These De-Stressing Tips Actually—No, Like Really—Work

Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg, founders of theSkimm, spill all the tea on how to keep your cool in this excerpt from their new book, How to Skimm Your Life.

You’re busy. Congrats—so is everyone else.

Sometimes it can feel like a competition for who’s more overscheduled. This is not a competition you want to win. Insert the de-stress trifecta: sleep, organization, and self-care, aka finding what works for you to stay balanced.

First stop: sleep.

It’s cliché to use “get more sleep” as a solution to every problem. But clichés are cliché for a reason. Your relationship with your bed is one of the more important ones in your life. It’s generous, silent, and doesn’t care if you kick it in the middle of the night.

When you’re prone to pre-snooze Instagram rabbit holes, remember this: Distance makes the double tap grow fonder. People will tell you to keep your phone in another room. We know you won’t do that. So keep it charging on your dresser or somewhere where you can’t reach instead of on your bedside table. Or switch your settings to grayscale to make your phone less appealing. Screens (and that includes TVs) are like a traffic jam en route to the Land of Nod.

Okay, so how do I keep my space neat?

Put something down. Pick it up. Put it away. Repeat. That’s a good start. Then raise your hand if you’ve ever felt personally victimized by Marie Kondo. The most effective way to reduce clutter is simple: Get rid of shit. We know that’s easier said than done, so start with your clothing and try the hanger trick.

Here’s how it works: Turn all your hangers one way. After you’ve worn an item—and only after you’ve worn it—turn its hanger the other way. After six months, the writing will be on the closet wall, and you’ll be able to figure out what you don’t wear and can toss, sell, or donate.

Or take the 12-12-12 challenge. Find 12 things to throw away, 12 to donate, and 12 to put back in their place.

Now, about that self-care thing...

This may seem obvious, but exercise is proven to improve your mood. Because endorphins make you happy. Studies have shown that 30 minutes a day is all you really need. Thirty minutes: the amount of time you spent stalking your ex’s cousin’s best friend’s dog. If you’re not into running, some other types of exercise to try include, yup, yoga (good for relaxation), swimming, (good for working out the whole body without putting strain on the joints), or...drumroll please...walking. Never forget: Power-walking is an Olympic sport.

This excerpt has been edited and condensed from HOW TO SKIMM YOUR LIFE by theSkimm, copyright © 2019 by theSkimm.

Used by permission of Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.