Getting Drunk is a Thing Of The Past

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I recently did some research about how the younger generation perceives alcohol (younger meaning people between 18 and 25 years old, Generation Z). It turns out that they see alcohol in a very different way compared to other generations. Most of them are not interested in going out and “drinking until you drop”.

You don’t believe me, do you? I don’t blame you. I’ll explain why, keep reading.

Social Media

Do you remember that time when you got drunk and embarrassed yourself in front of everyone? I remember. Your friends remember. Your entire Facebook remembers. Generation Z seem to have learned the lesson through their parents and the older generation and they don’t want to embarrass themselves on their social media platforms. This group grew up in a digital world and they know that those videos of themselves dancing will be on the internet forever.

“When I started boozing there wasn’t an iPhone in sight but by the end of my drinking career, every pissed move I made seemed to be caught on camera. I would wake up gripped by fear that a viral video of me weeing on the street would be circulating socials.” Alcoholchange.org.uk

“Today’s kids understand that everything is captured, instantaneously uploaded to social media, and has a minimal chance of total eradication if need be. Learning from the mistakes of Millennials and their embarrassing Facebook days, Generation Z make a conscious effort to ensure that the same thing does not happen to them.“ Rdsiresearch.com

In fact, 51% of Gen Z say that their online image is always at the back of their mind when they go out drinking.

Wellness Movement

They are concerned about their health and more aware of their choices. This group is more likely to be vegetarian or vegan. Healthier habits like consuming organic food or practising meditation have become part of their lifestyle, because they know how their decisions can affect their wellbeing in the long term. And once again, some of them have seen the consequences of poor health choices through their parents, especially when it comes to drinking habits.

A research by food.gov.uk found that 70% of current Gen Z think binge drinking is very risky compared to 56% of Millennials in 2004.

They tend to pick products that tick a lot of the boxes for health-conscious consumers. You know, gluten-free, low-calorie, low-sugar, low-carb, etc. Proof of this is shown in the success of hard seltzers, low alcohol drinks from the USA that have become incredibly popular among young people. The reason? Less alcohol also means fewer calories.

Mental Health

In a world that is becoming more open to talk about mental health, Gen Z know how hangovers affect their mental balance. 83% of this group consider their mental health just as important as their physical health. They don’t like to waste their time because they prioritise productivity, and we all know that a hangover equals a wasted day.

“There’s nothing worse than waking up hungover to see that Lucy from your old work has already been to the gym and prepped a vegan lasagne.” Alcoholchange.org.uk

Control

This all translates into a desire from the younger generation to have control. Gen Z live in uncertain times, I mean, some of them graduated during a pandemic! This generation wants to be able to make decisions about their future. They are shouting for C O N T R O L .

For this reason, there has been an increase in the participation of social movements during the pandemic. The picture of their upcoming years looks a bit less clear. Joining social causes helps them to feel that they have a voice in their future.

Nights In

They are changing nights in for nights out.

“Nearly seven in ten 19-37-year-olds tell us they would rather stay in on the weekends than go out.” YPulse

“Gen Zers are repeatedly choosing a night in over a night out. What was once a notable preference for Gen Z has now become increasingly relevant for all generations in a post-Covid world.” Drinkripples.com

A change of place means a change of behaviour. The environment of a club, a darkened room with loud music, is designed to make you want to drink and go a bit “wild”. However, when we are in someone’s house the sense of self-awareness increases. This can be enough reason for the younger generation to want to avoid getting wasted when having a night in with friends.

So… how does the younger generation have fun?

It seems Gen Z value experiences over products, something that we already saw in millennials. If they care about their experiences and memories, they probably want to remember what happened during the night and avoid feeling like Stu from the movie Hangover.


The younger generation enjoys Tik-Tok challenges and new dances, Instagram filters or theme parties such as Bob Ross painting gatherings. There is no doubt that the new generation is looking for more meaningful nights.

This does not mean that they are not interested in alcohol at all. In fact, the demand for cocktails has grown in the last years. The choice of a flavoursome cocktail over a hard spirit shows that getting drunk doesn’t seem to be on the top of their priority list. At least for the time being.

Do you agree?

Photo by Unsplash

Is Self-Care Selfish?

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Self-care is often seen as lazy, anti-social and selfish, is this really true?

Let’s analyse it for a moment.

There are not many positive things that the pandemic has brought in the last couple of years. However, here is something I have learned from being in a lockdown for over a year (on and off). When I don’t take care of myself, I have a short fuse.

Let me explain. You wake up from bed, wash your face, have breakfast and a coffee and start to work from home. For the next eight hours you are sitting on a chair, in a problem-solving mode. Your brain is working hard to get the tasks done and meet deadlines “nicely”. Nicely, because if you are a bit like me, you procrastinate a little (a lot) and then panic trying to get the work done on the delivery day, and this is not a fantastic feeling. So there you are, pushing yourself so you can sit on the sofa at night and think: What a productive day I had! To achieve this throughout the day, your body takes sips from your “energy cup”, let’s call it. Sip by sip the energy in your cup gets lower until it’s completely empty. And what happens when the cup is empty?

Photo by Unsplash

The empty energy cup translates into a short fuse. The short fuse can now go into different directions: frustration, lack of inspiration, being angry with the world because today it’s raining, blaming your partner because he ate the last banana, shouting at your dog because he hasn’t learned how to use the toilet yet, crying because… because. The list goes on.

Either way, there is an E X P L O S I O N .

For me, self-care is that thing you do to keep your energy cup filled. It might not be full everyday, but it ensures that there is enough to have a good day and avoid the explosion of overwhelm.

Photo by Unsplash

So what exactly is self-care?
Self-Care: – The practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.
– The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.


Is this…

…Lazy?

This practise has many forms for different people; doing exercise or yoga, meditating, writing a journal, having a bath, cooking a healthy meal, etc. I’m sure you already have that thing that saves you from the short fuse. Whatever this is, we can agree that it requires that you make time for it, isn’t it right? Self-care doesn’t happen for itself, you need to take an active role in it, as we can read in the definition. Not so easy sometimes. When you cook a healthy meal, you invest time buying ingredients, checking recipes and, of course, cooking. When you go for a run or do a workout at home, there is the effort invested in convincing yourself you will do it, changing your clothes, and not giving up half way through the action. Is self-care lazy then? I don’t think so.

…Anti-social?
It is true that sometimes self-care involves being on your own, for example when you take a bath, meditate or write. But our body needs it. Socialising also requires energy and for this, our mind has to be plugged in and charged for a few hours per day. I can assure you that I am not the best company when my fuse is short and my cup is empty, neither are you. I consider myself more anti-social when I am in a bad mood around people, because I don’t have the energy to talk to anyone in that state. In addition to this, you can also do self-care when doing a yoga class with a friend, watch a movie with your partner, etc. Is self-care anti-social? Not really.

Selfish?
I had a look at the definition of this word:
Selfish: (of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.

I realised that when my cup is empty, I am a bit less me. I try to remind myself the following every now and then; I am the only person who is responsible for my own well-being. My family and my friends deserve a Patri who is above 60-70%. I am a better daughter, sister and friend when I take care of myself. My energy turns into patience, comprehension, sense of humour, great work, productivity, empathy with others and good vibes. I enjoy myself more when I invest time on me, and so does everyone else who is around, so is self-care selfish? I guess you can answer this.

Taking care of yourself means you are trying to be a better you, and most of the time, this is a hard task. Yes, you do it for your own benefit because it feels good and you would like to stay sane for the most part of your week. But this is also for others, so we have one lunatic less shouting in traffic jams and one more friendly person smiling to strangers in the streets.

Photo by Unsplash

Next time someone critisises another for taking time for themselves, please feel free to explain to them why this is wrong and share this article.

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Worry Less, Live More

There is an answer we all look for.
There is a problem we all confront.
And hunting blinded we ignore
that the puzzle is, in fact, solved.

There is not a purpose in every step
We often get tired predicting what’s next.
And yet, we desire to wrap ourselves
like spiders trapped in our own web.

The missing piece doesn’t exist
and by searching for it we resist,
we can’t see the light with our own eyes
and forget to enjoy the truly good bits of life.

Forget about what you could’ve done,
despite the questions in your mind
you know what’s right in your bones.
Stop the search, stop “The Find”.

The right answer is none.
Worry less, live more.

Why Girls Drop Out Of Sports

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It’s been seventeen years.

I started playing volleyball when I was eleven, and I still love it. So, when I realised that most girls drop out of sports when they are young, I wanted to know why.

I thought about my relationship with sport. I have given thousands of hours to sport and in return, it has treated me well. I only have grateful words for those who I found throughout my journey, as every teammate and coach made my life a bit better. So, what reasons could make girls lose interest? In this article I share my personal stories and I come up with a conclusion based on my experience. You might have felt like me in certain situations, or you might have different views. But hey, maybe we can figure this out together.

Girls get picked last.

In school, Physical Education was our favourite subject. After sitting in a class for most of the day, what child didn’t love getting out and feeling free? When we played sports (mostly football considering I grew up in Spain), my teacher would pick the best two players as the captains to create the teams. Here is where I feel it started. The captains were always boys. Girls always got picked last and usually played as defenders, never as the more enjoyable position of striker.

I understand boys may be physically stronger than girls. I understand boys may be faster or rougher. Although childhood is probably the time when girls and boys can be seen as the most neutral, compared to adult age. I am not going there. That’s another day’s story. What I don’t understand is why my teacher, unaware of it, would set a barrier at such a young age. Why would girls want to take part in activities where they did not feel encouraged or motivated to? Why not create equal teams by picking two players of the same level?

Some time passed. We all went to high school. As girls, we were in that “not so stable phase” where we went from wearing t-shirt bras to push up bras in a matter of days. We were not really sure what was going on in our bodies. If you are a guy, you might remember that something was different in some girls after a random summer.

In my story, something had changed in my friend Maria. Physical Education class had started. If you think for a moment, we are in Spain, twelve o’clock midday. It’s hot, so hot that we can fry eggs on the ground, you get the idea. So, Maria takes her hoodie off.

Wow! Did you see Maria? Her boobs bounce like big balls when she runs!

I imagine Maria did not love Physical Education so much, after boys and girls stared at her in that relay race. But don’t get me wrong. Teen years were hard for everyone, girls and boys. However, girls seemed to be more ashamed about how much space their bodies took up, and too worried about looking feminine. And we thought we did not look our best with a sweaty fringe! We felt so self-conscious that we couldn’t risk making fools of ourselves in front of the class while running or jumping, and we would miss all the fun.

“Women and girls are taught to have certain ideas and obsessions about how we look or shouldn’t look. Sport teaches girls and women to view themselves as more as decorative. It’s about being strong, fast and powerful. It can show us than we are more than our appearance. We are told to be gentle, quiet, to hide our strength, even that weakness is charming. Sport contradicts all those ideas.

B. Ashton (volleyball teammate)

Lifting weights is for guys.

Wrong. As part of my volleyball training, I wanted to work out in the gym to strengthen my body and become a better player. I signed up for a gym and I entered the weights area. Within seconds, I felt like I was turning from a young girl to a little lamb in the wild jungle. It felt scary! (If you were a strong and confident teen who had everything figured out growing up, I take my hat off to you. I was not.)

It always felt intimidating to step in that part of the gym, so I would confine myself to the cardio area. That was my comfort zone. I still see many women nowadays going to the gym only to run on the treadmill or cycle on a bike. This is absolutely okay if that is what they signed up for. At that time, only cardio was not going to improve my volleyball skills. You get my point.

