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Submitting Polls

2 days ago by Loxley_Admin

Submitting Polls

Member created polls are getting more and more popular, and members are frequently asking what it takes to make the polls the most popular. I thought it would be a good idea to run through what we think it takes to make a good poll. Plus, some a little housekeeping to keep your polls from getting removed.

 

The Basics

Its seems obvious to most, but remember to use the correct spelling and punctuation. Polls without capital letters or MAYBE TOO MANY tend to look childish, and are often ignored by the rest of the community. Some people a prone to using spaces incorrectly.

 

For example, instead of:

  • WHat isyour favourite colour ?.

Try:

  • What is your favourite colour?

 

If you’ve made a mistake, just let us know and we can edit it.

 

The Question

Writing a question that grabs people’s attention can be tricky. Too much information and it won’t get read properly. Too simple and people won’t think it’s interesting.

It’s very important to keep the question as neutral as possible. Whilst we don’t want people to hide their opinions, too often we see polls that are worded towards the creators point of view. This becomes more obvious when talking about current events, especially politics.

 

So instead of:

  • Sam Jenkins says we can’t write polls the way we want anymore !!!

Try:

  • Do you agree with the proposed changes to the polls?

 

I know it’s not always easy, especially when it’s an issue you care about, however it’s important to remember that people have different perspectives, otherwise all you’re doing is finding out how many people agree with you.

 

The Answer Options

Answer options should be as short as possible. And there is no need for full stops. For example:

  • Yes
  • No
  • Unsure
  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • Neutral
  • Disagree
  • Strongly disagree

As with the questions, try to keep answer options neutral.

Instead of:

  • Yes! These changes are amazing.
  • No.
  • The changes are pretty good.
  • Don’t know / don’t mind.

Just keep it simple

  • Yes
  • No
  • Unsure

 

Reporting

With the number of polls submitted, we can’t get to every single one. If you see any polls or comments have mistakes - or are offensive or abusive - send us a message with the link/URL and we’ll get to it as soon as we can.

 

Hope you find this helpful. Any questions or issues with anything I’ve said please let us know

Sam Jenkins

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If Not Money, Then What Brings Happiness?

5 days ago by Loxley_Admin

If Not Money, Then What Brings Happiness?

It’s fairly safe to say that many of us have heard, at least in passing, about studies that have been credited with debunking the age-old correlation between money and happiness, however, a difference in opinion seems to continue surrounding how we interpret these results and what they mean for our own lives. We all know, to some degree, how difficult life without money can be, so wouldn’t it make sense that a life with more money brings more happiness?

 

 

 

Yes, it is technically true that money does buy happiness, but only to a point. It appears that once our are basic needs of safety, health (nutrition,) shelter, relative comfort, and our ability to save (without debt,) are met, our happiness levels have an inverse relationship to the money we make.

 

While it may not necessarily be true that being personally wealthy makes us happier, it has been shown that our communities make the notable difference in happiness and life expectancy. Living in a richer country theoretically allows for increased resources, safety, opportunity, and a more positive “morale” for the country as a whole.

 

The places and people we surround ourselves matter when it comes to our happiness. How we spend our money and who we involve in these decisions makes a real difference. So, how do we feel about the people who surround us when it comes to money? When asked what they would do upon winning the lottery, over 50% of our members tell us they would keep the news to themselves. It appears that many of us recognise the potential negative impact money can have upon our relationships, citing reasons such as it is “very much dependent on who the person is…” and “I would tell certain people…” from members nicole80746 and lynneac. Many of us walk a difficult line between caring for ourselves and others when it comes to money. It is important that we find the balance between ensuring that our own needs are met, while also being able to invest in the people and spaces around us, sharing experiences and time with those we love. Money can bring about the great challenge and opportunity of allowing us to reflect on how we are investing in ourselves and others.

 

No matter who we are, where we live, or what kind of lifestyle we lead, how we choose to spend our time and what money we have is what truly matters in terms of our life satisfaction. We can all make everyday decisions that will bring a little more joy and happiness to ourselves and those around us!

