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Digging Deep Into This New Year!

11 months ago by SamMix

Digging Deep Into This New Year!

Happy 2018! It seems the constant question around a new year is about our resolutions. What will our new year look like? How will we accomplish it? Will we succeed or fall short? This week is the perfect time to take a step back and look at our year through a lense of reality and optimism!

 

Whether you are a habitual new-year resolution maker, you make new resolutions throughout the year, or you’ve never made any resolutions before, the beginning of a new year is the perfect time to get our hands dirty and reflect upon what it is we want to accomplish and experience throughout this new time.


Our intentions can help to shape our outcomes. How we think about ourselves and our abilities can truly make a difference in what we will do. Having a goal in mind can help us to focus on energy and decisions in the direction we would like to move.


So, how can we start?


  1. Reflecting. We cannot begin to move forward if we do not learn from our past. A new year is full of beginnings, but it is also rife with important endings. There are many, basic ways to begin reflecting. Try asking yourself “what? so what? and now-what?”


  1. Starting fresh. Whatever is holding us back from completely moving into the new year should be allotted some attention, now. Physical baggage or emotional, let’s clear it all out so that we can create some space for what is to come in 2018.


  1. Structuring for success. Whether it being creating a new calendar, changing our schedule around,


  1. Writing it all down. Putting our thoughts into words and putting those words onto physical paper can make them more real and even more tangible.


  1. Thinking big, then getting specific. Starting with our end goals, which could be massive or very achievable, and then tapering down into smaller, stepping stones can help us feel less overwhelmed and more inspired by what we have set our to accomplish!


  1. Paying more attention to what makes us happy. Whatever it might be, even in the little moments, the things that make us happy are well worth listening to. This year, we can begin to center our lives around what brings us joy, more than ever before.


  1. Remembering gratitude. While there is much to look forward to and strive for in this year, it is also important to remember just how far we’ve come. We would not be standing where we are now without each and every misstep, mistake, or hurdle. Remembering to appreciate our journey and ourselves can help to remind us of how strong we truly are.



So, however we feel about creating a new-year resolution, we can all do our best to be more intentional about how we will move forward into this year. We can support others while holding ourselves accountable by sharing our ideas, plans, and any tips or tricks!


Let’s learn to be more ourselves than ever in this year, together. Share your 2018 plans and ambitions in the comments below!


Happy growing,


Sam



Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

Self-care reminders as the weather gets colder

While the astronomical winter season does not technically begin until December 21st, for many of us, this week has brought about the cool reminder that winter is indeed coming in the near future. The end of Autumn is the perfect time for taking a little extra care of ourselves as the weather gets colder and the days feel shorter.

The colder months may be magical for some, many others find the dark, colder weather more of a battle than a blessing. Aside from moving to a warmer climate, there is not much we can change about the weather, however, we can change how we react and feel about this winter.


Everyone has their own winter-survival tips, so here are just a few to get started, spark some inspiration, or add to your arsenal!


  1. Taking advantage of the light. As our daylight seems to disappear a bit more each day, it can be important for us to take advantage when the sun is shining. Whether we look out the window during our morning commute instead of looking at our phone or take a moment during a lunch break, letting a little more light in can help ease the transition.


  1. Trying some morning affirmations. Much like when we start a project, having a goal or an intention in mind from the beginning can help us to focus our day in the direction we choose. For some inspiration, take a look here!


  1. Try some eucalyptus in the bathroom. In addition to adding a little friendly green to the room, this plant can improve air quality, and absorb moisture. Steam from the shower also activates the essential oils in eucalyptus, helping to clear lungs, alleviate pain, reduce stress, and improve mood!


  1. Going on more walks. Walking in cold weather has many mental and physical benefits, from helping sleep patterns, improving energy levels, reducing inflammation, and helping to fight infection.


  1. Ward off the sniffles. There are many habits that help our bodies fight off unwanted germs, so let’s get them started before the coughs begin! Take a look here for some great tips.


  1. Hibernate, when needed. Whether we notice or not, the seasons tend to impact our natural sleeping patterns, so understanding our needs and planning accordingly can have a tremendous impact on how we feel this winter!


