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Mental Health

Bo Derek’s 5 Best Tips for Managing Stress

Keep your glass half full.

Every morning, Bo Derek is up with the first rays of the California sun to feed her four horses and three German shepherds before settling down to watch the news. “For the past few months, I’ve kept the news on all day,” shares the iconic beauty, best known for her breakout role in the 1979 hit film, 10.

“Learning about the coronavirus and how to keep safe gives me comfort.” Another act that helps Bo keep stress at bay: “I love to write out lists — if I see my to-do’s, I remember them better and get it done!” says Bo, who juggles her busy acting schedule, volunteer work and pet line, Bo Derek Pet Care.

But the one list that keeps Bo the most focused and uplifted is that of gratitude. “I’m a glass-half-full kind of girl,” she says. “Even in the midst of all the chaos lately, I’ve realized I’ve gotten the opportunity to spend more time with my fella and our animals — I’m thankful for that.” Here, Bo shares her secrets to staying worry-free, energetic, and radiant!

Related: Bo Derek Young: Go Back in Time With Rare Photos of the Stunning ’70s Icon

Slashes aches and pains with a relaxing dip.

“I had back surgery a few years ago, and the surgeon said that if I got in the pool and gently swam a few minutes for 10 days, I wouldn’t have to go through physical therapy,” Bo recalls. “To my surprise, it worked — and it changed my life! Today, I’m an avid swimmer. My friend and I promised each other we’d go swim in a pretty place together each year, so that’s what we try to do. It’s a fun way to feel good and stay healthy.”

No pool? No problem! Studies show that swapping your shower for a 20-minute daily soak in your bathtub can soothe aches and pains by 50 percent!

Quiet the mind with soothing apps.

“When I stress about things going on with loved ones or uncertainty in the world, I escape into an audiobook,” Bo shares. “I drive and swim listening to them, and it’s just a chance to stop and rest my brain. Right now, I’m listening to The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson — it’s a wonderful historical read about Winston Churchill.”

Also in her arsenal? Easy, guided meditation. “I use the Headspace app in the afternoon for 20 minutes, and it’s amazing. I’ve been using it for five years — it makes me stop and quiet my brain, and the studies are true: It’s such a good thing for the body and mind!”

Fuel up and feel great with a nightly treat.

“I inherited high cholesterol, so last year, my sister and I found healthy alternatives to the things we love to eat most,” Bo reveals. “These days, I get my protein from nuts, grains, and beans, but I still enjoy certain treats! Every night, I’ll have a piece of dark chocolate — my favorite is Trader Joe’s Pound Plus Belgium Dark Chocolate Bar. It helps cut my craving for sweets, and it’s healthy!”

In fact, researchers found that eating dark chocolate at least twice a week can lower cholesterol, slash high blood pressure and decrease the risk of heart disease by up to 57 percent.

Promote joy by caring for loved ones.

“Tending the loves in my life, whether human or animal, brings me great joy and comfort, which, at this moment, is so necessary,” Bo says.

“Instinctively, we communicate with our animals well. My horses and my dogs are a source of comfort to me, and though I can’t ride the horses right now, I just love having them in my life. You have to be very honest with them, and it’s more difficult to earn their respect. They make me a better person, as do my friends and family. They care about me and validate me when I have doubts — I can’t imagine my life without them.”

Nourish your skin with sunscreen.

“I had some sun damage to my skin in my youth, so now I never leave the house without sunscreen,” says Bo. “My favorite drugstore pick is La Roche-Posay Anthelios [$30]—it comes in many varieties to suit your skin type!”

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.

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