 

Check out these 10 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Incredibly Happy!  hint: none of them involve money

  1. Exercise- 7 minutes could be enough! I know, we hear it all the time, but it really does make us happier!
  2. Sleep more- we are much less sensitive to negativity when rested- and our bodies function much better too!
  3. Spending more time with family and friends (buy time!)
  4. Spend more time outdoors!
  5. Helping others- 100 hours per year is the magic number
  6. Practice smiling- reduce pain, increase mood
  7. Plan a trip, even if you don’t take it
  8. Meditate- rewire your brain for happiness (it really works and yes, you can do it!)
  9. Move closer to work: a shorter commute is better
  10. Practice gratitude- even for the smallest things in your day

 

If you are in a financially comfortable lifestyle, how can you make sure your relationship between money and happiness grow positively together?

  1. Focus on buying experiences, rather than things. Satisfaction from experiential purchases only increases with time!
  2. Buy time whenever you can- spend your money to free up time for yourself and the people you love. Time is something we can never get back, no matter how much money we may earn.
  3. Pay now, consume later. Our world is constantly increasing our ability and need for constant gratification. Allowing ourselves to enjoy the wait, to truly appreciate what we are using, has the ability to increase our gratitude and satisfaction overall.
  4. Invest in others! Choose to make a positive impact on someone else’s life. Do your best to figure out what you bring to the table that will truly help someone else. These experiences deeply change us and

 

Let us know how you choose to invest in the comments below, happy sharing!

 

Sam

Anti-Ageing: Are We Really Just Hiding The Beauty?

Regardless of how old you are, it is impossible to escape anti-ageing adverts and products nearly everywhere we look. As we get older, we are continuously told to stay the same, to keep our appearances youthful, and thus, more “lively” and “beautiful.” These messages exist as if to suggest we do not become more beautiful and even more full of life as we experience and are a part of more of it. 

 

 

We tend to think of our younger populations being more concerned about appearance, but we often forget about the space between “young” and “old” in speaking about beauty, yet many products are working to target this exact demographic.

 

For years, marketing campaigns have effectively told us that it is unattractive to show signs of ageing, that we must do all that we can to fight these natural processes of growth past a certain point. Women, in particular, have been made to feel their value lies within their ability to appear young.

 

So, do you dye your grey hairs? Worry over wrinkles? Over 50% of Viewsbankers do not dye their grey hairs and we can see that many are proud of this mark of life lived. Tracey35774 tells us “I love mine, I call them my diamonds as they sparkle amongst my remaining black hairs…”

 

As our opinions and values on “beauty” continue to shift from outer appearance to that of our minds, creativity, expression, knowledge, and the love we bring to those around us, these issues become that of decreasing importance. However, until we all arrive there, many companies and campaigns are focusing on bringing ageing women (and men!) of all stripes back into the visible realm of beauty and vitality. Check out Why Older Women Are the New IT Girl of Fashion!

 

The ways we have interacted with and understood our older population have largely been unsuccessful in the past. When we allow the majority of our ageing adults to feel “invisible” and without capability, we have taken away the very power and privilege that should coincide with a more experienced life. These issues can’t begin to be solved unless we address them. This requires us to listen, pay attention, and bring light to people we have largely ignored.

 

With constant advances being made in research and medical practice, our lifespans are expanding, allowing our population of older adults to grow more rapidly than any other. This is both a gift and unique challenge, one we have yet to fully acknowledge and address as a society. This could be the push we have needed in order to no longer ignore the needs and voices of the wisest and experienced among us.

 

Growing old is a wonderful blessing that is not afforded to many and should be cherished by each and every one of us. We can start to bring back the beauty and reverence in age, rather than doing our best to hide all evidence.

 

If you needed any further convincing, take a look at these 6 Benefits of Getting Older You Probably Never Expected:

  1. We have much clearer priorities
  2. We don’t care as much about what others think
  3. It’s easier to manage our emotions- as our tolerance increases
  4. Literal headaches are fewer and further between
  5. We have a higher sense of self-worth
  6. We can learn from our children and grand-children (if we have them)

 

If you’re looking for inspiration or “Protection, Promotion, Participation,” take a few minutes to check out AGEING WATCH!

 

Let us know your thoughts! Happy sharing (and ageing!)

Sam

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Is Your Fashion Fast or Slow?

1 week ago by Loxley_Admin

Is Your Fashion Fast or Slow?

This Friday, February 17th, will be the beginning of the 2017 London Fashion Week, one of the largest and most intensely watched events in fashion for the year. Will you be paying attention? 

If you’re asking yourself, “what’s the point? you’re not alone. However, in the upcoming days dedicated to fashion, each of us can take a moment or two to reflect on what our own choices and preferences mean in the larger context.

