leads to sleepless nights. When you find yourself in a harried mood 24/7, it's time to make a change — and fast.

As counterintuitive as it sounds, the way you live outside the office may contribute to your stress inside it. These external stressors, while not directly related to work, compound our sense of frustration.

If you've ever been to work without enough sleep, you know how difficult it can be to focus on the job when your body and mind are not at their best. When we treat ourselves without care and consideration, we are, in a certain sense, coming to the office without a fresh perspective every day. To avoid that fate, ask yourself how you measure up in the following four crucial wellness categories, each of which is essential for you to perform at a high level.

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