It’s springtime, BAUCEs! March 20th officially kicked off this season of renewal, rejuvenation, and reflection. Bask in the longer days and warmer weather. Stop to smell the flowers that have finally reappeared after being dormant all winter. Take the time to set your intentions for the next few months. Most importantly, use this time of year to declutter your life physically, mentally, and financially. Embrace the concept of spring cleaning in multiple ways using these easy steps:
Organize Your Space
This is a piece of advice that is relevant to both your professional and personal life. A 2019 Harvard Business Review article highlights the connection between workspace and productivity. The findings suggest that a tidy and organized setting can reduce distractions and allow people to work more efficiently. Do yourself a favour and make sure that your cubicle, desk, studio, and/or home office reflects your ideal environment. This is your reminder to put those presentations from the third quarter of 2018 in the recycling bin. Delete the hundreds of emails containing information that is no longer relevant. Evaluate whether or not you need to keep every old notebook. This exercise is relevant to your home life as well. Look through your closet and donate the clothing that you don’t wear anymore. Sort through those cabinets to see which foods are long past their expiration dates. After you’ve completed some thorough decluttering, you can give your space a deep clean. There are several Black-owned companies such as Pur Home, Good Vibes, and The Hoot that all offer eco-friendly cleaning supplies that will help you tidy up your space as you enter this new season.
Prioritize Your Most Fulfilling Relationships
Use this season to make memories, share words of support, and uplift the most important people in your life. In doing so, you should protect your energy by nurturing the relationships that make you feel empowered and appreciated. According to psychology researcher Robin Dunbar, humans can truly maintain about five close core relationships. Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to how you cultivate and curate interpersonal interactions; however, it is always worthwhile to consider which people you’d like to spend the most time and energy with. Avoid spreading yourself too thin and lean into the communities and groups that will inspire growth and fulfilment.
Streamline Your Budget
In December 2021 Bank of America’s CEO noted that Americans are spending money at elevated levels. It’s okay if the past few months represented a time of indulgence. There’s no harm in treating yourself now and then. But, your wallet will thank you if you spend sustainably. That streaming service that you don’t currently use? Put it on pause and save some money. If you have the time and resources to do so, then you may want to test your culinary skills at home rather than paying to eat out at a restaurant. Whether you use a budget spreadsheet , or an app to help track your purchases; you can do your bank account a favour by spending wisely and intentionally saving.
Integrate Mindfulness Into Your Routine
Take a deep breath, fix your posture, and take a minute to stretch. Calming your mind and honoring your body through meditation and mindfulness is an excellent way to enter the new season. Don’t feel intimidated if mindfulness represents unfamiliar territory to you – BAUCE has your back! Over the years, BAUCE has published articles that describe how to meditate at home, highlight apps that encourage self-care, and suggest ways to minimize stress. This does not need to be a massive undertaking. Challenge yourself to spend 10 minutes a day practicing mindfulness and/or meditation. Over time you may find that it becomes second nature.
Incorporate More Fruits and Veggies into Your Diet
Finally, it is important to look inward during the spring. Winter is the perfect time of year to get under a blanket, sip hot chocolate, and enjoy comfort foods as a way to offset the freezing weather outside. But as the ice thaws, enjoy the fresh foods that thrive during the warmer months. According to the Department of Agriculture, apples, carrots, broccoli, kale, strawberries, and a medley of other delicious options are in season this time of year. So, stop by your local grocery store, farmer’s market, or fruit stand and enjoy the reappearance of your favorite fruits and vegetables.
So, cheers to new beginnings, BAUCEs. Harness the energy of a new season and channel it into your own life. Take the next few weeks to think about how you can be present, passionate, purposeful, and productive during this time of year. You can implement these changes in baby steps, and pursue progress at your own pace. The flowers are blossoming during this time of year, and you will too!