See Kerry Washington's Stunning New Magazine Cover

Kerry Washington is a major force to be reckoned with — both on and off the screen. 

When she's not taking charge of the vicious political scene in Washington D.C. as Olivia Pope on "Scandal," the actress is busy being an activist, spokeswoman, new mom and a wife. 

Now, as SELF's September cover star, the star reveals just how she nails the ultimate balancing act. And as we've seen before, the journey stems from the inside out.

Read on to learn how Kerry Washington prioritizes her well-being, family and career to strive for the life she boldly pursues to create.


On her post-baby body
"A few weeks ago, my manager asked: 'Do you feel like you're back? I feel like you're back.' She meant it as a total compliment, but we had this great conversation where I was like, 'You know what? I try really hard not to use that language, because it's not about going backward in life.'"

"I've been really focused on not being 'back' to anything, but being the best version of myself right now. My body is the site of a miracle now. I don't want to be pre-miracle."


On working out
"I try to get it in so I can be back with my kid early. I have to take care of myself in order to live life the way I want to. It's important to have rest days. But in the long run, if I don't work out for, like, three days, I feel worse, not better."

On what she has in common with Olivia Pope
"It makes my heart smile to think that maybe part of the reason I'm taking all this on is because of Olivia. She truly believes that she can handle every situation, and I do feel that has bled into my life. I have more of a sense of my capacity to do anything."


The issue hits newsstands on August 25. In the meantime, read the full story here.

Watch "Scandal" creator Shonda Rhimes talk about how Washington's character Olivia Pope broke the mold for women on television. Learn more about how Shonda rose to Hollywood acclaim by watching her MAKERS story

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Photo Credit: SELF, Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP