Condoleezza Rice and Allyson Felix are using their voices to advocate the importance of maintaining a stress-free lifestyle for women in the Black community while balancing a demanding career and motherhood.
Rice and Felix sat down with CBS News anchor Adriana Diaz at the KPMG Women's Leadership Summit at the Baltusrol Golf Club in New Jersey. They shared moments from their careers that profoundly influenced their outlook.
Rice—the first Black woman to serve as Secretary of the United States—told the outlet that climbing the career ladder can have its own set of adversities that can be hard to manage, no matter who you are or what you do for a living.
"Stress is a part of life," Rice said. "And particularly as you go up the ladder, it's going to be more stressful. And frankly, that's also true for men."
To manage her stressors in life, she prefers to address the trigger head first. “I always found, first and foremost, acknowledging it," said Rice. "If you suppress it, it doesn't help. I always said to myself, 'All right, this is a stressful situation.' And by naming it, I felt that I could deal with it then. And saying, 'Oh, I can't be stressed'? Come on. What you can say is, 'I'm feeling stressed. How do I manage that stress?' And I think that's the most important thing.
Being a 7-time Olympic medalist is a huge feat, but a title also comes with unique hurdles that can cause one to stumble. But with a strong game plan to become one, Felix says she is more equipped to face anything. "I start my day off with my gratitude journal, and that really just centers me. I started playing a little bit of tennis. Sometimes when my days get absolutely crazy, sometimes wellness looks like sitting in my car for a little bit longer, you know? Doing a little bit of meditation before I walk into the house."
Condoleezza and Felix agree that carving out time alone to rest and reflect has played a significant role in the trajectory of their life. To unwind, Rice credits playing the piano and watching football, a hobby she enjoyed with her late father. As for Felix, she cherishes special moments with her daughter with their daily round of affirmations.