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Really Powerful Boss Women Share Their Self-Care Routine

Take care of you, sis.

Even in all its magic, being black and a woman is exhausting. Whether it's organizing social movements, devoting our lives to public service, or live streaming systematic violence our community regularly deals with, black women face extraordinary challenges every day.

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Simultaneously, as we lead the charge for racial equality, we're also fighting to make sure our rights, like adequate punishment for black women's violators and equal pay to our white women colleagues, are included in the feminist agenda.

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Sometimes it feels lonely and overwhelming, which is why self-care must be a part of our daily regimen. We talked to six powerful boss women about how they handle it all.

Editor-in-Chief at Essence, Vanessa De Luca, actively reminds herself that she's a human who deserves to live without worry.

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After the killing of Alton Sterling, she says, "I was so outraged, so I tweeted that I'm only tweeting about this today. And that's healthy because you can't keep it bottled up." But she also takes breaks "for things that bring me joy. Simple things that remind me I am a human being who deserves joy and to live without worry, without looking over my shoulder."

De Luca suggests connecting with your allies face-to-face because technology alienates us from people. Something as simple as coffee with a friend, though, reminds us of our humanity. "As long as we keep that halo around us, seeing the good in who we are, that helps to buffer against the bigotry and injustice. Otherwise we will not be resilient," she says.

Ericka Pittman, VP at Combs Enterprises, stays in touch with her body to stay physically and emotionally strong.

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"Some mornings I take 30 minutes and focus on cardio or yoga and spend 30 mins at the end of my day reflecting in gratitude with either meditation or just a long hot shower," Pittman tells BuzzFeed. "I listen to my body and give it what it needs to preserve."

She says that a clear sense of how she's present in the world and what she's experiencing in the now motivates her to keep going. "Am I being who I want to be in this very moment? Am I thankful? Am I satisfied? Am I doing my best? If my answer to these questions is a resounding yes, then I'm in a great space," Pitman asserts.

The author and public speaker Sarah Jakes Roberts finds solace in prayer, meditation, and quality family time.

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"It can be difficult to not fully immerse myself in coverage and activism, given the constant challenges our country has been facing," Sarah Jakes Roberts tells us. "In moments when my desire to stay up to date becomes obsessive, or affects my mental health, I take time to balance the energy that inundates my mind with prayer, meditation, and quality time with my family."

She says that these moments give her clarity and balance, allowing her to be more effective in change. Roberts believes that real activism continues once the marches end. "Each time you interact with members of society, you have an opportunity to change the narrative of the American story," Roberts concludes.

Owners of The Crabby Shack, Fifi and Gwen, are advocates of staying informed.

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"Self-care is extremely important for everyone," Fifi and Gwen tell BuzzFeed. "With all the social injustices happening to people of color, it's key that we stay informed and involved ... to live and fight another day." Both mothers, they emphasize that it's especially important to keep children informed of their realities as people of color in the world: "Take seminars, read books, talk to leaders on what to do if you are being stopped by the police."

Nikki Walton, founder of, doesn't waver from her self-care routine, despite what's happening around her.

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"My self-care routine is consistent, whether my outer conditions are turbulent or calm," says the founder of Curly Nikki. "I wake up before my family every morning, around 5 A.M, to meditate and center. I also spend at least 5-15 minutes reading from spiritually uplifting texts." She says that doing this first and then responding to her environment allows her to take the most effective actions in any scenario.

"We also need to be careful about where we get our information from. Mainstream media outlets not only try to justify injustices, but are also notorious for misrepresenting people of color," she points out. Walton adds, "So do your part to be cognizant of where the news and information comes from, and also know to turn it off when it begins to have a negative impact on your emotional state."

And Claire Sulmers, Editor-in-Chief of, gets a rise out of success.

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Sulmers says, "I wake up early to meditate, work out, and get organized. I think it's important to be more focused; to stare adversity in the face and decide that success is your best revenge."

She says it's important to "take time for yourself to think, to read, and gain knowledge on all that's going on," and to get with friends to "talk about how you can band together to make a difference in the world." Sulmers stresses that we definitely have to take care of ourselves, but also, of each other.