 

 

Whether we consider ourselves to be fashion conscious or not, the clothes we wear and the decisions we make in purchasing them speak volumes. The materials we choose to put on our bodies truly matter. They not only help us represent who we are to the world, but they also have the potential to show how deeply we are invested in what matters to us.

 

The types of clothes we choose to wear, how they are produced, and how often we purchase items of clothing have drastically changed. Over the past few years, we have swung from traditionally handmade to mass-produced and back again with locally produced or recycled clothing

 

What is fast fashion?

The fashion industry is an immense business that has come to depend upon the constantly shifting trends and demands from consumers. To keep costs low and production astronomically high, we have created a trade that is largely between what is fast, cheap, and disposable for clothing and how we treat workers and our environment. We typically make these choices out of convenience and with our budgets in mind.

 

As consumers, it often feels like our clothing choices are between quality and cost, with very little in-between. However, now that we have begun to see the harmful impacts our clothing choices can have, many are finding ways to dress well without spending too much or supporting harmful systems.

 

So, how can we be more ethical in our fashion choices while not crushing our budgets? Here’s a few ways to get started!

1.    Do a little research - look into your favourite brands and find out where their products come from, how they’re made, and how they treat their employees! A little information goes a long way. Take a look at

 

2.    Buy handmade when possible - shopping on the high street, at local shops, in farmers markets, and even on Etsy can be a great way to interact directly with the people making the goods you’re purchasing and wearing!

 

3.    Try second-hand - Either through trading with someone you know or purchasing from the charity shop around the corner, try to have recycling in mind when it comes to your next clothing purchase

 

4.    Simplify your closet - Try to determine what you “want” and what you “need” in your wardrobe and focus on quality over quantity. How many pairs of the same trousers do you really need? It can feel very refreshing to downsize 

 

Whether you will be watching fashion week closely, shopping all of the sales, or celebrating your minimalism, taking the time to be more mindful about what we are putting onto our bodies and into our lives is worthwhile and can help to change our decisions in the future!

 

Let us know about your wardrobe choices!

 

Happy sharing!

 

-Sam

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Are We Eating Sustainably?

2 weeks ago by Loxley_Admin

Are We Eating Sustainably?

Food is one of the most important parts of our lives. Beyond being the fuel for our bodies, the food we eat brings us together, houses our culture, and lets us share with one another. Most of us have quite an intimate relationship with food, so how can we ensure that what we love to eat stays around?

 

 

There have always been crises related to food and shortages, however, these have typically not impacted much of the western world. So what is happening with this veg shortage right now?

 

With our climate now changing on an exponential rate, it is becoming more and more difficult to predict and rely upon traditional farming and agricultural practices. In many regions of the world, growing seasons are being affected by harsh temperatures, new weather patterns, and the adaptations of ecosystems can make it difficult to produce reliable crop yields. Unfortunately, it seems likely that our food systems will be more heavily impacted by these shifts and uncertainties as time goes on, with fresh fruits and veg being the most vulnerable.

 

So, what should we be doing about it? There are plenty of ways to have a real impact in limiting climate change and strengthening the food systems around us is a great and lasting way to start! Each of the decisions we make around of food and where it comes from speaks volumes. Where we invest our time and our money matters. If we begin to invest locally, the systems around us will be stronger and healthier in the future. Here’s a few ways to start-

 

1.    Buying food locally has massive impact, with countless benefits for us, our communities, and for our environment

 

2.    Buying food that is in-season can be quite tricky depending upon where you live, especially for most of us in the UK! If we don’t want to be eating potatoes and cabbage all winter, we must either import fruits and veg from other places or be proactive and preserve food from the summer. Finding ways to get the freshest, most local veg in the winter may be tricky, but not impossible! (Check out The Seasonality Table!)

 

3.    Storing the out-of-season foods: Whether you’re canning, freezing, drying, or preserving, having a stock of fruit and veg around the year can be a cost-effective and healthy way to stay local and stay healthy!

 

4.    Eating less meat and dairy. I know, no one wants to hear that one (aside from veggies,) but meat produces the most pollution out of any food source by and large. If you can’t quit meat completely, consider downsizing to a meatless Monday or a meat-free week! Try these 18 Ways To Eat Less Meat Without Even Trying

 

5.    Growing our own food can seem daunting and inaccessible, but there are so many ways to get involved, learn, experience, and then try your hand at growing your own food! Trust me, it’s magic and you’ll love getting your hands dirty and eating your the food you helped to create.