  1. Being gentle with ourselves. When motivation might be lacking and all we want is to stay in bed, sometimes it can be much more useful to allow ourselves a little extra time than to force ourselves out. Listening to our needs is often more important than that email or train schedule.


  1. Getting cozy! Creating a space in our homes where we can relax, unwind, keep warm, and do something we enjoy can create something we look forward to while also helping to keep us feeling safe and happy. So, let’s grab some blankets, a tea, and a good book and snuggle in.



Be sure to share your favourite tips, tricks, and traditions for colder weather in the comments below.



Stay cozy and happy sharing!


Sam


Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

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Let’s talk about happiness

1 year ago by SamMix

Let’s talk about happiness

Monday is International Day of Happiness, which is definitely something to celebrate! Even if it requires a little extra thought now and again, we can all think of something that makes us happy and something that brings us joy. This week is the perfect opportunity to look into what sparks happiness for us and think about how to bring even more of it into our lives!

The term “happiness” is something we tend to use a lot, assuming that everyone has some level of happiness and that we all feel the same way about our own happiness. However, if we look a little deeper, what it means to be happy and how important this is, can vary widely from person to person.


When we talk about being happy, we are often thinking about the larger sense of being at peace and thinking positively about our lives at large. We can often mix happiness with joy, thinking these two are the same. While happiness can be a symptom or a sign of joy, the two are not completely the same. Happiness can be fleeting and dependent upon external factors, such as money, people, or material possessions. Joy is an overarching mindset of well-being, without being to be overtly “happy” in each moment. Joy includes all aspects of life, including the negative parts, without losing a sense of satisfaction in life.


Happiness and joy are not merely states of mind. How we feel about our own happiness directly impacts our mental and physical wellbeing. Our health can largely depend upon how content, safe, and joyful we feel in our daily lives.

Happiness is not only a result of how we’re living our lives, but it is also a driving force in motivating us to better ourselves and live the lives we’ve envisioned. There are always spaces for us to improve, to help others as well as ourselves in bringing a little more happiness into our lives.


So, what can we do to cultivate more joy on a day to day basis?


  1. Spending a little more time outside. Even just a few extra minutes outside can make all the difference for our physical body and mental clarity. Just going for a short walk can improve our mood and boost our sense of happiness, quickly and effectively.


  1. Getting some extra sleep. When we sleep, we give our bodies and minds time to recover. Sleep can often widen our capacity for patience as well as helping us to be less reactive to negative emotions. Sleep helps us to be more resilient, which is essential in cultivating joy!


  1. Returning to gratitude. Whenever any negative thoughts or frustrations come to us, remembering what we are grateful for is a perfect way to remind us of how much we have to be happy for in our lives.


  1. Add in some more nutrients. Focusing on our physical health dramatically impacts how we feel about ourselves and our happiness at large. Small changes can make a huge difference.


  1. Listening to ourselves. Whether that means we need to do a little less on a Monday or push ourselves to do a little bit extra, we know what is best for ourselves and what we need in our lives. We can all do a better job of listening to those signals.


  1. Find some furry friends! It has been proven that spending time with and petting animals releases oxytocin (the warm, fuzzy feeling) into our bodies, making us feel happier and more at peace.


  1. Sharing with others. Connecting with friends and family helps us to build a stronger sense of community, attachment, and belonging. Being around those who love and support us is an easy way to feel happiness and share that happiness with others!



What does happiness look like to you? Share your thoughts, experiences, and ideas below!



Happy sharing!


Sam



Photo by Delaney Dawson on Unsplash

Let’s Bring a Little More Kindness

There are many things that can appear to set us apart as individuals, but one thing that has the ability to connect and bring us together is our desire for kindness. As humans, we all want to be shown compassion, understanding, and forms of love. We want to be able to help others where we can and bring positivity to the work we are doing in the world.


