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Let’s Celebrate Water Quality Month!

When we look around us, it can be difficult to remember just how connected, resilient, and important the environment around us is. It can be even more difficult to understand how our own presence impacts these intricately connected and dependent systems.

Water is at the center of our lives. It is what over 50% of our bodies are made of, it is what covers more than two thirds of our earth, and it is vital to our health and survival. These bodies of water connect each of us, there is no act in a vacuum. This month, let’s take the time to care for and celebrate the water systems around us.

Nearly everything that we do has an impact upon how clean or how unhealthy our water is. The quality of our water is a direct reflection of how we choose to live as a society. For many of us, we now have the opportunity to make better and more informed choices. This month, let’s take the challenge of treating our water and in turn, ourselves better.

What can we do, right now?

  1. Understand the water around us. For those of us near the Thames, take a look at our water report today.

  1. Getting more information. There is so much out there now about what is good and what is bad for our environment that it can seem overwhelming. These water documentaries can be a good place to start.

  1. Looking in our gardens. Mulching or composting our garden waste and not using pesticides or chemicals in our garden are great ways to reduce harmful runoff into our local streams, rivers, and lakes.

  1. Making changes in our homes. Understanding that whatever we put down a drain goes to our bodies of water is important. Chemicals not found in nature can be incredibly harmful, from cleaning agents, paints, shampoo, soaps, dishwashing liquid, etc. All of these everyday items are harmful to our water, so let’s try using some alternatives this month!


  1. Understanding our transportation. The fuel in our cars and trains often ends up on the hard surfaces that cover much of our cities and towns, which gets brought into the lakes, rivers, streams, and oceans around us. By using alternative and cleaner methods of transportation, we are helping protect our water.

Water is essential to our health in nearly every aspect, both directly and indirectly. It is important we start understanding the impacts of our decisions more thoroughly and making healthier decisions. We can start now, with small or large steps. Every decision matters.

Share your thoughts, experiences, or ideas on how to clean up, protect, and celebrate our water in the comments below!

We can’t wait to share with you.

Happy Water Quality Month!



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What gets your morning going?

1 year ago by SamMix

What gets your morning going?

Globally, we’re drinking more coffee than ever before, as coffee shops become our new “local” community spaces. With well over 70% of Viewsbankers drinking one or more cups of coffee per day, it’s easy to see why!

For many of us, coffee has become more than just the morning pick me up, it has become a way of sharing, connecting, self expression, and culture. Coffee consumption has surpassed and even doubled the amount of tea we drink here in the UK! With all this coffee now a part of our lives, maybe it’s time for each of us to take a step back and understand our coffee consumption more thoroughly.


Is coffee good or bad for us? There have been many studies, articles, and theories on whether or not coffee and caffeine is a healthy aspect of our lives, but many are conflicting and leave us wondering what we should actually believe.


In recent studies, it seems that for the average person of good health, coffee can have quite a few positive effects, but that potential negative side effects should not be ignored. In short, each of us is different. As with nearly everything, we need to judge these benefits and side effects for ourselves and our bodies.


So, what can we do to tell if coffee works for or against us?


  1. Try taking a break. Coffee can be very addictive, with withdrawal symptoms showing if we miss a cup. This can be the sign many of us need to try quitting caffeine, at least for a trial… Check out these great reasons to quit caffeine for some inspiration as well as these helpful tips!


  1. Altering our morning habits. There are many small changes we can make to our morning routine to start our day off on the best foot possible. Take a look here for some inspiration!


  1. Taking note of the effects. Writing down and keeping track of how we feel, what our mood is, and what our bodies felt like throughout the day in correlation with our coffee consumption can help us to better understand its impacts and how we should move forward in the healthiest ways.


  1. Listening to our bodies (and our minds.) Our bodies know when something is good or bad for us, it is merely up to us to listen and respond accordingly. There are many ways for each of us to get better at this, and now is a great opportunity to start!


Let us know your thoughts, habits, and experiences with coffee in the comments below!


Happy sharing,



Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

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Moving on Out!

1 year ago by SamMix

Moving on Out!

