Blog | Viewsbank

Blog

This weekend, don’t forget about Father’s Day!

Families are different shapes and sizes, so whether we have a direct father figure or not, it is very likely we all have some sort of male role model or figure in our lives. This weekend, we have the opportunity to celebrate these figures in our lives, the parts they have played in shaping us, and all that they have done, for us and for others.

The world of fathering has been shifting over generations, acutely changing within the past few years. We have brought more flexibility to what we consider a father, what roles fathers play, and how active they are in our families and communities. We have been creating room for people to act in the ways that fit them most and contribute in the deepest ways to the lives of others. We have been shifting for the better, according to many studies on fatherhood and families.

 

While current and future generations are being raised with different ideas of what being a father means, many of us need to look back. Forgiveness is often an important part of celebrating our parents. Many of us might feel the need to forgive our fathers, in particular. As a society, we have traditionally placed a heavy burden onto fathers with little room for straying from the expected breadwinning, manly, figurehead we had been told to expect. These expectations have had ripple effects upon entire generations of fathers, children, and mothers that go far beyond the immediate relationships. In many ways, we are taking steps to change these effects, as we see more discussion and more wiggle room and more acceptance of difference.

 

The involvement of father figures, in all of their forms, are incredibly important to the outcomes of children, families, and communities. We can all do our best to celebrate the great things these figures have done and will do in our lives, while making room for different types of fathering.

 

So, let’s celebrate! The fathers and father-figures in our lives deserve to be acknowledged, for all that they were, all that they could be, and all that they are. Let’s take this weekend as a challenge to get to know them more, understand their world, and to appreciate all they have done for us.

 

  1. Eliminate the pressure. There is no perfect day or perfect way to celebrate a human. We can make the celebration as close to what they might want as possible, but taking the pressure to have a perfect Father’s Day and to be a perfect dad can feel incredibly helpful for the whole family.

 

  1. Spend time together! We often get distracted in all of the little things that need to be done that we forget the purpose of days like this. Being mindful of how we’re spending our time this weekend can help bring us back to celebrating the people in our lives.

 

  1. Bring on the praise. Being a parent is one of the most difficult jobs, one in which you often feel like nothing you do is enough. Sharing appreciation is one of the most impactful ways to celebrate a parent on their day.

 

  1. Share. The memories, appreciation, and the moments that stick with us are what matter. Telling our stories helps us to bring us closer, to see one another’s perspectives, and to remember all that we love about each other.

 

 

Most of all, make the time and space for gratitude this Father’s Day. There are so many wonderful fathers and father-figures in our lives and we should take some time to remember, praise, and celebrate all that they do on this day.

 

Share your stories, thoughts, or plans for this Father’s Day in the comments below!

 

 

Happy sharing and celebrating,

 

Sam

 

Can We Create a Bit More Stability?

In light of recent political outcomes, for many it feels like the typically solidified parts of our society are very much up in the air at the moment. With incredibly important decisions to be made that will swiftly impact the majority of our lives in one way or another, we find ourselves hanging in the delicate balance of who supports who. Our opinions on how we would like our communities, country, and future to look all appear to be conflicting without much ease in sight.

 

With the world feeling somewhat crazier than usual right now, I’m sure that many of us could use a few extra suggestions on how to feel a little safer, bringing a bit more security and stability into our daily lives.

 

Knowingly or not, many of us place some form of trust in the stability of our governing bodies. We typically have some level of faith that our communities will act relatively logically and that those entrusted with overseeing the decisions made for our country will make balanced and reasonable decisions. When it appears that there may be cracks within this trust, it can become easy for anxiety to rise, both personally and collectively.

 

This kind of overarching anxiety can cause us to feel a lack of safety or security. We can see this in the kinds of questions we are asking and the types of solutions we are proposing. When asked if people feel that more police on the streets will help stop acts of violence, only around 12% said yes. It is becoming apparent that we do not have immediate answers to the gaps in safety many of us might be feeling.

So what can we be doing right now?