Monday is World Kindness Day and we can’t get enough of how wonderful our community can be! Over 50% of people told us they perform some type of kind act each day! Now is the perfect time to bring our attention to how much kindness we bring to ourselves and to others. We can all begin to mark this day by bringing a little more care and understanding into our weekend!

There are many ways to show kindness to ourselves, to those we love, stranger, animals, and even to our environment. How you go about these small (or large) acts of kindness depends upon you! Get creative and spread some warmth wherever you can throughout this coming week!


So, what are some things we can do this week?


  1. Showing gratitude. It can often be easy to forget those who help and support us on a regular basis. Reminding them how much their care and work matters can be a meaningful way of showing kindness.


  1. Random acts. This is the creative (and fun) bit! Finding a few ways that could make someone’s day much brighter, like buying the next person’s coffee, train ticket, or lunch, holding the door open for a few minutes, give the parking space to someone else, the choices are endless! Try making life a little easier for a few people each day and see how it feels.


  1. Show yourself a little extra kindness. When we work from an empty cup, we can’t possibly help others in the most honest or caring way. When we look after ourselves, we allow ourselves the ability to make decisions out of abundance and desire rather than obligation.


  1. Try taking care of a plant. Plants have the incredible ability to bring out the nurturer in each of us, while also cleansing and calming the spaces they are in. When we care for plants, we also care for ourselves.


  1. Going the extra mile. In whatever we are doing, we can choose to do mediocre work or we can choose to shine. Choosing one area that could use a little extra attention and care can help us feel more fulfilled while also achieving a goal!


  1. Eating (and sharing) some nourishing food. Filling your body with food that is nutritious, while also being comforting is a great act of kindness to yourself. Sharing this food with others can be much greater.


  1. Support animal welfare in some way. Whether that’s through donating time or goods to a local animal shelter, eating vegetarian for a day, or just cuddling our own pets a little longer, they will most likely appreciate the effort!


  1. Reaching out to someone who might be struggling. Whether it’s through a text, call, letter, email, or an in-person visit, remembering to show a little extra love to those going through a tough time can make all the difference.




Share your experiences and ideas for showing a little extra kindness this weekend in the comments below! We can’t wait to hear from you!


Happy sharing,


Sam






Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

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It’s Poppy Season

1 year ago by SamMix

It’s Poppy Season

It’s that time of year again, where many of us devote a little time and attention into paying tribute to those who have given their lives within the armed forces. There seems to be more and more debate surrounding whether or not we should wear a poppy for remembrance day and what exactly this symbol means.  

The poppy symbol seems to be of increasing contention, as the opinion that the symbol serves to glorify war and violence has gained some traction, along with the idea of wearing a white poppy to promote peace. This alternative poppy, while promoting peace in theory, has not been without controversy.


These mixed opinions are shown in this year’s poppy appeal. According to Consumer Intelligence research, one in five adults are unlikely to wear a poppy this year, but a third of the population say they will be giving more to support The Royal British Legion appeal.


So, how can we bridge the divide this year?


  1. Listen to alternative opinions. Going a little deeper past hearing only to prepare our argument, active listening allows us time to truly absorb and understand what another person is saying.


  1. Share our experiences. Telling and showing others parts of our past, our history, and what makes us who we are helps us to understand ourselves better while also helping others to understand us.


  1. Fostering a mindset of understanding. When we change our goals from making everyone agree with us to having a better understanding of the people and world around us, opinions and actions become much less hostile.


  1. Appreciating our similarities. Regardless of where we are from, what we think, or even who we are, it can be important to remember how alike we are and how close we are as humans on this earth together.


  1. Not taking opinions personally. This month, we can do our best to take a step back and realise that the actions and words of others rarely, if ever, have anything to do with us in actuality. Most often, they are only reflections of how others are feeling and thinking. When we take things less personally, the world can open up for us.


  1. Showing compassion. We never know what those around us are facing, so we can all do our best to bring as much compassion to our interactions with others. A little truly goes a long way.


Whether you will be wearing a poppy this year or not, there is always an opportunity to show a little extra care and spread a little more understanding for one another. As we can see from The Royal British Legion itself, stating that “There is no right or wrong way to wear a poppy. It is a matter of personal choice whether an individual chooses to wear a poppy and also how they choose to wear it. The best way to wear a poppy is with pride.”


