One of the questions we’ve asked for Wellness Month is how busy CPAs find the time and energy for wellness and health during busy season — and how they allocate that precious time. Here are some of the best responses we’ve gotten:
Jason Navon, CPA, Rossen Landscape, Sterling: Intentional breathing is a strategy for resetting your body's reaction to stress. Sometimes we don't even notice the physical reactions of our body to stress (e.g., racing heart, holding our breath, etc.). It's amazing what five minutes of breathing can do to calm your body and keep the challenge in perspective. I'm not yet into meditation — breathing exercises feel more tangible, measurable to me — but I do love this quote: "You should meditate for five minutes daily. If you don't have time for that, then you should meditate for 30 minutes daily." It effectively reiterates that it's easy to neglect/dismiss the things that are most important!
Robin Gordon, CPA, Gordon & Co. CPAs, Falls Church: Mediation and a minimum of one hour of exercise a day whether it be Pilates, walking, running, cycling, weigh lifting, etc. Also take min-bbreaks and do something else for 10 or 15 minutes like surf Facebook, news, or play Internet hearts. The other thing that is important to me is routine and stopping work at least two hours before going to bed. And lots of coffee in the morning…
Abi Joshi, CPA, PricewaterhouseCoopers, McLean: I would prioritize my incoming emails based on urgency. That way, I will have an idea of the time it takes to perform the task. I would plan my calendar a week in advance so that I can focus on any certain projects on a particular day. If a project is due on a certain date, I make sure to complete it at least few days in advance and share with my partner and client. That way, if there are any last-minute changes, we have enough time to make those changes.
Ann Butler, CPA, Hoover & Strong, North Chesterfield: I usually go to the gym six days out of seven. I do various cardio and strength training sessions and classes throughout the week. The variety is great for my body and it keeps it new and exciting so I don’t get bored. If I start my day in the gym, I always seem to have a better day at the office.
Janet Lawson, CPA, independent consultant, Virginia Beach: Breathing, meditation, chunking my workload, exercise, thought management. A realistic and compassionate boss. Encouragement from leadership to be well and engage in wellness activities.
Brandon Pope, CPA, Keiter, Glen Allen: Staying organized is a must. Properly prioritizing projects/deadlines and communicating those to coworkers helps promote efficiency and ensures everyone is on the same page, which can help reduce confusion and consequently, stress. Even though a routine is not always possible, trying to always make time each week to work out and find an outlet for blowing off steam helps reduce stress. Finding time to be with loved ones and enjoy personal time is essential, too. Once a week, I try to ensure a happy hour and dinner with my fiancé which helps manage stress for both of us.
Beth Berk, CPA, Connecting You to Your Next Hire, Bethesda, Md.: When working, I get up from working on the computer, stretch, etc. I tend to eat several small meals/snacks throughout the day. I do tend to eat fairly healthy too which helps with managing stress and I tend to eat a lot of protein and fresh fruits and vegetables, and I try to order healthy when out at restaurants, attending conferences (including special dietary requests), etc. Other techniques include exercising, dancing, watching comedy tv shows and/or shows that I can lose myself in, reading, and talking to friends who I know can help me to de-stress, and at times, cooking, or cleaning my home.