What a weekend! We asked what you wanted to know, share, or learn more about and many of you delivered your thoughts. If you didn’t get in on the sharing over the weekend, definitely take the time to share with us this week! One of these thoughts comes to us from Viewsbanker, kazelliec, bringing up the topic of moving out of our cities, towns, or villages. With such a wide array of needs and experiences, where do we even begin?

Summer is one of the most common times of year to be moving house, so now is the perfect chance to dive in and share our thoughts and experiences!

Moving house can be one of the most stressful and incredibly freeing experiences, challenging and exciting us at the same time. We must balance the potentially harmful effects of stress with the great opportunities and experiences that come with a change in location and lifestyle.

So, what are the big things to focus on when we begin to consider moving?

  1. Starting research early. There are so many packing tips, moving guides, reasons why moving is good for us, and support services to look at that we may feel overwhelmed collecting the information that fits our needs best. When we give ourselves time to sit down and do the research, we will be better prepared to fill our needs best.

  1. Setting goals. Starting a check-list is incredibly helpful. What do we want to get done in a certain time frame? Writing it all down will set a pathway that we can follow.

  1. Practicing patience, managing stress. Uprooting and resettling our lives takes time, work, and care. It can be easy to feel frustrated when everything around us is moving a changing. Doing our best to replace annoyance with patience can help the process change from being stressful to a pleasant adventure. Take a look at these 11 tips to cope with the stress of moving to get started.

  1. Giving ourselves time. Moving can be a short process, if we want or need it to be, but it can be much more stress-free if we give ourselves a longer deadline than we think we might need. This allows for diversions from the plan and for a more relaxed process.

  1. Expecting flexibility. This is not a small task. Understanding that there will be hurdles and that things will not always go the way we imagined is important. It is perfectly fine to be upset when this happens, but it cannot derail us.

  1. Appreciating the little things. When moving house, we tend to reevaluate our true needs. When everything around us changes, we often need to advocate, institute, or let go of our usual habits. Re-thinking the ways we live our lives can cause us to appreciate the nuances of our lives and ourselves. Taking time to understand and appreciate these aspects of ourselves can be an important part of our new lifestyle.

Let us know your experiences, plans, or thoughts on moving house! What have your best or worst experiences been? Do you have any tips or tricks you found helpful? What do you want others to know?

Happy sharing!


Photo by Christian Stahl on Unsplash

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Let’s check in this weekend!

1 year ago by SamMix

Let’s check in this weekend!

We can often get so busy with the lovely weather, holidays, and adventures going on over the summer that we need a moment get back to the basics! We want to take this opportunity to check in with the most important piece of what we do, which is you!

You, our members, are crucial to the work happening here at Viewsbank and we want to really make sure we’re celebrating and serving you in the ways that you need. Our community would not be what it is without your thoughts, input, advice, or guidance.

So, this weekend, we want to hear all about what you’re thinking! What do you want to learn more about? Is there anything you want to share more about? Are there any events or topics coming up that you would like highlighted?

We’re always doing our best to support your thoughts and build our community in the most effective ways, so if you have any ideas for changes or needs you would like to share, please do!

There are so many ways to share your ideas, starting with commenting below! You can also pop by our Facebook page and leave a comment or a message or even send us a tweet @views_bank!

However you choose to do so this weekend, just share!

We can’t wait to hear your voice.

Happy sharing!


Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

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Let’s talk about health!

1 year ago by SamMix

Let’s talk about health!

Many of us do not think of our healthcare on a regular basis. It is typically only when we are ill that we truly remember how important the care of our bodies is and how the healthcare system around us can impact the care we receive. However, over the past year, the NHS has been a topic of increasing importance in discussion and debate.

We have become quite polarised on how to go about mending or supporting our healthcare system, but regardless of how we feel about our government or the NHS as a system, we can take a moment to appreciate how vital this structure has been, particularly when we look to other countries’ health outcomes.