 

We typically think of safety as the circumstances physically surrounding us, however, a true sense of safety is much larger and much more complex than merely where we are and how well our alarm systems work. Our sense of security starts and ends with us. What happens around us has the ability to impact this greatly, but the ultimate power lies with each of us. We have the capability to determine how safe we feel.   

 

Deepening trust and support in our communities

 

  1. Look at our self-talk. The stories we tell ourselves matter. How often are we thinking negatively or fear-based? Can we change this to thinking more neutrally or even thinking that we are safe and protected?

 

  1. Work with uncertainty, not against it. “If we resist what is uncertain, our uncertainty grows, but if we accept it, letting go of our need to control what we can’t, we let go of the worry.

 

  1. Being more present. When we take a moment to think about what exactly it is we might be afraid of or feeling less secure about, we can understand it and move forward. Are we putting fear into what is happening in this moment or into hypothetical situations? Susan L. Smalley tells us us that “If you can remember the present moment, you can be less subject to anxiety.”

 

  1. Being honest with ourselves and others. When we accept honesty about fear within ourselves, we can also accept this honesty from others. It is okay for us to feel scared and to have horrible and unreasonable thoughts. When we are honest, we can recognise what stops us from moving away from the fear.

 

  1. Take time for reflection. Each of us needs time for reflection, regardless of how we are feeling. It is important that we allow ourselves the space and time to look back and dive deeper into our thoughts, actions, and feelings. When we observe and listen to ourselves, we can understand what we need more effectively.

 

 

When we strengthen our sense of safety within ourselves, we also work to create a sense of outer security outside of ourselves. When we feel strong, we can then look to strengthening our communities. Fear and safety oftentimes work in ripple effects. We get to choose which to work with and which to send out into the world.

 

Let us know your experiences, thoughts, and tips in the comments below!

 

Happy sharing!

 

Sam

 

 

user picture
After The Election

1 year ago by SamMix

After The Election

Well, it is safe to say the political climate this year has been intense, not just at home, but around the world. With this election coming to a close, regardless of how we feel about the results, this weekend is probably a good time to pause, take a step back, and to gather our thoughts on how to move forward, together.

Regardless of actual outcome, people are going to disagree. We hear over and over again that we are largely divided. It is obvious in the ways we’re speaking, what we’re seeing and hearing in our newsfeeds, and in how we’re voting. It seems that there are two opposing narratives being told, but if we look much closer, we can see that we’re all a part of the same story.

 

If you’re feeling particularly disappointed, frustrated, or disempowered today with the results, remember that no matter the result, your involvement, vote, and voice still matter. If you’re celebrating today, remember that there is still a great amount of work to be done. This is not to be taken lightly. When people feel unheard and uncared for, we further the distance between us.

 

When we feel frustrated with those who disagree with us, we must remember that the more variety, and complexity, and number of ideas and interactions between people, the greater our opportunity to learn, to better ourselves, and to grow. This is how we move forward, together. We can’t feel afraid to share, but we must also remember to listen.

Sprinkle in some community and self-care this weekend with these tips

 

  1. Take a walk. Get out around your neighbourhood as well as in a community or area different from your own. Feel comfortable in remembering where you live, but also in your ability to branch out.

 

  1. Take some deep breaths. Whether from relief or frustration, take the breaths. Take a step back, do the best you can to relax.

 

  1. Focus on the good. Try writing a list of every good thing, person, event, place, or feeling in your life.

 

  1. Get outside! Take in some fresh air, re-connect to your favourite kind of nature. Remember that life is much bigger than what is happening in our lives at this moment.

 

  1. Focus on building bridges. This does not often happen in the large political events. Deep, lasting bridge building happens in the small moments between neighbours, strangers, friends, and acquaintances. Each of us has a part to play in how our future looks, so we can start getting more involved.

 

  1. Listen more than you speak. This time-tested saying holds true in these situations. The amount of potential growth that lies in paying attention to and listening to others is immeasurable.

 

  1. Take action. Each of us has a responsibility to reach out and to educate ourselves, even when it feels uncomfortable. We are all a part of a larger community and we all have a responsibility to become more involved.

 

 

Let us know your thoughts and reactions on this election in the comments below.

 

Happy sharing!

