Family unwinding on vacation at the beach.

It’s over … Now what? 5 ways to unwind and recharge after conference season

AccountingWeb, AICPA, Scaling New Heights, and many other accounting conferences are over. QuickBooks® Connect is still a few months away. Can you believe it? We’ve made it to the summer-lull between busy conference seasons.

If you’re like most accountants and bookkeepers, you’re not exactly “slow” right now, but you might be at a lower level of frenzy than other times of year (ahem: tax season or 1099 season).

It’s important to take advantage of times like these when you have them. It’ll be frantically busy again soon, don’t worry!

So, if you’ve got a minute to spare, here are five of my favorite ways to relax and recharge. And if you don’t have a minute to spare, make one! Literally, your health and wellbeing, including your mental health, are extremely important to your long-term success.

So, find a way to take care of you and ensure you’re ready when the next wave of activity starts again.

1. Pamper yourself

When you’re focused on taking care of clients and traveling to conferences, getting a few minutes for yourself can be hard. Now’s the time to treat yourself right.

When I say pamper yourself, I don’t necessarily mean head to your nearest nail salon (although anyone who says they don’t enjoy a good mani/pedi is probably lying). Pampering yourself can be anything from enjoying a relaxing massage to buying that jacket you’ve had your eye on for a while now. You’ve been working hard, and you deserve a reward—whatever that may be to you. Hopefully, it’s something that will have a lasting impact on your well-being.

2. Take a mini-vacation

It’s time to put some physical distance between you and that desk you’ve hunched over for hours. If you can take a weekend, or even just a day off, to get away from your desk and out with friends or family, you’ll feel much more refreshed when you return. To truly realize the benefits, try to unplug for a long weekend.

But, if a mini-vacation really isn’t possible right now, don’t worry! You don’t have to travel out of the state, or even from your hometown, to take some much-needed time away.

A staycation is a great way to relax and experience a new side of your town, without worrying about travel. Just remember, if you take a staycation, it’s important to truly turn off your phone and computer, and unplug!

[shameless plug alert!] If you’re reading this and thinking, “I wish!” but you know you can’t take a day off because your firm would fall apart, consider joining our new Roundtable: From Dream to Team. Angela Main Roberts and Tany Belanger of Main Accounting Services are the hosts of this Roundtable, which is specifically geared for people who are making the jump into hiring a team so that their firm can function while they take a sanity-saving break.

3. Get into nature

Historic heat waves aside, it’s a great time to get outside and experience some fresh air. Not only is nature proven to relax you, but getting back to nature can mean anything you want it to.

From a 10-mile hike to a glass of wine with a lake view (I’m not judging!), there’s no wrong way to get back to nature. All in all, being outside is a great way to unwind from the stress of tax season, conference season, or really any season!

4. Pick up a new hobby

If you happen to like the chaos that comes along with conference season, it’s possible that taking a vacation or spending a day relaxing won’t appeal to you. The relative quiet that follows the end of the conference season isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and if you find yourself twiddling your thumbs in your newfound free time, you might want to find a new hobby.

Reading and board games are just a starting point, but feel free to get creative. Take a look at your local recreation centers and community colleges for classes on everything from jazz dance to underwater basket weaving. Maybe you can even rope a friend, family member, or one of your professional teammates into exploring a hobby with you.

Much like a business, starting up a new hobby with an accountability partner will help you stay on track long enough to reap the rewards of your chosen extracurricular activity. Myself? I just bought a theremin and am taking lessons. Theremins are fascinating musical instruments! Please wish me luck.

5. Spending time with family

If you went straight from working in your practice to traveling for conferences, you probably feel disconnected from your family and friends. If you barely recognize your spouse or kids, it’s time to reconnect with some quality time.

You can use any of my other tips to do this: Hobbies and enjoying nature together are particularly great ways to get your family time in. Hopefully, your family supported you through all the stress and long hours, so take time to remind them how important they are and (just as importantly) take them down on family board games or poker night.

However you do it, make sure you take some “you” time

You work hard all year round. This small lull after taxes and conferences—before things heat up again for the holidays (and more conferences!)—is the time to recoup from it all.

No matter how you choose to spend your time, make sure it’s serving you. Use this time to relax and focus on yourself, so that you can come back ready to serve your clients.

If you’re looking for a proven way to focus on yourself and your firm, check out Roundtable Labs. We’re a supportive community that offers bookkeeping and accounting professionals “collaboration without competition.” You’ll learn that there is a better way to do things, you’re not the only one, and, most importantly, we’ll give you the kick in the pants you need to make sure you’re prioritizing self-care all year round.

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