The actress believes in "everything in moderation — including moderation"

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D'Arcy Carden
Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty

D’Arcy Carden’s approach to nutrition and exercise is more simple than it has been in the past.

Carden, who plays The Good Place’s lovable, non-human, non-robot source of all information in the world, said she spent plenty of time “struggling” with her body image and “trying to fit in the perfect mold of what I thought was the ideal Hollywood type.” But now, Carden, 40, says she she’s in a better place mentally.

“I think as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten to know myself better,” she tells PEOPLE.

Rather than caring about fitting in a “specific dress size,” and overthinking what she eats, Carden has a more laid-back method.

“What I have realized works best for me is everything in moderation — including moderation,” she says. “Basically, not being too strict about moderation. It’s a balance, and about letting yourself enjoy your life.”

Carden, who is a spokesperson for Truvia, cites her coffee routine as one example.

“I’m a major coffee lover, like I go to sleep dreaming about the coffee that I will be drinking the next day. And I like my coffee to be creamy and sweet, and there was a while where I was getting down on myself for not drinking black coffee because I thought that would be healthier. And then I realized it made me so much happier to have coffee the way that I like it, which is with Truvia and a little bit of half and half. You find the things that work for you.”

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She takes a similar approach to her workouts. Though Carden feels “so much better” when she’s active, there are times when she just needs a break.

“There was a while where I was doing this dance class and I was doing it all the time, and then one day I was like, ‘I’m over this. I don’t want to do this anymore.’ And then you just find the next thing, but also not beat yourself up if you don’t find the next thing right away,” she says. “When I’m feeling my best and my healthiest, I’m listening to my body and not forcing myself to do something that I’m not enjoying.”

When Carden is on a workout kick, she’ll do two or three Pilates classes and two or three weightlifting sessions a week. “Maybe it’s four workouts a week, but sometimes it’s one and sometimes it’s six, and that’s okay.”

Right now, though, Carden’s days are filled with exercise. She’s currently prepping for a television reboot of the baseball classic A League of Their Own, and the cast has been playing ball for around eight hours a day. It’s been “really fun” for Carden, who played softball in high school, along with water polo and basketball.

And when she’s not out on the field, Carden has found that baths are the perfect way to wind down — with plenty of Epsom salt for her tired muscles.