If you were stressing out about the fact that it's almost April 15th, you can breathe a sigh of relief.  Why?  This year you don't have to mail your taxes until Monday April 18th!

That's great news for those of you who haven't really started filling out your paper or online tax forms.  An extra few days will surely help you, right?  Good.  You can thank the legal holiday known as Emancipation Day, usually commemorated in Washington D.C. on April 16th.  But since it falls on a Saturday, the legal holiday gets moved to the day before taking "precedence over the tax deadline."  That's according to the official website of the Internal Revenue Service.

Now, how can you make the best use of the extra tax prep time?  Here are some tips so you can stop procrastinating and just get your taxes done:

Just start.  I speak from experience, as a lifelong tax procrastinator.  It helps to just do something like clear your desk and pull out your calculator and notepad.   Or start going through one file folder.  You'll feel momentum build and the rest of the tasks will soon follow.

Work in small segments.  Try not to do a cram session.  It might help to spend a little bit of time each night after dinner perhaps.

Eat healthy.  If you need to fuel up, try to avoid the sugar and caffeine filled things that will make you crash.  Fruit and nuts are a better choice.

Take breaks.  Get up and stretch your body if you've been hunched over a desk or table for a while.  If the stress is getting to you, take some slow deep breaths, or try going for a walk or playing with your dog for a few minutes.

Reward yourself.  Something that motivates me is the promise of a reward when I've achieved a goal.  Maybe you can envision yourself enjoying a spa treatment or buying a new purse or gadget?  Keep your eye on the prize and good luck getting your taxes done!

Do you have any tips for keeping the stress level down this week?  Any suggestions for getting taxes done?  Please share in the Comments section.  And if you have any questions, you can visit www.IRS.gov.