 

Let us know your thoughts about the foods you love!

 

Happy eating and growing!

 

Sam

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Are We Flying Well?

2 weeks ago by Loxley_Admin

Are We Flying Well?

Now, over 100 years since commercial flying became available, an average of more than 8 million people fly each day. Around 40% of our members tell us they fly once or twice per year and around 30% fly more often. Air travel has become the most common and convenient method of travel for reaching distances otherwise seen as out of reach. It has changed the way we connect with loved ones, do business, and see the world. 
 
 
As we have streamlined this process, flying through the air to other parts of the world is now seen as something quite ordinary and attainable. The potential for good that lies within air transport and travel is monumental. We have massive capabilities at our fingertips that were once only dreams. When we get frustrated with how tedious flights can feel now, it can be helpful to realise how far we’ve come in such a short amount of time. 
 
With so many security measures and regulations on flying now, when thinking about the safety risks, our most immediate thoughts tends to lie within accidents or attacks, particularly within the past 15 years. Many of us overlook our own health risks while flying, however, the seemingly small decisions leading up to and during flight are the most impactful in keeping us safe and healthy. 
 
Many of the risks we face while flying come from being in an enclosed space with other people from around the world with little to no space or air circulation. These can range from the common cold or flu to lice or bedbugs. Poor air conditions in planes coupled with the cramped spaces can easily lead to Deep Vein Thrombosis, not only in elderly passengers, but in young people too. In order to best combat this, remember to keep moving throughout your flight. Take regular breaks to walk around the plane and move your legs whenever you can. 
 
So, what do we actually need to do to stay healthy when flying? It is important to recognize both the physical and mental toll long trips and air travel in particular can have upon our minds and bodies. Here are a few basic tips to stay as healthy as possible!
 
  1. Drink lots of water before, during, and after the flight
  2. Keep your immune system strong in the weeks leading up to your travel 
  3. Keep moving during the flight! Take walks around the plane and move your legs 
  4. Bring healthy foods- fruits and veggies to keep your body strong 
  5. Bring a good book or calming activity like music, knitting, or games
  6. Smile more, it will help you feel happier and possibly make others’ trip better too!
  7. Do your best to relax
 
If you’re a particularly nervous flyer and struggle to relax, take a look at these tips
 
In taking care of our bodies, we must also consider the environmental impact air travel has upon our earth, and in turn, our health. Air travel is one of the largest contributors to our environmental footprint. So, how can we possibly travel more eco-consciously? There are quite a few truly environmentally minded suggestions, including buying carbon offsets. For some of us, these can seem like a big step that may happen in the future. There are quite a few smaller decisions in the flights we do take that can have a real impact. 
 
 
  1. Choose a nonstop flight- reducing the amount of fuel on take-off and landing
  2. Fly on a newer plane- they tend to be the most fuel efficient 
  3. Lower the window shades- reducing the amount of fuel used in cabin temperature
  4. Pack light! 
  5. Compare flight emissions- with Google’s ITA software Matrix 
 
 
Let us know your flight health tips and tricks in the comments below! 
 
 
Happy sharing! 
 
Sam

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Are You Losing Sleep?

3 weeks ago by Loxley_Admin

Are You Losing Sleep?

Congratulations everyone, we’ve made it to February! Some of us may be feeling the strain of mid-winter that is being coupled with a pretty tumultuous political and social climate happening at the moment. These types of stressors can manifest in different ways for everyone, one of which being a change in sleeping patterns, most commonly showing itself as a lack of sleep or difficulty falling asleep.
 
 
According to recent research, our ancestors have slept in much different patterns than we do now, begging the question: is the way we sleep actually good for us? This research suggests that humans used to sleep in two chunks over the course of a 12-hour night, sleeping for a little over 3 hours each session with a 3 to 4 hour period of being awake in between. Researchers theorise that many sleeping problems today stem from our not listening to the natural sleeping patterns of our bodies. 
 
Why do some people have trouble sleeping? We don’t fully know why insomnia impacts some people so harshly while others sleep soundly, even while under similar amounts of stress. One primary cause we can point to is that the minds of those struggling to sleep continue to be active, searching for solutions to issues they are facing or concerned about. When we worry, adrenaline and cortisol (stress hormones) tend to spike, causing us to be more alert than usual.
 