When we talk about healthcare systems being “good” or “bad,” we must realise that we are measuring this on both outcomes as well as goals. Our goals and values matter in healthcare. The goals of the NHS have long stood apart from those of other countries, striving to provide quality healthcare to each and every member of our community, full stop. This is a goal to be admired, one that has saved countless lives and provided for numerous medical advances.

Where we go from here does matter and it will require more input, education, and involvement from us as members of the community. We can begin to look at where we are now in order to have a better understanding of what could be possible in the future.

So, what can we do in the present?

  1. Seeing the positives. In nearly every circumstance or system, there are pitfalls to be addressed, but there are also aspects to be celebrated. The NHS is not an exception to this. We can look to the good and build from there.  

  1. Seeing outside of ourselves. Understanding opinions and experiences outside of our own can help us to better understand reality.

  1. Looking more critically at the negatives. Rather than only focusing on the immediate and the personal, we can do our best to expand our understanding of this system and where improvements can be made.

  1. Understand our goals and values. When we clearly set goals, we can better understand where we are going, together.

  1. Talking more. When we have discussions about what we need, what we are concerned about, and what we see for our future, we tend to be more clear about what to do in the here and now.

  1. Supporting in the ways we can. These days, our money and our time seem to be the votes that speak loudest. We can donate both of these to the health centers around us. Volunteering is an incredible way to get involved and can not only support the work being done, but can also impact the lives of others immeasurably.

Healthcare impacts each and every one of us. This is not a topic to be taken lightly, but it is also not a topic that is too big to be discussed. Every voice matters, so share your thoughts today! What do you see for the future of the NHS?

Do you have any experiences or ideas you would like to share? Let us know in the comments below.

Happy sharing!


Photo by Matt Briney on Unsplash

Creating more community this summer

Our communities are always shifting and changing, adapting to our needs and goals. Over the past few years, it seems that many of us feel our online communities expanding, while our physical communities are becoming more isolating. It can leave some of us begging the question, am I the only one who wants a stronger sense of community?

There are many small signals that tell us how we feel within our communities, such as whether or not we are willing to accept packages for our neighbours. With over 90% of Viewsbankers accepting parcels that are not theirs, we can see that many people are still looking to support and interact with the people living around us.

A sense of community support is incredibly important in each of our lives, whether we actively invest in it or not. This summer is the perfect time in our year to shake things up, to reevaluate how we are living and what we want to achieve in our communities. Summertime brings in fresh energy, a shift in habits, and more opportunity to interact with those around us. Now is the time to reenergise and make our communities stronger!

How can we start? There are many ways to build community. Depending upon who we are, what we want, and how our communities are already structured, it will take time to find our niche and to really feel the impact of our actions. Patience is key here, we must realise that every small action matters.

  1. Reaching out. Finding new ways to break down barriers, connect with more people around us openly, and share with others is an incredibly important, and often difficult task. From speaking to strangers at the shops to reaching over the garden fence, making new connections is vital to building up our communities.

  1. Changing habits. Writing letters instead of sending texts, walking with a friend rather than alone, inviting neighbours to the barbeque rather than just old friends. The small changes in our lives can have a massive impact. This summer, let’s start something new and see what happens.

  1. Being vulnerable is okay. For many of us, we have been conditioned to think that reaching out to new people, trying new things, or offering of ourselves is a risk. Because our kindness or friendship might not be accepted or returned, we often do nothing and stick to the safety of what we know.  

  1. Getting more involved. There are so many ways to be a more active participant within our communities in each and every moment, from smiling more, greeting more people on the street, volunteering, regularly shopping at local stores, or even spending more time outside, each of these acts brings us closer to others around us. We must first create the opportunities for ourselves and others, change will follow.

Think local, act personal.” We are building homes of our communities, investing in ourselves and the people around us. These are important endeavors and we must act accordingly. We are all responsible for our communities and how they support us. Now is the time to come together and make the changes we would like to see!

Share your thoughts, tips, and experiences on community in the comments below. We can’t wait to hear your voice.

Happy sharing!


Photo by Mathyas Kurmann on Unsplash

Bringing a little more relaxation into summer

Most of us know the summer season to be a time for vacation, time off work, and more time with friends and family. While in theory, we may think of these things as relaxing, in reality, these shifts in schedule and added pressure to fit in activities and holidays can often add to our stress level rather than reducing it.

