Brilliant ways to boost your wellness

A woman practising yoga at home with her dog
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Anna Brech
by Anna Brech
13 April 2021

Wellness is the buzzword we all like to live by these days – but what does it actually mean? Some would say it’s 5am meditations and detox diets. But our reading of it here at Virgin is a whole lot more fun. 

To us, wellness simply means doing the things that make you feel good – whether that’s booking a massage, hanging out with friends or booking your next farflung holiday (when lockdown rules allow, of course). 

In order to get that feel-good glow, you have to actually enjoy the things you’re doing; otherwise you’ll run out of steam. And the more you feel good about yourself, the more motivated you’ll be to live a healthy life, too. It’s a win-win. 

Red wine being poured into two glasses
Virgin Wines

Say hi to cheese and wine evenings

A little Pinot Noir with camembert was the kind of pastime that made our lockdown that bit easier to deal with – but we never imagined it could be good for us, too. A study from Iowa State University last year found that “responsible” amounts of wine and cheese can help to protect the brain. It’s worth noting that this only refers to small amounts; this isn’t your cue to go diving into a vat of Vacherin with Merlot on tap. That said, early results do seem to point to a cognitive benefit in the cheese-wine combo. 

If you’re a Virgin Red member, you could do a little research yourself with a six-bottle case of beautiful, independent-label reds from Virgin Wines for 9,000 points. 

Try a new workout

We know that new experiences are a potent source of happiness and energy – but it’s not everyday that you can go racetrack driving in a Porsche Cayman Thrill (17,500 points via Virgin Experience Days’ Scarlet Collection on Virgin Red). Not to worry though, because scientists have found that just a small change in your daily routine is enough to create positivity and an emotional lift

This could involve changing up your fitness fix, for example. And as Virgin Active has just reopened its doors in the UK, it’s the perfect time to try something new – whether you’re working out in club, at home or outdoors.

A woman hula hooping
Virgin Active

Get creative with colouring

A little bit of colouring goes a long way. That’s according to a 2017 study from New Zealand researchers, which found that colouring in for as a little as 10 minutes a day is enough to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. It’s easy to see how colouring is therapeutic: it takes you away from screens and into the moment, with a soothing, repetitive activity that is connected to the simple pleasures of childhood. It also encourages you to engage with the creative side of your brain, away from all those stressful daily decisions and demands. Tap into this relaxing art with the online creative colouring course from Virgin Experience Days, book for 5,250 points via Virgin Red

Plan an exotic holiday

The prospect of Antiguan palm fronds and powdery beaches is guaranteed to spark joy – not least because studies show that it’s actually the anticipation of a holiday that makes us happiest. Two separate papers from Cornell University and the University of Surrey found that people are at their most joyful when they have a holiday planned; meaning the excitement of travel begins long before leaving home. 

Get started by nabbing a Virgin Atlantic reward flight to St. Vincent and the Grenadines (from 20,000 Virgin Points with Virgin Red) or plotting your escape to San Francisco (from 30,000 Virgin Points) as and when travel rules allow. 

a Virgin Atlantic A350
Virgin Atlantic

Let chocolate be your guide

We don’t really need a nudge to eat more chocolate, but if we did, science would be it. There’s lots of research to indicate that eating small amounts of dark chocolate can boost cognitive and cardiovascular health, and reduce stress. We are just talking about a square or two a day here; but it’s only right that we do a little background digging on this benefit. Digging that naturally involves signing up to Virgin Experience Days’ chocolate truffle-making masterclass, book with Virgin Red for 5,250 points.