Don’t worry, be happy: 6 everyday stresses to banish from your life

An adventure
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Anna Brech
by Anna Brech
1 September 2021

At Virgin Red, we’re all about making our members’ lives happier, with everyday rewards to spread some cheer. From indulgent spa days and online courses to adventure-seeking flights, our selection of Virgin Points rewards won’t solve your problems. But they do promise to add some joy into the mix. 

Below, we’ve listed some common bugbears when it comes to life stress – and how you can find an antidote to them as a member of Virgin Red. 


Dreary diets

Since eating is one of life’s finer pleasures, dieting is pretty much the opposite. Life’s simply too short to limit yourself to food replacement smoothies or that less-than-delicious cabbage soup. The same goes for counting calories every mealtime, or constantly telling yourself you can’t have a treat.

What’s the alternative? 

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Shutterstock

If you really want to shift a few pounds, exercise is a far more joyful way to do it. With Virgin Red, you can get in shape by joining a paintballing day for four at locations around the UK (7,750 points), for example. You may also choose to trek with llamas in Northamptonshire, or brave Perthshire’s white water rapids (both 17,500 points with a Virgin Red voucher for Virgin Experience Days’ Scarlet Collection). There are so many activities to dive into as part of your fitness journey, and they’re 100% more fun than fad diets. 


Worrying “what ifs”

Let’s face it, this past 18 months has been full of worries – large and small. And once you get into the habit of thinking “what if”, it’s very hard to turn that chattering mind off. Before you know it, you’re fretting the entire time and imagining catastrophe around every corner.

What’s the alternative?

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Learn how to listen to the racing thoughts in your mind without judgement. With Virgin Experience Days’ online course in meditation (available via a Virgin Red Experience at Home voucher for 6,250 points), you can find out all about the art of mindfulness – and discover how to take a step back from your constantly whirring brain.


Cabin fever crankiness

Yes, lockdown is over but the effect still lingers on. If you, like many of us, have been humming “I want to break free-ee” under your breath for the past 18 months: take comfort. Virgin Red is here to help. 

What’s the alternative? 

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Shutterstock

Wanderlust is the only cure for cabin fever – and it’s a golden one at that. Scenic hotels and pubs across the UK are at your fingertips with Virgin Red, starting from just 10,750 points a pop. Or why not up the ante by planning your holiday for when rules allow? There’s nothing like spending 20,000+ points on a reward flight to St Vincent and the Grenadines to vacuum away those lockdown blues, after all. 


Relationship ruts

It’s hardly surprising if the events of the past year and a half have put a dampener on your relationship. Either you haven’t seen your loved one at all (save for the occasional Zoom date) or you’ve been around them entirely too much and are desperately craving a reset. What’s the alternative? 

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Throw yourselves headfirst into a novel experience together, to reignite your spark. Something like a Lovers Leap tandem bungee jump (17,500 points via a Virgin Red voucher for Virgin Experience Days’ Scarlet Collection) or learning how to scuba dive together (8,750 points via a Virgin Red voucher for Virgin Experience Days’ Amber Collection) should sort you right out. 

Or you could always go for a more romantic vibe, with a seven-course Michelin star tasting menu (26,000 points via a Virgin Red voucher for Virgin Experience Days’ Ebony Collection). Happy days.


Joyless jobs

Since most of our hours are taken up in work, having a job you don’t like can be draining. Sure, you can get your head down and just accept your lot: but sooner or later, that unhappiness will rise to the surface. Also, it’s not just about what you do but how you do it. The relationships you have at work, and whether or not you feel supported within a company culture, can have a huge impact on workplace satisfaction. 

What’s the alternative? 

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There are two choices: first, you can take time out to get perspective on your work situation. A break to San Francisco (rewards flights for 30,000+ Virgin Points) or South Africa (rewards flights for 25,000+ Virgin Points) may be just the thing to get distance from your job unhappiness. You’ll make the headspace to figure out what’s gone wrong, and how to fix it. 

Another route out of a joyless job is to retrain: and here too, Virgin Red can help. For example, you could sign up to an online loungewear course (14,600 points), as part of a career pivot to becoming a self-made designer. Or you could learn to speak a new language (5,250 points for introductory online language courses) and relocate to Italy, France or South America. With so many options on the table, there’s no need to feel trapped. 


Post-lockdown lethargy 

The events of the pandemic have been flat-out exhausting. And so – whether you’ve dealt with grief, negotiated home schooling, faced redundancy or weathered a stream of bad news – it’s totally normal that you may now feel wrung out and lacking in any kind of motivation. With recovery in sight, you’re only just having a chance to catch-up and process the enormity of what’s happened. 

What’s the alternative?

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Shutterstock

Now is the time to slow down and be kind to yourself: however that looks or feels. A dash of pampering may help; for example, with a relaxing spa day for two, including three treatments (15,500 points). Or it may be that you need an indulgent night out – step forward Brasserie Blanc’s two-course meal and prosecco for two (7,250 points). 

You may also be in the mood for a chocolate-making workshop (8,750 points via a Virgin Red voucher for Virgin Experience Days’ Amber Collection), a six-bottle case of delicious vinos from Virgin Wines (12,000 points) or a vintage-themed photoshoot (4,250 points via a Virgin Red voucher for Virgin Experience Days’ Graphite Collection). Whatever floats your boat, take this opportunity to recharge your batteries and rekindle your appetite for life. 

Find out more about Virgin Red, the new rewards club from Virgin, right here. *Taxes, fees and carrier imposed surcharges apply to all Virgin Red reward flights. Points based on off-peak rates.