There are many ways to reduce stress and to bring in more mindfulness, but many of us do not have the time, patience, or desire to begin meditating every day. So, what can we do to fully enjoy the summer and to actually relax more often than not?

We can start right now, exactly where we are, exactly as we feel.

  1. Slowing down. No matter what we find ourselves doing, there is always room for taking a step back and clearing our heads. Deep breaths in a quiet space can truly shift our entire mindset for the day.

  1. Taking what comes. When we realise that plans rarely ever go exactly as we want, we allow ourselves to appreciate what happens naturally. There may be unexpected events, twists, and turns this summer, and that is all a part of the adventure.

  1. Letting go. The tighter we try to hold onto our ideas of perfection, happiness, or how things should be, the more we set ourselves up for failure. When we work to let go of these concepts, we create more space for

  1. Laughing a little more. If we find ourselves stuck doing something we would rather not do, we can either be upset or we can laugh. How we react to the situations around us makes the difference in how we, and even others, feel. The choice is completely ours.

  1. Sharing with others! Whatever we find that helps us to keep more presence and joy in our summer, no matter the circumstance, weather, event, or surrounding, we can share this knowledge with others. We never know who we might be helping.

Share your thoughts, tips, and experiences for keeping relaxation in your summer in the comments below!

We can’t wait to learn more from you.

Happy sharing!


Photo by Phoebe Dill on Unsplash


Should we be paying more attention to our caring professions?

In our busy world, it can become easy for us to overlook how and when we take the time to truly care for one another. In most of our day to day lives, we are thinking about ourselves, our families, and our friends. For many of us, it has become easy to focus on those immediately surrounding us and forget about the care and support needed from others.

We have reflected these sentiments in our decision-making surrounding key caring professions in our society, leaving nurses, midwives, teachers, and social workers often unsupported and underappreciated.  

So, why are the caring professions so important? Roles that support the development, health, and wellbeing of others are vital to a healthy society and to each and every one of us. While these roles are the building blocks of our communities, they can often be overlooked for this very reason.

This week, quite a few articles were published stating that midwife and nurse numbers are worryingly low, with more people leaving these professions than coming in. While there are quite a few causes to this phenomena, placing blame is often unhelpful and even counterproductive. This shortage will likely impact nearly all of us, in one way or another, so now is the time for us to get involved, consider our experiences, and do our best to support these professions.


What can we do about it?


There are many ways to get involved and make a difference for caring professionals, whether it be through a small act of gratitude, emotional support, or working to change policy, each action we take matters. Merely being mindful of how we and others interact with caring professionals can have a massive impact.

  1. Showing Gratitude. Whenever we receive any form of care or support, it is important we show how much this means to us. When someone else places our well-being at the forefront, there is much room for gratitude.

  1. Listening. While we can all make judgements about what we think is best, those working within these professions know exactly what is needed to make these fields stronger. Now is our chance to listen so that we may begin to move forward in a more informed way.

  1. Providing Support. Whenever we come into contact with someone from a caring profession, providing a space to feel supported, in whatever way they need, is crucial. Merely being mindful of the need for support can change things completely.

  1. Fostering Patience. Systemic issues such as this will not be fixed overnight, so in the meantime, we can practice patience as much as possible.  


  1. Donating. While Nurse’s Day has come and gone this year, we can still get involved and help to support nurses financially by donating to the RCN or to the RCM to support midwives!

  1. Discussing. When we keep talking about these issues, we find alternative ways to approach, think about, and eventually solve them. Let’s keep talking and sharing our thoughts, opinions, and experiences. We never know who this information might help!

Share your thoughts and experience around caring for one another in the comments below!

Happy sharing and happy Friday!


Photo by Ludovic François on Unsplash

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Keeping safe and cool this summer

1 year ago by SamMix

Keeping safe and cool this summer

Now that we’re well into the swing of summer, we can take a moment to look at how we’re doing, where we would like to make changes and where we should give ourselves a pat on the back. No matter where we live, where we travel, or what we’re doing this summer, there can be quite a few risks that come up when the temperature rises. It can be helpful for us to gather information and share tips with one another, especially when we may not always be completely prepared for this much summer heat!