Please share your experiences, thoughts, and ideas on wearing a poppy in the comments below.


Happy sharing,


Sam







Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

 

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Getting in the Halloween Spirit!

1 year ago by SamMix

Getting in the Halloween Spirit!

Halloween isn’t just for children and the adults who absolutely love fancy dress. There are quite a few themes surrounding the holiday that each of us can use to brighten up our everyday lives!


While modern-day Halloween can feel a bit like a recently imported American tradition, in actuality, Halloween has been celebrated here in the UK for thousands of years, originating with Celtic and pagan traditions.

Dressing up, trick-or-treating, and carving pumpkins are all traditions rooted in the concept of warding off evil spirits and protecting those we love from the devil, starting with the Celtic Samhain festival bringing us guising (dressing up in costume) and carving turnips to keep fairies out of the home.


Like many ancient traditions, there are quite a few concepts within Halloween that we find silly and outdated today, but there are also overarching themes and ideas we can carry with us and uphold in many other ways.


So, how can we all honour the Halloween spirit?


  1. Protect and support our bodies. Now is the time of year when most of us start to become ill, (if we’re not already!) We can protect ourselves with a little sleep, fruits and veg, and a few more supplements! If you need some extra tips, take a look here.


  1. Changing-up our appearance! Whether it be an elaborate costume, a different outfit than normal, or a new hairstyle, let’s try to change something about the way we look this weekend and see how we feel!


  1. A little more rooted: From pumpkin picking, carving, or eating, let’s get in the festive spirit and get our hands on some root vegetables!


  1. Celebrating those we have lost. Aspects of traditional Halloween show us how to get more in touch with the concepts of life and death, and how to celebrate the lives of those we have lost. This time could be a great opportunity to grieve a little further or to just remember the people that have been in our lives.  


  1. Uncovering our own shadows. Each of us have parts of our personality that we do not like to share with others or even ourselves. This season is an excellent (and often uncomfortable) time to dig deeper into our “uglier” sides. Where do we need a little extra love and healing? We have to open up in order to find out!


  1. What are we so afraid of? Halloween is all about confronting our fears, seeing what truly scares us, and being able to move past it. This week is a great time to look at what we have been too scared of and finding ways rise above.


  1. Getting a little silly. There are some heavy themes tied into Halloween, but let’s remember to weave some laughter and silliness into the spooky darkness as well! We can all grab some extra treats and make ourselves (and others) laugh during this holiday!


If you’re not looking to ward off evil spirits, but still want to mark the day in some way, take a look here for some ideas!


Be sure to share your Halloween memories, plans, and thoughts in the comments below! Will you be dressing up, partying, or laying low this spooky season?


Happy scaring!


Sam



Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

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The Future and Charities

1 year ago by SamMix

The Future and Charities

As our world changes and technology advances, we can often overlook many of the spin-off effects of our newfound efficiency. One of these effects is the switch to contactless cards impacting the amount of money charities receive.

 

Recent Consumer Intelligence Research tells us that two out of five people say they have reduced the amount donated to charities simply because they no longer carry as much cash. While this may seem like a small impact to us, the potential loss for charities is large. According to the Charities Aid Foundation, cash continues to be vital to charities, with over 55% of donations being made in the form of notes and coins.

 

 

Charity is very important to us here at Viewsbank. We regularly ask questions about thoughts and habits surrounding charity and what we find is that the majority of us truly value the charities that support our communities.

 

With 30.5% of people saying they have benefited from charity in some way, nearly 80% of people saying that they support charities in some way, be it their time, money, or other resources, and over 50% of people having volunteered for a charity and telling us they would do it again, we know our community to be a caring one.

 

So, how can we support charities?  

 

  1. Learn more about the organisations in our communities. A simple search with Local Giving or The Charity Register can be a great place to start!  

 

  1. Find out what is needed. It may seem simple, but calling, emailing, or visiting an organisation to ask what they need most can make all the difference in getting them what they need, when they need it.