 

Sam

 

user picture
Coming Together

1 year ago by SamMix

Coming Together

In the hours and days after a traumatic event happens, either within our own communities or far away, we often come across a number of reactions, feelings, and thoughts. It can be difficult to fully process what is happening around us and equally difficult to determine where we go from here.

These kinds of events seem to be less and less unusual, but our natural reactions to them are generally not less difficult. Many of us will struggle with feelings of anger and helplessness, looking for solutions and ways to feel a little more safe and in control. In these moments, we have the opportunity to choose which path we will take, together.

We can often become caught up in fear, not being able to move past the immediate and obvious negativity of what is happening around us. This is okay, for a time. It is okay for us to feel angry when painful, harmful, and tragic events like these happen. It is when we do not allow ourselves to see outside of these feelings that we can become a part of the larger problem.  

 

When we become so fixated on anger and pain that we do not see the good, kind, and hopeful moments happening at the same time, we can easily harm ourselves and others. It is crucial that we remember in difficult times how resilient we are as individuals and as communities. We are so much stronger than we think and our capacity to come together is what shines through.

 

So, what can we do to care for ourselves and others in the coming days, weeks, and months?

 

  1. Allow whatever comes. Allowing ourselves and others to feel and act exactly as they are, without judgement is important. Whatever comes naturally to us is perfectly alright, whether that is silence, talking, crying, laughing, or anything in between.

 

  1. Find a group. Support groups can be an incredible resource for many of us feeling a need for some extra care and support through a shared community. We can also create our own groups with the people around and even with those far away!

 

  1. Reach out to those we love. Checking in, talking to, and getting together with the people we love can help us immeasurably in times of stress.

 

  1. Deepening patience. In times like these, patience can feel difficult and even painful, but we often need much more of it. Knee-jerk reactions typically serve to make problems much greater. No matter how difficult, taking a step back and seeing the full picture before acting is rarely regretted.

 

  1. Opening up, not shutting down. Being vulnerable with one another, being honest about how we’re feeling, trusting one another, and helping to support one another is crucial in these moments. When we put up walls as a means of protection, we only further ourselves from genuine connection and healing.

 

  1. Share. Sharing our stories, our fears, and what brings us comfort, helps us and others to heal together. Recognising that others may not be ready to share as readily as we are is equally important. When we feel ready, share. Our insights and experiences might truly help those around us.

 

  1. Make time for what feels good. When we give ourselves the space to do the little things that bring us calm, joy, and even a sense of peace, we are allowing ourselves to heal. The list of what we can do is personal to what makes us feel good, but here are a few good places to start.

 

 

In times of tragedy, we have a great opportunity to create a stronger community and our actions in the coming days and months show how deeply we are able to connect, reach out, and support one another. We can choose anger or we can choose resilience. It is up to us.

 

We welcome your experiences, thoughts, and tips in the comments below.

 

 

Happy sharing,

 

 

Sam

 

user picture
We’re all Talking Politics

1 year ago by SamMix

We’re all Talking Politics

It seems that 2017 has been nothing but a constant stream of heavily heated political opinions, discussions, fears, and strongly held beliefs. In less than a week, on June 8th, there will be a General Election here in the UK, one that seems to weigh heavily on most of our minds and is present in many of our discussions as of late.

Is it “good” that we’re talking about politics so much?

 

On one hand, yes! It is great that so many people are becoming involved and interested in this aspect of our society that has typically been seen as the stuffy, predictable, and boring body that maintains the status quo. If we look around, many of us can clearly see that people who were otherwise uninterested are now getting informed and becoming a part of the process. This is a very important piece of how our society functions and whether we all agree on the partiulars or not, it is a wonderful thing that more people are beginning to care and are taking action.

 

While more people are getting involved, it is important to remind ourselves that burnout is very real. When we are continuously surrounded by these types of discussions, we can easily frustrate, overexert, and exhaust ourselves as well as others. In a time where our worlds can be easily accessible and our thoughts are regularly shared instantly, we need to be a bit more careful with how we interact with one another. No matter how passionate or involved, it is important to be able to take a step back and realise when we (and others) might be needing a break.

