Tax Season a Lesson in Coping with Stress


EAST STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Stress is something many of us deal with on a daily basis but it’s how you handle it that can make a major difference. That’s why a local hospital is helping get out the word for National Stress Awareness Month. 

You couldn’t pick a better month given that many of us are stressing about the approaching tax filing deadline. An East Stroudsburg man can get especially stressed out this time of year but has learned to handle the stress.

Bill Brennan has been crunching plenty of numbers lately. The certified public accountant from East Stroudsburg has nearly 900 clients who need their taxes filed. “When a person comes in stressful it creates stress for them. It creates stress for me.”

One of his clients is feeling the stress of making sure he beats the IRS filing deadline and doesn’t owe. “I have a lot of deductions and things like that so that’s what, you know, getting it together is the hardest part,” said Ken Anders of East Stroudsburg.

Comparing stress levels, Mr. Anders wouldn’t want to trade places with his CPA. “If you don’t make that deadline, he’s got problems. You know, the government.” Mr. Brennan added, “I have no time. I have no time for anything other than my appointments right now.” 

Patricia Frazier, RN, MSN and Toni Dally,RN,CCRN from Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono decided to make a special house call at Mr. Brennan’s business, College Hill Tax on East Brown Street. If he and his client are stressed, it wasn’t evidenced by their blood pressure. The nurses said both men checked out healthy. 

If you’re feeling the stress, there are simple things you can do. “I would recommend, you know, taking a deep breath, stepping outside, breathing in fresh air,” said Patricia Frazier, RN, MSN with Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono.

When you feel that stress in the moment you need to step away but the real key is to having an outlet. Ms. Frazier said for some that may be exercise but Mr. Brennan has his own secret weapon. He plays the banjo for some stress busting and said, “This is all trying to develop some type of skill that’s completely removed from federal taxes.” Ms. Frazier added, “So he’s using a different part of his brain and that can just take you down, relax, decrease the heart rate, decrease your blood pressure.” 

The Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono nurse also said it’s good to get your body prepared well in advance to handle the stress. That means getting your rest and eating a good diet to go along with exercise and other stress-busting activities.

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