5 ways to focus on wellness – and enjoy your life

(BPT) – The beginning of a new year always inspires and encourages new attitudes and ideas for taking care of yourself. But too often, strategies recommended for being healthier are centered around sacrifice and not letting yourself enjoy what you normally love.

Why not look for new ways to stay well and enjoy yourself at the same time? Feeling good shouldn’t be about making life more difficult or less fun, and the good news is that it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips to improve your well-being while still savoring what you love most about life.

1. Move happy

Yes, you know exercise is good for you. But that doesn’t have to equal hours on the treadmill. Find ways to move you really enjoy, like walking or biking in nature, trying a new sport you can enjoy outdoors (how about snowshoeing or ice skating?) or even throwing a dance party to music you love in your own living room.

Being active outdoors also gives you a dose of vitamin D, which can boost your mood and support your overall well-being. Finding fun ways to enjoy movement just takes a little imagination — and a spirit of adventure.

2. Focus on flavor

Eating healthier is possible while still satisfying your craving for flavor. Fresh herbs like basil and chives, along with aromatics like ginger, chilis and garlic, are healthy options that can take your meal to the next level. Flavor boosters like these will help you enjoy healthy veggies, whole grains and lean protein even more.

Craving something tasty and crunchy? If you love snacking (and who doesn’t?), there are great new alternatives to traditional chips. For example, PÖRQ artisanal fried pork rinds offer tons of flavor, with zero carbs and zero trans fats — making them the perfect choice for a quick go-to snack, especially for those following the keto plan.

This gluten-free snack comes in three bold flavors:

  • BBQ and Zesty Chipotle
  • Smoky Black Pepper and Sea Salt
  • Fine Herbs and Vinaigrette

PÖRQ also offers eight or more grams of protein per half-ounce serving, so you’ll feel fuller longer. Find them near you at PorqSnacks.com.

3. Relax to recharge

During stressful times, it’s more important than ever to find ways to reduce tension and feel more centered. Turn off the guilt (and the to-do list) and be your own best friend. If your BFF was barreling toward burnout, what advice would you give? Follow it!

Experiment to find what works for you, and make time for relaxation every day — even if it’s just 15 minutes:

  • Reconnect with a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in a while.
  • Listen to music that lifts your mood.
  • Drink a cup of herbal tea — or if tea isn’t your thing, try hot apple cider or warm milk with nutmeg.
  • Calm your mind by calming your body. Pay attention to where you hold your muscles tightly and relax them one by one.

4. Get enough z’s

If you’re not getting enough sleep, you probably already know it. Instead of reaching for more and more caffeine to get through the day, see if you can reorganize your schedule to get to bed earlier or sleep in a little later.

Try doing one of the activities in the previous step shortly before bed to make it easier to fall asleep, and be sure to shut down your gadgets an hour before bedtime.

5. Make time for you

Well-being is not just about pounds on a scale or what foods you consume. It’s about enjoying life — even while you’re just hanging out at home. Make space and time for hobbies and activities that bring you happiness. Explore new interests and stay connected with friends as part of your weekly routine, and you’ll soon notice a difference in your outlook.

Shifting your focus to what genuinely makes you feel better and helps you enjoy life is one of the best ways you can improve your wellness, no matter where you are on the journey.