 

Many of us are feeling divided. What do we do about it?

 

The issues being discussed are heavily weighted, they impact nearly all of us, and they are not to be taken lightly. While we all have opinions about what is best for us, for our communities, and for the country, we must remember to do our best to listen. We only feel divided when we do not take the time to appreciate and understand other sides. Everyone brings their own experiences and perspective on how the world around us works. These ideas shape how we view the best path forward and they are unlikely to change overnight.

 

These next few days might feel a little extra stressful and exhausting, so we must be sure to check in with ourselves and others. A little self-care can go a long way.

 

How to self-care during the coming week

 

 

  1. Take breaks. We must make time for what feels good to our bodies and minds. If that means watching a silly television show, taking a bath, or going on a hike, it’s important that we make room for these experiences.

 

  1. Patience, patience, patience. Change does not happen all in one go or all in one vote. True change happens in the day-to-day interactions, the little things that fill our lives. We must do our best to be patient, with ourselves, with others, and with our political processes.

 

  1. Have the tough conversations. When we can, we must find time for understanding. Where we feel division, there is room for connection and growth. If there are neighbours, friends, or family that we disagree with, starting a conversation with open ears and an open mind might help ease the distance.

 

  1. Listen more than we speak. This one is much easier said than done. We are often quick to share our thoughts and experiences, as they are naturally the ones we know and feel the deepest. We trust ourselves and our perspectives. It is much more difficult to open our minds to the experiences of others. In the next few days, we can do our best to take the more difficult and potentially more rewarding route.

 

  1. Take a step back. While this might feel stressful, it is important to take a step back and look at our lives as a whole. This political decision has the potential to change a lot, but our lives will not be immediately worse or better.  

 

  1. Take action. In whatever ways we can, even if it is only having a discussion with a friend or a neighbour, the little things matter. We can be sure to vote, share our information with others, and do the best we can.

 

  1. Show a little more gratitude. There are wonderful people, events, and spaces that are constantly surrounding us. It can be easy to get swept up into how bad and scary the world is, when in reality, if we look hard enough, there is always something beautiful happening around us. Making time and space to appreciate these things is incredibly important.

 

 

Let us know how you’re feeling pre-election! Share any thoughts, experiences, or advice in the comments below!

 

 

Happy sharing,

 

Sam

 

Happy Late Spring Bank Holiday Weekend!

We've had quite a few bank holidays lately, so you might be feeling like this one is no big deal, but this weekend is a perfect opportunity to get out and enjoy the warmer weather! No matter what your plans are for this weekend, make sure you take advantage of any time you have in whatever ways serve you the most. Get outside, remember to breathe, and give yourself a break this weekend! If you’re searching for some more inspiration, take a look at these ideas.

A world of opportunities and events open up when the warmer weather comes around in the UK. We could all use some fresh air and sunshine after this winter, so no matter what, we can all be sure to show gratitude for the moments we can spend outdoors this weekend.

 

 

  1. Check out the events happening over the weekend! With everyone getting out and about in this warmer weather, there are endless events to get into this weekend. For a more in-depth look at our options, this 10 Unmissable Things to do This May Bank Holiday should help! And don’t forget about the annual Cheese Rolling Festival in Gloucestershire on Monday!   

 

  1. Catch up on cultural experiences. If you’re feeling some art, theater, or music this weekend, take a look at This Week’s Best Art for some inspiration!

 

  1. Dig into some incredible food. There are so many wonderful things to be said about experiencing life through food. Many of us learn about ourselves, other cultures, and create community with food! This weekend, dive into your favourites or try something completely different! Make your own creations, check out some local food festivals, or explore some incredible restaurants.

 

  1. Take a day trip! Change scenery in a matter of hours, whether in the car or on the train, try going for a day trip this weekend! See how you feel in different surroundings. This list of day-trips should help spark some inspiration.

 

  1. Wander the parks. We are beyond lucky to be surrounded by some of the most incredible natural beauty that has been preserved and is now on perfect display for spring! Check out your favourite classics or try getting out into unfamiliar territory this weekend! Here’s Britain’s Best National Parks- and How to Visit Them!