What happens when we don’t get enough sleep? Beginning with the clear physical exhaustion, when we lose sleep, our brains function less and less, our patience runs thin, our anxiety levels spike. In the long-term, our health can suffer dramatically, causing high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, heart failure, and stroke.  
 
So, how much sleep do we need? This largely changes per person. What works for you may not work at all for me, but we can use this list as a general guideline for what people of similar age seem to need. Are you getting enough?
 
  • Older adults - 65+ years: 7-8 hours
  • Adults - 26-64 years: 7-9 hours
  • Young adults - 18-25 years: 7 -9 hours
  • Teenagers - 14-17 years: 8-10 hours
  • School age children - 6-13: 9-11 hours
  • Preschool children - 3-5 years: 10-13 hours
  • Toddlers - 1-2 years: 11-14 hours
  • Infants - 4-11 months: 12-15 hours
  • Newborns - 0-3 months: 14-17 hours
 
So, we know just how vital sleep is and roughly how much we should be getting. How do we fix it if we’re not getting enough? Our members weighed in on what works best for them, with reading a book being the trick over 30% of Viewsbankers use to get to sleep! Many other members suggest listening to music or having a nightly tea or drink, suggesting that following a nightly ritual does the trick. Liz h13 tells us that “a drink of hot chocolate & reading works for me.” These suggestions already seem to follow much of what sleep researchers suggest to ease insomnia.  
 
 
     1.  Make sure your environment is the best place for sleep to happen
Remember to take the time to wind down properly. A clear window between our everyday, productive lives and spaces should be made between where our rejuvenating sleep happens. This allows our brains and our bodies to determine when we should be active and problem solving and when we should be resting and healing. 
 
     2. Don’t force yourself to be in bed 
In line with our dedicated sleep environment, it is important that we use them to do just that- sleep. If we let our bodies and brains adjust to being awake when we should be sleeping in these spaces, it could backfire and tell our brains to be vigilant when we want to be asleep. So, it is suggested that after 15-20 minutes of tossing and turning without any signs of sleep, just get up. Go to a different room, do your best to relax- drink some herbal tea, stretch, read a little, and return when you feel ready. 
 
     3. The devices we use make more of an impact than we think 
Anything with a screen- television, phones, laptops, tablets- change the way our brains work and react. This especially comes into play with our ability to sleep. Even having our phones or laptops in the room with us while we sleep impacts us more than we realise. So, what do they do? For a start, they suppress melatonin, which is necessary in regulating our sleep/awake cycles. The blue light our screens give off tricks our brains into thinking it is time to be awake, thus producing less of the chemical we use for sleep. Second, they keep your brain alert, constantly feeding you information, making it difficult for our bodies and minds to truly relax. Lastly, they wake us up, even when we don’t realise it. The occasional notification while we sleep, which disturbs our sleeping patterns.
 
     4. You might have an actual, diagnosable sleep disorder- and you should check it out! 
Insomnia and Sleep Apnea are two of the most commonly undiagnosed sleep disorders that can dramatically impact the level and quality of sleep you’re getting. If you think you might have either of these, maybe it’s time to see a doctor or sleep specialist! 
 
     5. Your partner might be part of the issue… 
The presence of another person in the time and space your body is doing its best to relax, recharge, and heal can be difficult to say the least. More often than not, we are on different cycles and have different needs. Our bodies may be different temperatures, one of us may sleep talk (or sleep walk!) one of us might need light while the other needs dark- the list can go on and on. If you have small children, the amount of disruption to your sleep can most likely not even begin to be covered here. Do your best to reduce interruptions, as your life and realities allow. 
 
     6. Try a breathing or relaxation exercise! 
No matter what your environment, distractions or habits, there is always the possibility for a quick breathing or relaxation exercise. You can do many of these exactly where you are in whatever time you have available to you and they can mean the difference between a relaxed night’s rest or a stressful night awake. 
 
 
Share your sleep stories and tricks in the comments below! 
 
Happy resting!
 
Sam
 

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Community: Are We Involved?

3 weeks ago by Loxley_Admin

Community: Are We Involved?

Throughout many of the discussions taking place about recent political events and social movements, many of us are feeling left wondering what the immediate impact and actions are. Where do we need to see movement? Where can we become more involved and how? What actually matters and what brings about true change?