 

  1. Start with what matters to you. There are all kinds of organisations that are doing great work helping all kinds of people within many areas. Finding causes that are closer to our hearts is usually a great place to start getting involved.

 

  1. Give time. Our time and effort are invaluable resources that exchange more than money ever could. Volunteering is great not only for the organisation, but for us as well.

 

  1. Giving, of…  ourselves. There are many ways to donate parts of ourselves, even physically. From donating blood to registering as an organ donor, we could be saving countless lives.

 

  1. Get more involved with what you’re already doing, like Viewsbank! When you win contests like our monthly prize draw, you have the option to donate the winnings to charity!

 

  1. Give our unique skills. Whether it be cooking, writing, singing, running, or anything else you may have a talent for, there is a way to donate these skills for the benefit of others!

 

  1. Spread the word. Sharing the work charities do is a great way to bring more attention and resources to their work.

 

  1. Donate, in whatever way you can. We traditionally think donating should be in the form of money, but more often than not, there is a great need for other resources, that nearly all of us can provide!

 

  1. Learning how to give differently! As Ruth Conner from Consumer Intelligence mentioned this week on BBC Radio Solent, charities are making it easier for us to donate at tills with programs like rounding up your bill to support a charity. Being more aware of the newer opportunities to give back can be incredibly eye-opening.


 

So, how do you think we can combat the drop in funds due to contactless cards? Share your thoughts and ideas, as well as your experiences with charities and volunteering in the comments below!

 

We can’t wait to hear from you!

 

Happy sharing,

 

Sam

 

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It’s Friday the 13th!

1 year ago by SamMix

It’s Friday the 13th!

To double up on all things spooky this month, we have fallen directly into Friday the 13th right in the middle of October. This weekend is the perfect time to kick off early Halloween-related celebrations, discussions, and questions!


Friday the 13th is one of the classic examples of a culturally-ingrained superstition without a clear history. Many of us tend to think of the day as “unlucky,” without much, if any, reasoning or background behind the sentiment.

So, why do we believe in a superstition we can’t fully explain?

Whether we wholeheartedly and actively believe in superstitions or not, many of us partake without knowing it! Once they are within our culture, we tend to uphold these superstitions together, feeling that if we do not at least acknowledge them, we are tempting fate.


Superstitions take many forms, carrying across nearly all cultures and providing an array of different reasoning for taking part. Superstitions tend to give us a stake in an often seemingly chaotic and uncontrollable world. When we know the rules, we feel safer. Superstitions tend to explain why bad things happen and tell us how to avoid them. Knocking on wood may not have a direct impact upon un-doing something negative we’ve said, but it sure makes some of us feel better!


According to recent research, believer or not, we overwhelmingly believe in the thought behind the words that we say. Most of us feel that, in one way or another, what we say matters, so putting positive sentiments into the world helps to bring about positivity (and we tend to think the opposite is true as well!)


Whether you’ll be playing it safe this Friday the 13th or doing your best to ignore the superstition completely, we can all bring a bit more positivity into the “unluckiest day” of the year!


  1. If you’re in the market for a new furry friend, consider adopting black cat! Black cats tend to stay in shelters the longest, finding it the most difficult to be adopted.


  1. Commit to 13 random acts of kindness! Spread a little joy today by paying for someone’s train or bus fare, buying someone a tea, holding the door open, giving a stranger a compliment, donating to a charity, giving someone a hug, or smiling at a stranger!


  1. Declutter and donate 13 items you rarely use. Spread the love and clear out unwanted clutter in your home!


  1. Tell someone in your life 13 reasons why you love them.


  1. Get into the spooky spirit with some Halloween-inspired activities this weekend! Carve some pumpkins, make caramel apples, tell ghost stories, get a few costume ideas ready, and maybe even watch a scary movie or two!  


Share your Friday the 13th, superstition, and Halloween thoughts in the comments below! We can’t wait to hear all about them.



Happy sharing and happy celebrating!