 

  1. Get outdoors. In whatever way that appeals to you most, whether it be hiking, biking, walking, or running, just get outside! If you’re looking for a little adventure, check out these Seven wonders of British Springtime

 

  1. Spend some extra time with those you love. This year has been full of some pretty great ups and downs already. Take this time to be mindful and surround yourself with those you love, even if they are far away. When we take stock of the people in our lives, everything we worry about seems to fade away, even if that’s only for a weekend.

 

If you’re still searching for some great activities, check out this list of 17 Brilliant things to do during the May Bank Holidays as well as 50 Fabulous things to do this spring and finally, 10 Great British Spring Breaks!

 

Whether you get to every activity and more or you spend the weekend catching up on sleep, be sure to keep your self-care in mind. This weekend, take time to do exactly what you feel, exactly what your mind and body are asking for. Take the time to listen- and share what you find!

 

What will you be doing this weekend? Do you have any tips or suggestions? Share in the comments below!

 

 

Happy sharing!

 

-Sam

 

user picture
Dressing Ethically This Spring!

1 year ago by SamMix

Dressing Ethically This Spring!

Many of us have most likely heard the term “fast fashion” in a negative sense, but we haven’t fully looked into what it means for us. Fast fashion refers to how most of our clothes have been made in increasing quantities at cheaper price points, gathering speed since the 1990s. We have begun to understand the ramifications for this kind of clothing culture over the past few years and in many ways, have begun to amend these systems.

Our values as consumers are changing and companies are starting to listen. With more and more people turning away from short-lived apparel and towards higher quality, more sustainably made items, companies that have been based around fast fashion are showing their ability to change, but it will most likely be difficult for the “fast-fashion concept to use high-quality, eco-friendly fabric and not create mass waste.”


If you’re more keen to buy some new clothes for this spring and summer, try adding an “ethical filter” to your shopping trip with some of these tips!


  1. Look at your budget. Many of us think that buying more sustainably-made clothes will be much more expensive, but this is not necessarily the case! In many instances, buying fast-fashion can end up costing us more in the long-run.


  1. Take a look at your current wardrobe. For some guidance on how to tell if your clothes are ethically made, take a look here! Do your clothing choices need more work or are you actually doing better than you thought?


  1. Sharing is caring. Charity shops are a great place to start and feel safe about not supporting the fast-fashion structure. Buying second-hand clothes helps us to remember that there is a life-cycle to everything and that nothing truly goes away once we clear it from our wardrobes.


  1. Recycle! Donating to charity shops is equally important, giving another life to something we no longer use rather than tossing it is great. There are also some great clothing recycling services you can use.


  1. Repurpose. If you’re feeling creative, you can even try your hand at craftiness and even make these clothing items into something else! Check out these 40 Mindblowing Ways to Repurpose Old Clothing for some inspiration


  1. Find the ethical stores around you! Buying handmade is wonderful when you can find it and it can fit your budget, but finding the stores and brands around you that source ethically made clothes is a great step in the sustainable direction!


  1. Be mindful. Remember that in today’s fast-fashion filled world, it can be difficult to shop ethically all of the time. It is okay to make allowances and for it to take time for changes. Keeping ethical clothing in mind and spreading the word about the benefits is incredibly important.

  2. Begin to build an ethical wardrobe! Committing to these 5 habits will help to weed out the clothes that we don’t need and the clothes that do not support a sustainable clothing system. Take a look and see how well you can do!  


We have to remember that all we can do is our best and that is okay. Being aware of how we all shop, where we buy what we do, and the kinds of systems we are supporting this spring can truly make a difference, so let’s all try to be a little more sustainable in our shopping this season!


Share your thoughts, experiences, and tips about fast fashion and sustainable shopping in the comments below!



Happy sharing!


-Sam




Photo by: Jason Briscoe

Eating With the Seasons! Should We All Be Doing It?

As hearty soups are being replaced with fresh salads and the weather gets warmer, we may feel changes in our routine, feelings, and even our eating preferences. We are able to stay out later, breathe more fresh air, and even feel a little more sunshine! Our bodies react to the changing of seasons, even including the foods we feel like eating. Are our bodies trying to tell us something?

