Don’t tax your system: Tips for a healthy tax season

If stress is to blame for causing people to overeat and put on weight, then April 15 is definitely responsible for adding unwanted pounds to our collective waistlines. Many people fret over their tax returns and delay filing — and paying Uncle Sam — until the last possible minute. Now that’s

John Sklare, director of emotional support at and a licensed psychologist, has a few simple tips on how to undo some of that stress for those still plowing through their tax-related paperwork under the looming April 15 deadline.

Give thanks

Write down “I am grateful for…” and finish the sentence. Make the list as long as possible and keep adding to it.

Create a plan

Create a list of things about yourself that you would like to improve, pick one and create an action plan to improve it.

Stop mindless emotional eating

Before you put any food in your mouth, ask yourself why you’re about to eat. Are you really hungry, or is it just a bad mood? If it’s a mood thing, find something else to do.

Start breaking bad habits

Create a list of things you do that you know you shouldn’t do — smoking, drinking, overeating, etc. — and create a specific action plan to minimize these activities, or even eliminate them.

Work on working out

Commit to an exercise program and record the physical and mental benefits. It gets easier that way.

Track your daily eating successes through a journal

Who’s in control of your eating — the responsible adult or the spoiled child? Create columns in your journal: “A” for each adult decision “C” for each childish decision. Count up the As and Cs at the end of each week and see who’s winning.

There’s no point denying that tax season is stressful, like so much else about life. But it’s also a good time for a new beginning — new habits, positive changes, healthy regimen. This time next year, when you look back at things other than your income, you might have reason to be happy about the returns!

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