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It’s Poppy Season

2 years 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!

2 years 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

2 years 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!

2 years 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

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Happy Autumn Equinox!

2 years ago by SamMix

Happy Autumn Equinox!

Today marks the end of summer, moving us into the cooler months of Autumn and winter. While many of us may feel apprehensive to welcome this season, there are many causes to celebrate!

Autumn brings a shift in what challenges us, allowing us the opportunity to be more reflective and more purposeful with our decisions. There is great change, both within us and in our surroundings during this season. If we allow ourselves to notice them, there is great beauty everywhere we look!

 

So, how can we best take advantage of this season?

 

  1. Showing gratitude. Now is the perfect time to reflect upon all of the blessings we have in our lives. Taking a few moments each day to create a list of what we are grateful for can help us to feel happier, more fulfilled, and even stay healthier!

 

  1. Setting our goals and intentions. This season brings space and time to be in our homes, to sit with ourselves, and to reflect upon what we want to see in our lives. Understanding where we want to go helps us to continuously make decisions that support those goals. Let’s take the time to clarity and set them concretely!

 

  1. Letting go. With each changing season, there are habits, thoughts, and ideas that need to change as well. What do we need to let go of this Autumn to make room for the present? Is there anything unhealthy that might be dragging us down?

 

  1. Looking inward. Autumn in the perfect, and often the most difficult, time to do some self-work. We can often find ourselves alone with our thoughts, without the distractions of summer, which can occasionally be overwhelming and uncomfortable. Autumn provides us the opportunities to sit with ourselves and to see where we need to bring extra attention and work.

 

  1. Getting cozy! Now is the time to cuddle up, get close, and pull our friends and family a little tighter. We have the chance to spend a little extra time and become closer to the people in our lives, so let’s take it!

 

Share your Autumnal plans, thoughts, and ideas in the comments below! We can’t wait to hear them!

 

Happy sharing!

 

Sam



Photo by Felix Russell-Saw on Unsplash

What do we think of the new £10 note?

Yesterday, a brand new banknote went into circulation, featuring a new face and a new kind of material. As with any new changes, there are both approvals and arguments against, but what do we think overall?

New research from Consumer Intelligence shows that while disagreements have been made regarding the material, the majority support the additions, with over 51% approval.

 

Arguments against the new polymer material typically come from those concerned about animal fats being used and those who prefer the feel of traditional paper money over the plastic, stating concerns over the practicality of misplacing or sticking plastic money.

 

Over 67% of people side with the polymer, telling us they feel the notes are cleaner and more hygienic and 52% tell us their preference is down to a more modern feel. For many, this new material aims to address more modern needs, proving to be more durable, secure, and even more widely representative of our diverse communities.

 

Jane Austen will be the first woman other than the queen to be featured on our bills after a four-month hiatus, when Winston Churchill was introduced on the new £5 note. Along with a woman being represented, the new notes also include braille writing, allowing people who are visually impaired to discern between notes.

 

It appears that this new note is a step towards modernity, security, and inclusion, but it may be too early to see all sides to its application.

 

Let us know what you think of this new note in the comments below!


 

Happy sharing,

 

Sam

 

 

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Getting back to school

2 years ago by SamMix

Getting back to school

It’s finally that time of year again, with our summer holidays coming to a close and the beginning of school season upon us. Many of us are beginning to feel the Autumn weather coming, reminding us to get back into our routines and bringing in new motivation to focus on ourselves, allowing us to reflect upon the experiences of this summer.

Whether we have children in our lives or not, this time of year can bring a spark of inspiration for setting new educational goals. Each and every one of us can use this month as an opportunity to focus on our personal growth and development. We are all constantly learning, whether we actively recognise it or not, so when we set ourselves goals in our education, we can more readily fulfill our potential.


How can we all ‘go back to school’ this season?


  1. Getting inspired! Being creative, expanding what we think of as “learning,” and


  1. Choosing an area to focus on. Listening to what we are truly passionate about and desire to know a bit more about is the perfect place to start. Where do we wish we were the experts? Or even novices! Do we want to dive deeper into an area we are familiar with or do we want to jump into something completely foreign? Now is the time to leap, to choose where we want to focus our attention.


  1. Making a plan. Bringing our lofty ideas into action can be tough. Setting a schedule for ourselves can prove helpful, even if it is only a month-by-month rough guide, drawing an outline for where we would like to see ourselves helps to hold us accountable.


  1. Surrounding ourselves with motivation. Whether we are learning alone or with others, making sure we are surrounded by supportive environments can be essential in our learning success. Finding a space to get focused can really


  1. Sharing with others. We not only embed our newfound knowledge even deeper when we teach and share with others, but we also learn more about ourselves in the process of sharing. This is how we grow and help others to grow as well. Sharing is a vital part of our learning, together.



As long as we are capable, we can always strive to grow, to better ourselves, and to share the lessons we learn with those around us. There is no better time than this time of year! Share your autumnal education goals, hopes, and experiences in the comments below!


We can’t wait to hear your ideas.


Happy sharing,


Sam







Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

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Let’s Organic Our September!

2 years ago by SamMix

Let’s Organic Our September!

We can’t believe it’s September already! Now that we’re officially into National Organic Month, it’s the perfect time for us to dive a little deeper into where our food comes from. With summer coming to a close and autumn fast approaching, we can begin to prepare for our diets shifting from fresh fruits and veg to more hearty foods in the healthiest ways.

We have been hearing all about it for the past few years, bringing new labels into our shops, but is organic really better? Why is organic so important?


The term “organic” merely means that the food we eat is grown with less man-made chemicals, such as pesticides, fertilisers, growth regulators, livestock feed additives, and GMOs. In short, organic typically means less harm to our bodies and the environment. Organic farming practices have proven to be more sustainable in the long-term and can serve to protect our health, our earth, and even our economy.


The primary reason many of us don’t already shop organically is down to budget. Yes, in many instances, organic foods can cost astronomically more than conventional products, but organic doesn’t need to be expensive. Knowing where to shop and exactly what to shop for can seem daunting, but can end up saving us more money than conventional shopping, while also sticking to our organic goals!




So, how can we be more organic this autumn?


  1. Understanding our shopping priorities. Setting our shopping goals for the season can be helpful in understanding where and how we will spend our money. Whether our goals are to reduce our budget, focus on health, or protect the environment, the foods we choose to purchase typically show us what our goals are and where we can tweak them.


  1. Buying Seasonally. Take a look at this incredible seasonality table for some grocery list support in buying in-season. Produce is much cheaper while in season!


  1. Knowing the “clean fifteen.” This list tells us the foods that are the least pesticide-ridden, and thus, the foods we can most safely purchase non-organically.


  1. Joining a local organic box scheme! While many of these schemes can be expensive, there are more options now than ever. Take a look at Abel & Cole and The Organic Soil Association for some options!


  1. Trying our hand at growing our own. It’s not too late to plant some of our favourite autumn vegetables! Take a look here for some tips and tricks on growing our own autumnal veg. Learning how to grow our own food can be incredibly informative, healing, and cost effective! You don’t even need a garden to grow.


  1. Spreading the word! This month is the perfect time to learn and share more about the importance of organic foods. Be a part of the UK’s biggest campaign dedicated to growing the organic market, which will make healthy foods more accessible than ever!



This month, we can all remember that small changes make a difference. Our decisions and voices matter. Use them today and share your thoughts, experiences, and ideas in the comments below!


Happy sharing,


Sam




Photo by Arnaldo Aldana on Unsplash