Over the years, our bodies have adapted to best suit our environment, helping guide us to the nutrients we most need. This still happens, whether we listen to these instincts very well or not. Our tastes and preferences shift with the seasons to help our bodies thrive in each changing condition. “During the springtime, we lean towards more detoxifying light foods, like leafy greens and citrus. In the summer, it’s cooling foods like fruit and raw foods. The fall is all about grounding root vegetables and nuts. During the winter, it’s more warming, oily, heavy foods, like meat and dairy.” -Damien Fanish


Is it ‘better’ for us to eat seasonally? Eating with the seasons usually means we have a higher chance of eating the food that was grown closer to us geographically. No matter the season, when we eat food grown more locally, there is a higher chance that it is fresher, full of more nutrients and less chemicals. When we know where our food comes from, we often have a greater awareness and appreciation for what we are putting into our bodies.


Most of us don’t know when our food is in season. For the most part, we have become so detached from our food sources that we have come to expect fresh fruit and veg year-round without a second thought as to how it got to us. Here in the UK, now is the time! Springtime is the perfect chance to understand and even see firsthand where our local food comes from!


How can we start?

  1. First, we can do a little research. There are so many ways to go about finding out where our food comes from, when it is most available, and where to get it; all we have to do is ask. Now is the perfect time.


  1. Find out what our barriers are. If budget is the main thing holding us back from even considering shopping for locally grown produce, we just need to dig a little deeper! If location or transport are the issue, there are quite a few helping hands to take a look at!


  1. Try growing something of your own! If you’ve ever been curious or even needing a push to get back out there, now is the perfect time to try your hand at growing your own food. Take a look at this monthly guide to gardening for some motivation and guidance!


  1. Find the markets nearby. Farmer’s markets are the best way to find the farmers- and the food. If we can’t make it to the farmer, there are quite a few new apps and services that brings the fresh, local food to us!


  1. Listening to our bodies. Spring is all about discovery, detoxing, and healing. Listening to our bodies is one of the most crucial ways to start. When we pay more attention to what our bodies need, we can set a more solid foundation for our health.


  1. Have fun! No matter the weather or location, we can take advantage of the resources around us (especially the food.) This spring, we can all be a bit more adventurous and try to shake up our eating habits by getting back to our roots!



Let us know your thoughts about eating seasonally in the comments below!


Happy sharing,


-Sam


 

Let’s Talk About Our Furry Friends

Last week was National Pet Week, a time to celebrate the pets in our lives and even to reevaluate how we are doing as pet owners, pet lovers, and even for those of us who love them from a distance. So, now that the week is over, how are we doing for the rest of the year?  

There is no way of getting around it, pets are a massive responsibility and should be treated as such. The number of pets we now own are showing that we understand this, dropping dramatically over the past few years. While this may be a sign that we are taking the responsibility seriously, it may also be a sign of “too much red tape” combined with our constantly shifting, moving, and changing lifestyles. Where younger families were once the primary market for pets, many are now opting out.

 

With the money, space, and time we are now expected (and want,) to give to our pets, many pet owners and pet lovers have been using technology to fill in the gaps. Pet sharing has become a necessary piece of the pet care community, allowing pet owners to find people they trust to be with their pets when they cannot, while also helping people who can’t own their own pets to be around the animals they love.

 

Pets become a vital part of our lives and our families. They support us, care for us, love us, and teach us in more ways than we can describe. The lessons we learn from having animals around us, both as children and adults, are invaluable. They bring some of the most important moments, relationships, and learning opportunities that stay with us throughout our lives, something we cannot replace with hobbies or after-school activities.

 

We can all learn from the animals around us, using these lessons in our daily lives a bit more often.

 

  1. Be present. We’re all so busy thinking of what will happen tomorrow that we often forget to think about what is happening right now, in this moment. Take a few moments each day to breathe and just look around. See what happens.

 

  1. Love as unconditionally as we can. Animals often show us how to love without walls, expectations, or judgements. Imagine how our worlds would change if we could show that kind of love even to ourselves. If we could master loving ourselves fully and completely, maybe then we could then show that kind of love to others: without walls, expectation, or judgement.

