Tax time is never easy. Even if you’ve filed early and are expecting money back, gathering the year’s earnings and expenditures can be a soul-sucking affair, and the accountants have it worst of all. No matter what happens, everyone deserves a little break, a bit of rest and relaxation, and a reward for officially closing the book on another year in the rat race. Here are 10 tips to decompress and relax for this year’s tax week in the Hamptons and the North Fork.
10. Get a Massage
For those who don’t completely tense up and freak out when a stranger rubs your naked body, a massage can be the perfect way to smooth away that tax-week tension.
Planet Fitness in Hampton Bays is offering free HydroMassages from April 15-19. Each year a “Free HydroMassage experience” is offered at tax time. This soothing experience won’t cost you a dime, it takes just 10 minutes and will help relax and relieve muscle soreness and tension that goes hand-in-hand with digging in to pay your taxes. Check out hydromassage.com/taxday or call for 631-723-3174 for an appointment.
9. Do Some Yoga
Stretching your body to the limit and searching for Nirvana may not be an obvious way to relax, but this age-old practice will take your mind, body and spirit far beyond your earthly troubles at tax time.
Check out a local yoga studio, like Aerial Fitness Hot Yoga in Riverhead, Hamptons Hot Yoga in Bridgehampton or Yoga Shanti in Sag Harbor. Visit Dan’s Papers Best of the Best winners page for more great yoga ideas. It will make you feel great.
8. Raise a Glass
Nothing says “relax” like a few drinks. Forget your tax week woes and bang back some cocktails at your favorite Hamptons hotspot, or drown your sorrows at home alone… if you really want to go that route. The East End has no shortage of killer bars, pubs and restaurants with talented mixologists and everything from small-batch artisanal beers and unique spirits, to dependable staples and old favorites from the top and bottom shelf.
7. Eat Something Delicious
Whether it’s a sizzling steak or a decadent chocolate dessert, good food can tantalize your tastebuds, sate your stomach and help say goodbye to tax week ageda. Obviously, the Hamptons and the North Fork are home to world-class cuisine and wine and some of the finest restaurants in America. Make the best of it!
Hamptons Restaurant Week endes Sunday, April 14, but a discounted meal and luscious libation will certainly ease your pain just as you have tallied up and mailed you IRS returns and payments. Kick back at any of the fabulous locations on the list. Click Here or visit hamptonsrestaurantweek.com.
6. Window Shopping
What could be better than perusing the shops and their beautiful wares on the main streets of Westhampton Beach, Southampton, East Hampton, Sag Harbor, Greenport or Montauk? Better, yet, hit the Tanger Outlets in Riverhead, where the bargains are plentiful and you can shop your worries away. If you’re sick of spending, just browse the many store windows—it’s free!
5. Walk the Dog
There’s a reason hospitals allow therapy dogs to visit patients— during tough times, a little cuddling and unconditional love will bring a smile to most anyone’s face. Take a break this week and go for a stroll with man’s best friend. If you don’t have a four-legged friend, join someone who does, or go out with a well-behaved child instead.
Springs Park in East Hampton is a great place to let off some steam and frustration after writing that big check. And you won’t be alone—lots of other friendly folks let their dogs run free and easy at this beautiful local park. For a more relaxed setting, veg out with your best friend at Cedar Point County Park in East Hampton or, of course, find a dog-friendly beach!
4. Art Therapy
You don’t have to be Picasso or Pollock to try your hand at painting. The creative process can help transport you, and your tax stresses, to another place where it’s just you, the canvas or paper and your instinct. Don’t overthink it, just paint and have fun. You may surprise yourself.
Visit our fabulous local galleries and museums, like the Parrish in Water Mill, for inspiration, and then grab some supplies at Hampton Photo Arts in Bridgehampton, The Golden Eagle in East Hampton or The Morris Studio in Southampton, among other places, to get some supplies.
3. Read a Book
Get away from your computer for a bit and pick up a book. Kindles, iPads and e-readers need not apply. Your eyes need a break from the digital world, your brain needs an escape, and a good, old-fashioned printed-paper book is just what the doctor ordered. Grab that tome you’ve been meaning to tackle, or visit your local bookseller and ask for a suggestion. There’s a reason why places like Books & Books in Westhampton Beach and BookHampton in East Hampton and Southampton remain in business. Nothing beats the real thing.
2. Hit the Beach
No one can deny the mystical power of our beautiful beaches. Stop thinking about money, debt and bureaucracy for a while and enjoy the sand, crashing waves and endless shore views. If it’s been a particularly hard week—if, for example you’re an accountant—dive in! The frigid ocean should spell shocking relief, if only for a minute before the chill really sets in.
1. Spend Time With Your Sweetheart
Take a moment to appreciate the love of your life and enjoy each other’s company for a while. Quality human contact—in all its forms—may just be the best therapy of all. As John Lennon said, “All you need is love…” to make tax burdens feel insignificant. Play a board game, take a walk or spend the day in bed. What could be better?