As more heatwaves are expected to pop up until September, we can help each other prepare and even enjoy the changes in weather and habits to come!


So, what should we be doing more of?


  1. Not skipping breakfast. We know that breakfast starts our day off on the right foot, but we sometimes forget that when our bodies are under a little extra pressure (like sun, heat, and sweat,) a little can go a long way. We can best prepare our bodies by starting the day off fueled up and ready to go.


  1. Protecting our skin. Sun cream: store bought vs homemade? There have been quite a few articles rolling around social media this summer about the dangers of store bought sun cream, advising that we should try making our own at home instead. There seem to be many conflicting ideas of what is safest in this instance, so we would say, doing our own research on what works best for each of us, but err on the side of caution. We can always give our skin some added protection by remembering to cover up and take advantage of the shade!


  1. Drinking more water. We can nearly always do with drinking a bit more water throughout the day, but this especially applies when the weather is warmer! Water has incredible health benefits on a normal day, but during the summer, extra water is crucial.


  1. Taking extra care of our furry friends. From fireworks to hot cars or sizzling pavement, our furry friends need some extra attention as well. We can all do our best to make sure they’re safe and comfortable, no matter the situation.


  1. Watch the bugs! Insect bites can have serious side effects and affect our health in a multitude of ways. Being aware of our surroundings and using more natural insect repellants this summer can be a great way to stay safe.


  1. Looking out for one another. This may seem a bit silly, after all, it’s just a little heat, right? But it’s important for us to remember that for those of us who may be more vulnerable, changes in temperature like this can be more dangerous. When this happens, we can all take a bit more time to check in with one another, stranger or close friend.




Share all of your summer tips in the comments below, you never know who might need them!


Happy sharing and happy summering!






Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash


Should we take a social media vacation this summer?

Today is Social Media Day, a time to take a look at how much this new form of world-wide connection has impacted our lives. Whether we actively partake in posting, sharing, or liking, social media is a part of daily life everywhere. Our world is filled with constantly evolving ways to interact with one another, keep in touch, and to stay connected, nearly constantly. Our networks have become larger, but are they really helping us to grow in the ways we want?

This day is a great opportunity for each of us to take a step back and evaluate how we interact with social media and the world at large, including better understanding the people most directly using social media. It is important for us to realise how recent this level of networking and is, leaving many perspectives on social media largely dependent upon generation and age. Many of the tips on how to “take a break” from social media may feel completely irrelevant to those of us who have rarely, if ever, used these forms of communication.  

Today, and throughout this summer, we can all focus on changing up how we interact with the world around us. We can look at how we use social media and see where we would like to make changes. If we find ourselves not using any forms of social media, this could be a great chance to see what all the fuss is about. If we’ve taken a leave of absence for a while, this could be an opportunity to step back in for a bit. Social media has changed the way we learn from one another, allowing us incredible opportunities to share, grow, and experience the world in different perspectives. If we are sticking to the same patterns and habits, we might be shutting ourselves off from potentially great avenues for our development.

So, how can we shake things up this summer?

  1. Take a look at what we are using now. Like nearly everything we do in life, our social media habits can always use some reflection and consideration. Looking at how we have interacted with social media in the past and what we are doing now can help us to more clearly understand what we want our future use to look like.

  1. Try taking breaks this summer! No matter how much social media we use, nearly all of us could use a few reminders here and there to put our screens away. This summer is a great opportunity to make some radical changes and see how they feel!

  1. Where were we before? A great experiment for many of us this summer could be “getting back to basics.” What did we do before the internet? There is no better time to remember.  

  1. Trying something new. Whether that be shutting off all social media, taking a few breaks, or getting involved in an unfamiliar form of social media, we can all do with a little challenge! Pushing ourselves outside of our “norm” is a great way to grow and learn this summer.

Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Happy sharing and happy social media day!


Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash