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How Annie Potts Banishes Stress and Embraces Self-Care at 66

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After more than 40 years in front of the camera, Annie Potts is known for playing some of the most beloved characters on television and film — from Mary Jo Shively on Designing Women to Meemaw on the CBS hit comedy Young Sheldon (now wrapping up its second season) to voicing Bo Peep in Toy Story 4, hitting theaters June 21. And while Annie has no plans of slowing down, she admits these days, it takes a bit more self-care to keep up the pace. 

“When I was 21, I was in a car accident that broke all but one bone below my waist, and now I have a lot of arthritis that could put me on the sidelines of my life,” she shares. “But I have a lot to look forward to — like my oldest son and his wife wanting to start a family. So I do all I can to stay healthy and strong so I can get on the floor and play with my grandkids in a few years!” Keep reading to learn how Annie nourishes her spirit while staying energized and pain-free.

Erases worry and pain: Staying in motion

“For decades, swimming has been my favorite exercise because it feeds my spirit and helps me de-stress—and it’s really kind to my achy joints,” Annie says. Another go-to movement motivator: her West Highland terrier, Nelly. “I love taking her for walks! She’s a terrific companion and great for everything from soothing a bad day to keeping me active!”

Secret slimming solution

“If I’m hungry and don’t have time to whip up a meal, I keep some delicious sweet potato chips on hand in my kitchen to curb cravings!”

Helps skin glow: Fruit-kissed water

“Staying hydrated all year round is so important to keeping my skin feeling healthy and looking good —especially when the warmer weather arrives,” shares Annie. “I tend to stick to plain water as my daily go-to beverage, but in the spring and summer, I just love how refreshing and inviting a big jug of water with cucumbers, strawberries, and pineapple tastes. And it’s easy to make too: You just pick any kind of fruit you want, drop it in, and you have an instant sugar-free way to enjoy a sweet, refreshing treat that you’ll never get bored with!”

Wards off sniffles: Healing bone broth

“There’s nothing like a good bone broth to ward off illness,” enthuses Annie. “I have two cups of it for breakfast every morning, and it always starts my day off right! I used to make it myself, but now there are delicious brands like Epic, which comes in many flavors —  I order it by the case from Amazon ($37.99 for 6 jars, Amazon)! And if I get a sniffle or I’m under the weather, I have an extra cup or two.” Bonus: Research shows that collagen in bone broth also helps restore joint cartilage and ease pain!

Promotes joy: Practicing forgiveness

“I’ve done a lot of stupid things in my life,” chuckles Annie. “But who hasn’t by the time you’re 66? And who hasn’t been hurt or upset by others? I think practicing forgiveness toward others and toward yourself is the key to maintaining a positive, joyful outlook. There’s nothing you can do about the past, but you can learn from those tough moments. I’ve learned more from my failures than from my successes. So instead of looking back with regret, I’m grateful for each difficult lesson and mistake.”

This story originally appeared in our print magazine

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