Sam





Photo by Nathan Riley on Unsplash

This month, let’s take a look at our mental health

In our busy lives, it can be easy to overlook our own mental health, but even easier is to overlook the wellbeing of those around us. The coming week brings us World Mental Health Day, on October 10th, which is the perfect opportunity to raise our awareness to the importance of comprehensive support.

 

As the seasons change and the weather gets colder, the topic of mental health can become increasingly important for many of us, but it can begin to feel even more relevant when we look back at the political, environmental, and social turmoil that have been present over the past few months.

 

 

While there are many aspects of life that relate to our mental health, the focus for this year’s Mental Health Day is workplace wellbeing. For many of us, a great deal of our time and energy are spent within some form of work environment. Shining a spotlight onto this topic allows us to appreciate how important it is that we consider our mental health in many different ways, including the communities we inhabit.


So, what can we do for our mental health today?


  1. Remembering to breathe: It is truly incredible how much something as simple as our breath impacts our mood. Learning how to practice mindful breaths can help to bring moments of calm into potentially difficult moments.


  1. Focusing on our bodies: Remembering to be kind and to take care of ourselves by choose nourishing foods and taking part in the kinds of physical activities we enjoy can make a great impact upon our wellbeing.


  1. Setting aside the time for ourselves: Scheduling in an hour or two each week to solely take care of ourselves allows us the time for reflection and rejuvenation. This can set us up to be more focused and effective in the work that follows.


  1. Showing support and getting involved: While not all of us struggle with maintaining a balance of mental health care, it is more than likely that someone around us is struggling. Showing that self-care and mental health are important opens the opportunity to be a support structure for those who may need it.


  1. Evaluating and coping with stress: whether we like it or not, some degree of stress is a natural part of life. Learning how to better cope with stress when it arises is a vital key to our mental health and resilience.


  1. Taking a look at our support systems: Being able to share and rely upon others, in many capacities, can make the difference in feeling safe or fearful.


  1. Showing appreciation: Telling the people who support us how much they matter reinforces their importance and


  1. Utilising resources: There are many tools to take advantage of this month in order to bolster our mental health awareness and self-care practices. Start by taking a look here and be sure to share what works best for you with others!



Will you be making any changes this month?


Be sure to share your thoughts, practices, and mental health resources in the comments below!



Happy sharing!


Sam




Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

 

What do we think about the future of fuel?

With the recently announced plan to stop the sale of petrol and diesel cars by the 2040, there has been much talk on what the future holds, from car owners, public transport users, and those of us somewhere in the middle.

 

According to recent Consumer Intelligence research, half of consumers are considering electric cars in their next car purchase, and it is becoming clear that a great deal will need to grow and adapt in order for our systems to functionally support these changes.


Many feel that these changes will likely have wider impacts beyond our transportation decisions, stirring up worries alongside constructive conversation, and allowing us to re-evaluate our current choices. Now is the time for us to begin putting more thought into the kind of society we want to live in for the future and how we can go about building it.


Many of these ideas will take time to see real impact, while others will have immediate impact. Our transportation systems are not currently able to support a switch to electric cars, and while many of us may want to participate in this proposed switch, the current realities of eco-friendly cars seem to leave many of us out of the conversation. From pricing to travel distance, many electric cars just don’t measure up for what some of us need from a vehicle.


So, what could be done? Consumer Intelligence research showed that when we are given a helping hand into cleaner energy, such as a government scrappage scheme or government grants for purchasing electric cars, people report they are much more likely to change from petrol to electric. The hope is that as more people begin using these types of vehicles, the more readily our facilities and intricate support structures will begin to change as well.


There are endless possibilities for how the future of travel will look and feel, with immense opportunity for impactful change. We must remember that these conversations will need to include a vast array of backgrounds and experiences, particularly from those of us who are concerned about being shut out by the practicalities of changing fuel sources. So, share your thoughts and have your voice heard today!


Comment with your worries, celebration, apprehension, and excitement in the comments below!


We can’t wait to hear your ideas.



Happy sharing!


Sam



Photo by Mahkeo on Unsplash