After a few years, I started to gain confidence slowly and added some resistance exercises into my routine. This made a big difference. I once had a personal trainer who told me:

Patri, you pay your gym membership as much as anyone else. You are entitled to use the weights area.

And he was right. This situation could be another reason why girls end up losing motivation, as sports can sometimes push us out of our comfort zone.

Being wrong.

For some reason, girls grow up with a fear of being wrong. I have noticed in different situations that men are more likely to take risks than women. I have seen this at the workplace where my male friends felt more confident to ask for a pay rise, for example. It might be because we still think we need to reach perfection at all costs in every task without showing sweat, and this is impossible. There is no way we can learn a sport without failing. Most people are terrible when they start a new activity. So, I add this fear of being wrong to our list!

How about adulthood?

At this point, you might be thinking:

Sure! Kids are heartless.
These things always happen in teen years. It’s normal.
Our brains are not even fully developed yet.
Hard to be responsible for your actions at that age.

Well, last month I moved to Thailand. I heard volleyball is big here, so I was looking forward to finding players at the beach. I found a group and I joined for a session. It appeared to me that the guys did not like girls to join them. It might have been because they had to slightly lower the level of their game. After playing for some time, one of the guys said:

I don’t want to play like this. Either we play strong, or I don’t play.
What do you mean? – said one of the others.
Just guys.


I left the session. I had never had such a bad experience playing volleyball. Neither in the UK, nor in Spain. We usually split groups by level or have different sessions when it’s appropriate. However, everyone should feel welcome to practise sport, no matter your level or your gender. We are not in a playground anymore. This ended up being a disappointing experience, which could have pushed me off doing something I really enjoy. Luckily, I found a friendly group a few days after!

So why did I continue to play?

Despite some bad experiences, I keep playing volleyball and going to the gym. Why? Because the good is still so good, that it outweighs everything else. I met the most amazing people on the court, where we shared some struggle and won a bunch of points. I learned I can get better at almost anything if I put enough hours into it. I learned failure, frustration, humility, confidence, determination, and the values of competition. Some tools you can use to handle life a little bit better.

Here is what I would like you to take from this.

Let’s encourage children to play sport, not for the win, but for the sake of it. Because being part of a team teaches community and we can learn from the same mistakes together.
Let’s encourage young girls to be active, because the movement of our boobs or our sweaty fringe are simply signs of our strength and how powerful we can be when we are confident.
Let’s walk strong and steady out of our comfort zone, because our own health matters the most
Let’s let ourselves fail, because failure also means opportunity to get better. It’s human.

And remember this. Sport will always give you back more than you put in.

The Two Sides of Silence

Hey, you are always late.
When every light is gone,
and everyone is already home,
you, are desperately in our wait.

When our mind can’t be made,
frustrating bills can’t be paid,
when head and heart are on debate,
you, are in those tears… we’re ashamed.

But wait,

you are also in a baby’s sleep
in the secrets we promise to keep
in the process of the art we create
in the wish of a child turning eight.

When a mum gives a kiss
quietly with her lips
you exist, also in that peace.

When inside, to our goals we climb,
in every ‘I love you’ that is implied,
in the eyes of a future bride
you hide, you play for some time…

and then, only then,
you bravely arrive.
Then, silence,
you are always on time.

Society Is Hiring


Society is hiring:

Pretty doll, but not too tall
big eyes, mascara always on.
We want them wise, with no wrinkles.
Forget it if you’re 30 and still single.

Graduated in big smiles that nod and shine,
but for hips, we always prefer a small size.
It must be someone alert,
always on the ball, intelligent,
but only for a puppet show
because if you prove you can think a bit more
you’ll be a threat, then fired, then gone all before the curtain falls.

You’re required to be the best with a hard-working mindset
and when the leash gets tight
you can’t sweat, we won’t hire you if you cry and get upset.

A bit shy, but don’t rely, don’t lie and don’t fly.
Never give up, never give less, under stress.
If you’d like to apply, we can start the process.

Welcome to a society that is unfair,
that sets expectations for women impossible to wear.