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Celebrating our differences

2 years ago by SamMix

Celebrating our differences

For much of the world, this week has brought quite a lot of conversation surrounding diversity and tolerance. While difficult to watch and participate in, these discussions can be crucial for each of us to have in some way or another, no matter our political ideals, personal experience, or ideas of our future. When we come together to listen and share with one another, we can truly grow.

Why is diversity important?

Our world has changed dramatically, becoming closer and closer as time passes. We are exposed to the multitude of cultures, traditions, history, and realities of people across the world now more than ever before. We can access, learn from, and collaborate with one another, but we can also find the tensions and differences between us as well. Our newfound proximity can be seen as both a risk and an incredible opportunity. How we choose to view and utilise this is up to us.


What can we do right now?


  1. Being honest. In many instances, when we come across uncomfortable conversations, events, or experiences, we tend to shut down and cover up. This can be helpful in certain situations, but often, sharing openly and honestly can be more beneficial in the long-term. We can all strive to be both respectful and honest in our actions and words.  


  1. Listening. There is constant information around us about the experiences and needs of people who are different from us, all we need to do now is to listen.


  1. Asking questions and doing our own research. There are many ways to expose ourselves to people who are different from ourselves on a daily basis. For some of us, this may require changes in habits, but this can be done wherever we are.


  1. Sharing. When we find information that was useful or interesting, we can share this with others who might need the same new perspectives we’ve been exposed to. Being mindful of our method and tone is generally useful to keep in mind here.


  1. Look to our workplaces. In many ways, our businesses mirror what we think and feel about the world and what it needs. Do they need some shaking up?


  1. Looking at our language. We can often get stuck in our habits, particularly with how we speak. Are we doing our best? Are we speaking with respect, intent, and integrity? This can be incredibly difficult, but well worth a tune-up.   


  1. Practicing empathy. No one has the exact same life experiences as we do, so it makes sense that there will be differences in opinion and perspective. This is an area where each of us can work on understanding the feelings, experiences, and thoughts of someone who is unlike us, in one way or another. When we practice empathy, we can widen our understanding of others and the world around us.



This week, we can remember that where we see difference, there will always be similarity, we may just need to dig a little deeper. When we can recognise our shared humanity, we can find shared values and goals. These are necessary aspects of our growth, together.



Have a wonderful week of asking, growing, and exploring.


Happy sharing,


Sam



Photo by Kyle Ellefson on Unsplash

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Boosting our mood this week!

2 years ago by SamMix

Boosting our mood this week!

How we feel can typically change day by day and even minute by minute. Our mood can often impact much more than we realise, so diving a little deeper into why we feel what we feel can be incredibly important from time to time. This week can be the perfect time for all of us to look closer and understand ourselves a little more.

In many ways, we are taught to think of our mood as a reflection of outside circumstance, determined by how well we like our jobs, how our homes feel, or how wealthy we are. While these outside aspects of our lives can have immense impacts upon how we make decisions, what we think about the events in our lives, how our bodies feel, and our behaviour, they are not determining factors for how we feel.


While over 60% of viewsbankers say they feel happy most of the time, nearly 30% of us feel either grumpy or sad more often than not. While moods other than happiness are completely natural and are not to be ignored or done away with, we all want to feel good the majority of the time!


So, what can we do about it this week?


  1. Consider our thoughts carefully. This crucial part of mood is often looked over. That little voice in our head, our thoughts and our self-talk have immense impacts upon how we feel about ourselves, others, and life on the whole. If our thoughts turn negative, it is important to recognise when and why this is happening. Doing our best to build up our positive self-talk can truly change how we feel and act!


  1. Understand our environments. While environment isn’t everything, it can have a large impact. Listening to how we feel when we’re at home, work, or with friends and family can help us to support ourselves and be around positivity more easily.


  1. Take a look at mood and emotion. Understanding the differences between short-term emotions and long-term mood patterns can help us to


  1. Finding the connections to positive and negative emotions. Taking note of when we feel anxious, sad, happy, and relaxed can help us to recognise the triggers and support we find naturally.


  1. Considering our support systems. Looking around ourselves to see who and what makes us feel safe, where we know we will have support, and where we do not can be incredibly important in bringing more joy into our lives.


  1. Eating some mood-boosting food! There are many foods that don’t feel good for our bodies, so why not add in a few that can help make us feel great? Take a look here for a great list!


  1. Making changes! This can be scary, especially if we are already struggling. Taking small steps and being patient is key here.



Want to improve your Monday mood right now? Try these simple steps and see how you feel!


  1. Listen to upbeat music

  2. Get in a good laugh

  3. Walk around the block

  4. Declutter

  5. Give someone a hug

  6. Think about what went well

  7. Allow yourself to vent


These tactics can have immediate effects, making us feel fresh, renewed, and happier! While these can be great lessons in how fluid our mood and emotions can be, we must also realise that our moods can be made up of a multitude of factors. Lasting change will often require patience and our continued commitment. Feeling truly great can take a lot of work, but we all know it is well worth it!



Let us know your thoughts and experiences on shifting your mood in the comments below!



Happy sharing,


-Sam





Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

 

How will the future of driving look?

With new advances in technology and our ever-growing population, we will likely see quite a few changes in our methods of transportation we use over the next few years. Couple this with our environmental concerns, as climate change comes closer to the forefront of our minds. Protecting our environment now means changing the ways in which we use fuel, while also making changes in our habits.

As study after study tells us that we need fewer cars on the road in order to reduce air and water pollution, our solutions must become more innovative and inclusive. Driverless cars could be a potential part of the solution, but we will most likely need to re-think the ways we use cars.


The need for these kinds of potential changes can be both exciting and quite scary. We do not fully know the effects these ideas will have upon our jobs, safety, or livelihoods. The benefits could be immense, but they will require patience and thorough understanding.


What can we start to do now?


  1. Doing our research. We are often frightened by what we don’t understand. So, we can start alleviating our concerns with information!  


  1. Starting conversation. Asking questions, talking about what worries us, and what we would like to see in our future helps each of us to get onto the same page, as well as allowing us to clarify what kind of future is possible.


  1. Start considering changes in our transportation. There are many ways for us to reduce our fuel and make a positive impact on our environment today. To learn more, take a look here!


  1. Sharing our thoughts, ideas and experiences. Great ideas often come from unexpected places! When we share our concerns, hopes, and experiences, we can come together to make something great.


Share your thoughts and great ideas on the future of transportation in the comments below! We can’t wait to hear your voice.


Happy sharing!


-Sam




Photo by Adrián Tormo on Unsplash

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!


-Sam

 

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What gets your morning going?

2 years 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,

 

-Sam



Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

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Moving on Out!

2 years 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!


Sam




Photo by Christian Stahl on Unsplash

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Let’s check in this weekend!

2 years 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!


-Sam






Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

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Let’s talk about health!

2 years 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!


-Sam



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!


-Sam



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!


-Sam



Photo by Phoebe Dill on Unsplash