Healthy Hearts: Self-care vs. Stress

We are so happy to feature a post from guest blogger and health pro Tara Magalski! Check out more amazing and healthy information on her website at


How do you manage your stress? Do you drink your woes away? Do you smoke to take off the edge?   Do you stay up all night tossing and turning? Do you take pills to calm your nerves? Do you find yourself over-eating to stuff down those feelings of worry? Do you find yourself spinning out of control?

Chronic stress exposes our bodies to elevated levels of adrenaline and cortisol, which can disrupt many of our body’s processes.  Unmanaged stress can lead to digestion problems, skin problems, disrupted sleep patterns, depression, psychological and emotional problems, over-eating and heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

The most important thing you can do for your health is to find ways to de-stress.  After living in NYC for eleven years, the hustle is in my blood.  We are prone to external stressors living in busy cities, so it is extremely important to find ways to cope. What I have found to be the most valuable tactic is “self-care”.

What is self-care? Self- care is all those things you do for pure pleasure.

 Divine Lifestyle’s “self-care” tips:

1.)  Well balanced meals:

  • Low in red meat and processed foods, high in fruit and veggie consumption. Fish and whole grains will keep your blood sugar stable through out the day. A well-balanced meal prevents diabetes and keeps your heart healthy and happy.

2.)  Exercise outdoors:

  • Spending time in nature and breathing fresh air is the healthiest way to work out. The American Heart Association recommends exercising aerobically at least thirty minutes all or most days of the week.

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3.)  Pray/Meditate:

  • Connect with your “spirit self” to remain balanced, relaxed and grounded.


4.)  Maintain a positive attitude:

  •  Positive thoughts are proven to make you feel at “ease”; negative thoughts are proven to make you feel “dis-ease” which can lead to many health problems. “The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”

– William James (1842-1910)

5.)  Pamper yourself:

  • Get a manicure/pedicure and make sure to get an extra ten-minute foot massage; or a facial and back massage…or even better, a spa day!

6.)  Cut out caffeine:

  • Caffeine elevates stress hormones that cause inflammation. Inflammation is one of leading culprits of heart disease.

7.)  Soak in the bath:

  • After a long day at the office, taking the time to wind down reduces stress hormones and will boost your immunity.

8.)  Cook your favorite meal:

  • Cooking for yourself helps you to become mindful of how you are nourishing your body.

9.)  Get 6-8 hours of sleep:

  • Not getting enough sleep can lead to hypertension and heart disease.

10.) Find quiet time to read your favorite book:    

  • Expanding your imagination is a great tool for reducing stress. The power of your imagination (through visualization) can produce calming, healing responses in your body.

11.) Book that vacation you always dreamed of…and don’t feel guilty: 

  • Taking “time-out” from your daily routine and doing something adventurous is good for your soul. It’s healthy to take a break from the grind.

12.) Spend quality time with loved ones: 

  • Love is all we need.  Spending time with loved ones lowers blood pressure.

13.) Find a fun dance class to set yourself free: 

  • Dancing is a great way to let loose and burn calories; and a great cardiovascular workout.



  • Smoking is a major cause of coronary artery disease in men and women.

You can visit my website at and my facebook page at


“Health brings freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it. Without your health, you have nothing.”

-Tara Magalski