These Woke Women Give Real Advice About How To Self-Care

April Ryan, Angela Rye, April Reign and Luvvie Ajayi break down how they take care of themselves.  

Though being conscious and fighting the system can be rewarding work, it can also be completely draining.
From therapy to a cup of tea, the topic of self-care came up at the ESSENCE Festival 2017 Woke Panel on Friday between White House correspondent April Ryan, activist April Reign, political commentator Angela Rye and social commentator and author Luvvie Ajayi. All four women were featured in the May 2017 issue of ESSENCE that honored the #Woke100, women who are blazing trails for equal rights and inclusion for Black people in America.

And the ladies had quite a bit to share about self-care.
“Black women, let me say this to you,” Reign said. “You are not superwoman."

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She added: "Because you cannot save your village, and you cannot save your family, if you are not saving yourself.”

The four women shared gems of how they replenish themselves before taking on the world. Here's what they had to say.

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 Do not shy away from therapy
“I have been extra intentional about finding joy every single day,” said Ajayi, adding that she looks for joy in everything from cute cat videos to spending time with Black women.  
But she also says therapy has been a big part of her self-care routine. "I think it’s important for me to have a place that I go once week to talk about things that are important to me."
"Sometimes we just need to pray," she adds. "Sometimes we just need our friends. But sometimes we just need a therapist.” 

Be consistent with your routine

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April Reign is vigilant about the things that help her replenish: "It’s important that I do it regularly, consistently, and it is important that I don’t feel guilty about it," she said of her routine.

For her, it is as simple as turning off her phone and going to be with nature, reading a book or enjoying a boozy Sunday with friends.
“It has to be something that makes you feel full again," said Reign. And do it regularly and do not apologize for it.”
Talking to the people who fulfill you

RELATED: ESSENCE Unveils List Of 100 Woke Women For The May 2017 Issue

Angely Rye talks to her parents every single day, and sometimes talks to her father multiple times a day.
“I love talking to them because it keeps me grounded and it keeps me centered on my mission and on what really matters,” she explains.
Girlfriend therapy
"Girlfriends are my therapy session,"  White House correspondent Ryan said. Her work covering the Trump White House can be taxing, so being able to turn to her ride-or-die friends makes a big difference. 


To me staying woke means making sure that you're tuned into your community. That you are doing everything that you can to not only educate yourself but to bring someone else along. To ensure that we all have the same information. It's not enough to be woke on your own you need to help someone else along to also get woke. Woke is about a state of mind. It is not a new concept, we just started calling it something new because that is what black folks do. W. E. B. Dubois said it best it is about a double consciousness but it is consciousness most of all, and I think that is what it is really about. It is about applying that consciousness to real action. I grew up With a mother and father who always taught me, [APPLAUSE] That's right. Who always taught me to understand that I was a black woman in this nation. To understand my position as what they think I should be, and what I could be. And knowing that, Understanding what I was taught. I also understood that was for everyone. But in these last couple of months, we've seen more challenges, and I think it's more incumbent upon us as media to make sure that those who listen, read, or watch us That they know the stakes are high. And that they are affected. And that they are a part of the equation.>> The idea of woke. I think people start giving themselves way too much credit. Because in that moment they're like, Well I'm a good person. I'm woke. Because I happen to finally understand that privilege is a thing. Right. And then their actions didn't lead to it. So I kind of want to pull that word back to be like, no, no, no, no, and reclaim it to be like, no, you all can't use it. [LAUGH] Because it's clear, numbers tell us that all these woke people aren't really woke because if woke means doing the things that make sense, that shows that you love black people, that shows that you find the humanity in people, you want to protect it? You all ain't been woke. Yeah.
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