 

 

It is important to recognize that each answer will be different for each of us. There is not a “right” way to contribute, nor is there is wrong way. What one of us may deem important may have little to no impact for the next person. We can do our best to share with others what feels like the right and most impactful methods for us, but we must keep our differences and individuality in mind. Building a strong community around us and contributing to a common goal is one of the most effective ways for us to feel true connection to one another and ourselves.

Now, some of us may be thinking along the lines of “I like doing things on my own, does this really matter for me?” While time alone is wonderful and completely necessary for many, if not most of us, it is important to take a look at how and if your needs for support are being met. As humans, we typically require some form of care and support from others, though that widely varies on how this looks for each of us. With Over 50% of Viewsbankers saying they don’t get involved in their communities at all and only 2% counting themselves as very involved, we can see that many of us are finding barriers to being active parts of any community. So, do we actually need community?

 

Aside from the mental, emotional, and spiritual support that we receive from others, a sense of community impacts our health as well. It can reduce chronic pain and blood pressure, helps promote positive behaviour, increases our ability to “be happy,” and can extend your life overall.

So, where do we find it? There are nearly endless types of communities that exist and have the potential to exist. Which ones we fall into or see ourselves being a part of largely depends upon our current and future needs. Whether it be online, extracurricular, family and friends, education, business, or religion, wherever you find yourself contributing to something outside of yourself, working with others, or feeling supported, this is where you have found community.

 

How do we start?

Taking this seemingly large and very important goal as tiny, achievable steps is key. Start small. Look around you- where can you see yourself? Who would you like to know or work with more? What can you see yourself doing? What do you truly enjoy spending your time on? Remember to be patient; communities that are truly supportive and a right fit for you will take time and some flexibility.

 

Community is Everything: How to Build Your Tribe gives us many specific qualities and habits to focus on in building a strong community of support around us

 

      1. Express genuine happiness when you see your people

      2. Let everyone share their stories and participate

      3. Forget the small talk

      4. Give credit as often as you can

      5. Instill confidence- it’s free

      6. Challenge your people to push themselves

      7. Connect people!

For some basic steps, from getting to know your neighbours to finding specific spaces to volunteer, check out How To Get Involved In Your Community or 9 Ways To Get Involved In Your Community Please share your barriers, successes, and experiences with community in the comments below!

Happy sharing,

Sam

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Do Marches Make Movements?

1 month ago by Loxley_Admin

Do Marches Make Movements?

The conversations that are happening around the most recent marches, protests, and rallies are difficult to escape, no matter your involvement, opinion, or location. To begin to understand the purpose and potential future impact of these events, we can dive a little deeper into their purpose and how we feel about them.

 

 

It appears that what used to simply be political has now become intensely personal. Around the world, many of us are feeling pulled into debate and readily choosing sides to sit on, with little constructive interaction in between. How should we react or interact with these overt and collective shows of protest?

 

For many, marches and protests are important because they bring a group of people together under a relatively shared cause. This can serve to increase motivation, strength, and a sense of community. For others, these events can be a means of catharsis, a release of frustration and tension in a way that feels constructive to the cause they are working to remedy or change; they are a show of solidarity and support for those most impacted by the events, and they are a testament to the rights we are afforded and uphold within our society and our governments.

 

In London alone, it has been estimated that well over 100,000 people attended the recent women’s march, surpassing all expectations of support. With so many people involved and actively supporting these causes, does that mean there will be long-term impact? What will change, if anything?

 

Viewsbank members overwhelmingly think there will be no change resulting from these marches, with over 85% saying that nothing would change after these marches. So, what do we think of as “change” and how do we bring it about?

 

Any meaningful change does not occur overnight. So in many ways, you are correct. There will most likely not be life-altering change from these marches within most of our lives, at least not immediately and acutely apparent. The steps taken every day after the marches matter the most.

 

If we look to history, we are reminded of the varying degrees of potential strength and value that lie within social movements and political protest, such as Gandhi’s Salt March or the Protestant Reformation. It can be easy to forget how directly our thoughts, choices, and decisions impact the world around us, particularly when we come together.

 

So, if we care about something, what do we do?

 

None of our work is done, whether you are supportive or disagree with these marches. There is a long way for each of us to go before we can say we are listening to one another or that we are working collectively toward a shared future.

