If you haven’t filed your taxes yet for 2016, chances are you’re working diligently to meet that deadline – T-slips in hand. Tax season is undeniably a stressful time for many Canadians, finding time to do your taxes amidst a hectic schedule already poses numerous challenges. That coupled with the fear of facing potentially long and daunting processes, along with the anxiety of being audited does not make this time of year anyone’s favourite, not by a long shot.

That being said, there are ways to make the remainder of tax season more bearable. As you work away preparing your paperwork and gathering your receipts from this past year, remember that taking on stressful situations without the opportunity for relief will only impact negatively on your life and health. As pressing as any deadline can be, you’ll only be able to work to the best of your ability if you’re functioning optimally. If you’re experiencing anxiety, headaches, sleep deprivation, or feelings of isolation, these obstacles will only cause barriers to the work – it will take more time and energy to complete the job because you’re mentally and physically running on empty.

As you work to meet the deadline, ensure you’re allocating time for leisure. While it may be difficult to prioritize over other responsibilities, consider that giving your brain something different to focus on for a couple of hours will re-energize you, and make it easier to complete the work as you’ll be able to look at it with fresh eyes. 

Going axe-throwing for example, either by yourself or in a group, is a great way to step away from the numbers and focus on a target, while enjoying the feeling of your blood pumping. BATL (Backyard Axe Throwing League) has locations across Ontario and in Calgary where you can drop in with friends, or book a specific time to let loose and throw some steel as a group. Visit Batlgrounds.com to learn more about package options and general availability — and also to see which locations are licensed! By the end of a session, your mind will feel cleared, you’ll get a decent night’s sleep, and you’ll be ready to get back to that grind. You may even consider joining a league as it allows you to play three hours each week, training you to make space for hobbies, and consequently enabling you to perform at your best when the pressure is on.

Whether it’s the frustrations of tax season you’re dealing with, or other equally important, high-stress situations, remember you can only give them the energy and attention they deserve when you have it in you to give. It doesn’t help your mental health either when you’re worrying about potential disasters that could occur. Ideally, choose to partake in a bit of physical activity; rock climbing, axe throwing, even just going for a short run is preferable to escaping into a new Netflix show as TV is proven to leave your brain in a limbo state. Considering going for a jog, or dropping in for some axe-throwing to release tension so you can return home to the task better equipped to overcome it.