 

  1. Make time to rest. Pets often give us the reminders we need to rest, to take care of ourselves, and allow ourselves the space to just be.

 

  1. Be responsible. When we are caring for another being, we are reminded of how much bigger our actions are than just impacting ourselves. We can often forget how tied to one another we are and that our potential for caring for one another is larger than we think.

 

  1. Play and be silly! Pets often witness us being our true selves, in the moments other people don’t often get to see. They let us share our playfulness, without judgement. Pets can help us to bring our joy and silliness, leaving everything else on the side.


 

Whether we have them in our lives at this moment or not, pets have the great potential to impact our lives in ways no one else can. We can take this responsibility seriously by learning from them, growing from what they teach us, and sharing that knowledge with others.

 

Share your experiences, wisdom, and thoughts on pets in the comments below! We can’t wait to hear them.



 

Happy Sharing!

 

-Sam









Photo by Teddy Kelley

user picture
Is Our Future Alcohol-Free?

1 year ago by SamMix

Is Our Future Alcohol-Free?

Whether we see it in our immediate surroundings or not, data is showing that collectively, we are drinking less. Young adults who are teetotal has increased by 40% over five years and around 80% of older adults say they are making an effort to drink less.

Drinking has become so embedded within our culture that it is nearly impossible to figure out what factors could be impacting our habits more than others. Where we live, how much money we earn, and how old we are all seem to have a large role to play in understanding what is happening here.

 

With awareness and acceptance of events like “Dry January” continuously increasing, we are seeing the option of drinking less as acceptable realities. Social events that do not include alcohol are becoming more prevalent, creating a lot of interest in the spaces where heavy alcohol and drug use are typically the norm, like festivals and even bars.

 

Drinking is such a massive part of our social lives that for many of us, it feels completely out of the question to envision life without it, and that is okay too. Drinking is not necessarily “bad” for everyone. The age-old motto “everything in moderation” rings true here and a little alcohol in our lives can actually be good for us!

 

The bridge between “everything in moderation” and an average perception of people who do not drink can be wide and difficult. In many instances, we assume that when a person chooses not to drink, this signals a problem. We tend to assume that abstaining from alcohol means they have a problem. In today’s world where more and more people are choosing not to drink, that dynamic is changing. It is important for us all to remember that there isn’t necessarily a problem in deciding to not drink.

 

So why don’t we all stop? It is safe to assume that we all know the risks and the medical advice. We know what we have been told that we should be doing. Increasing awareness and accurate information is helpful, but when we’re thinking about making any type of lifestyle change, we have to dig deeper than the facts and figures.

 

Where could we start?

 

  1. We can have honest conversations. We need to be able to talk about our drinking habits and how we truly feel about them, both with ourselves and those around us. If we aren’t honest, how can we even begin to think about making any decisions that are true to how we want to live our lives?

 

  1. Take a step back. We can all take a moment (or a few,) to think about when we drink and why. Do we drink because everyone else is? Because we love it? Because it makes us feel welcome or comfortable?

 

  1. See our judgements. When we think about how we feel about drinking, our perception and feelings of others typically come into play. We tend to tie a lot of value into whether someone chooses to act in similar ways to us or not, and drinking is no different. So, we can take a moment to think about how we feel about others drinking (or not drinking.)

 

  1. Find what fits for us. Without judging ourselves or others, we can look at what makes us feel the best, the healthiest, and the happiest versions of ourselves. There is no one right way to do this, we have to discover it for ourselves- and remember to accept others’ choices as well.

 

  1. Try making small changes. Whether the goal is to drink less, stop, or to continue in the exact same habits we have, it can be helpful to shake things up a little from time to time. When we tweak and experiment with our choices, we learn a little more about ourselves.

 

  1. Be patient! Lifestyle changes, especially one that carries such a great weight within our society, take time. Wherever we are is okay, we just need to keep ‘where we want to be’ in mind.

 

Let us know what you think about drinking habits of the future in the comments below!

 

Happy sharing!

 

-Sam





Photo credit: @Yutacar