 

Whatever you believe in, we can all become more involved. Finding the causes that we’re most passionate about within our own communities has incredible impact. Start where you are, with what you know. You don’t need to label yourself a “Social Justice Warrior” just yet.

 

Let’s start small. Look within your own community and begin there.

 

1.    Look for local events: keep yourself open to opportunities and try new things!

2.    Volunteer your time: think about what’s important to you, reach out, and ask!

3.    Donate your resources: clothes, food, books, anything you think might be of value to someone else within your community and beyond

4.    Shop locally: seek out local vendors and farmers markets! Get better quality and help to support those working around you

5.    Join a class or group: Build and deepen community around you. Share your talents and interests with other

6.    Organise your own event!

 

Let us know your thoughts and experiences with marches and activism in the comments below!

 

 

Happy sharing!

Sam

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What about Tomorrow?

1 month ago by Loxley_Admin

What about Tomorrow?

As humans, we tend to focus on what the future will bring, what will come next, and how we can best prepare. As a society, we have always made predictions about what our collective future will look like, how our communities will function, and what the next big opportunity will be. Many of these predictions have felt unrealistic and quite dream-like at times, with flying cars and hoverboards, but in today’s world, with so much shift occurring within our society, much is unknown and many have been left feeling weighted when thinking about immediate future.

 

 

Borders are an increasingly relevant and intense topic that has come to feel personal and loaded for many. With our ability to move between the borders we have created with greater ease than ever, the rules of how, when, and why we can do so have struggled to keep up with our realities. Our opinions and experience in whether or not these borders should be less or more important as people move across them more often is increasingly divisive. While we can guess at where people will move, how this will impact our communities, and what our responses should be, we can also look to our history of migration as a whole to see the potential pitfalls and positive outcomes of these movements.

 

The people who live, work, and move within these borders create and shape the spaces that exist in them. Our cities and communities look and act differently depending upon who uses them and what our goals are for the future. Many of the ways we now interact with one another and the world around us involve technology. These technologies have largely impacted how we create and move within the spaces we inhabit, from how we eat to how we date, which means they will be closely intertwined within the ways we evolve and create our future communities.

 

Technology brings with it a universe of questions, advances, changes, and new frontiers to be explored and understood. How will we interact with increasing artificial intelligence? How will this technology help us to protect our planet more effectively? Will we trend towards having more fun in our lives because of technology? Will we be able to live longer, healthier lives?

 

Our futures are shaped by the decisions we make today. Each and every decision has a longer impact than we think. Today, the language that continues to speak the loudest is how we spend our money. The purchases and investments we make on a daily basis speak to how we want our society to look. If you look at your past month, what have you been saying with yours?

 

With constant connection and our ability to access information increasing, the question of how do we feel about all of these changes is an important one to address with one another. Listening to and understanding alternative perspectives is a skill that is of increasingly vital importance in a world shifting as much as ours is. The decisions each of us have the ability to make are much more important than we think. In thinking about our future, we should be able to share and listen to one another without fear and without anger. We should strive to openly discuss our experiences and opinions, with flexibility and growth in mind. 

 

Now, if you’re feeling stressed about the future, remember that you’re not alone, that uncertainty is a vital and healthy part of life. It is the time in which we typically learn the most about ourselves, where we face truths we have avoided, and where we have the potential for immense growth. Stress is natural, but should not be overpowering. Breathe and take a look at these five ways to feel more calm about an uncertain future.

 

1.    Ration your exposure to news and potentially avoid the news altogether. If you feel staying in touch will help you more, try to choose two or three times a day (or week) that you will check in, but make sure you unplug once you are done.

2.    Try seeking advice about the topics that concern you the most. Instead of looking at the situation as a whole, break it down into bite sized portions that impact your life and talk to experts.

3.    Do what makes you feel good- maximise the chances that you’ll be able to think logically and rationally. Try spending at least 10 minutes each day practicing mindful breathing, meditation, yoga, or just outside in nature. Listen to what makes your body and mind feel good and do it more often.

4.    Surround yourself with loved ones. Meet up with friends as often as you can. Try to limit your time speaking about current events- or any of the issues that may prove overwhelming to you.

5.    Lastly, take positive action. Do something that will help someone other than yourself, work for a cause that you believe in. If you’re feeling helpless and overwhelmed about the future, doing something positive for another human being is a concrete way to restore your faith in humanity.

 

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Tell us what you think about the future!

Sam