Rest is a crucial part of self-care, and a radical act of self-love, especially for Black and marginalized women who are often carrying the weight of multiple responsibilities and societal pressures. In fact, rest can be embodied as a ritual; a sacred act of rejuvenation and replenishment.
Historically, Black women have been expected to be caretakers for their families, communities, and even their oppressors. This unrelenting expectation can cause physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. While most women are innate nurturers, and revel at offering nourishment in all forms as sacred gifts, we want to do it out of free will and from a loving heart. Rest, without guilt or shame attached, allows us to reclaim our power and prioritize our own well-being so that we can pour out from an overflow of love rather than a vessel depleted of being unseen, unheard, unsupported, and oftentimes, unloved.
Many spaces of rest and relaxation, such as spas, resorts, and retreats have excluded representation of black and indigenous women. The facilitators don’t look like us, the language does not land for us, and the practices sometimes do not connect with our soul. This has led to the creation of safe spaces and communities where we can come together to rest, rejuvenate, and heal. These spaces often prioritize holistic practices, such as ritual, sacred circles, meditation, yoga, somatic writing, and dance, which can help Black women connect with their bodies and release emotional and mental energy that does not serve us well. Most importantly, these spaces create the divine opportunity to just be still, do nothing, and rest. As the proclaimed “Nap Bishop,” Tricia Hersey, author of Rest is Resistance, says,
“We must believe we are worthy of rest. We don’t have to earn it. It is our birthright. It is one of our most ancient and primal needs.”
It's important to recognize that rest is not a privilege, but a necessity for Black women. Rest is a radical act of self-love and resistance against a society that demands constant productivity and overlooks the value of rest. By prioritizing rest, Black women can bring harmony to their energy flow, enhance creativity, and align overall well-being to peace, ease, and joy.
Rest is a ritual that should be celebrated and prioritized. This is not a simple reminder to rest, it is a call to action, a mind shift into believing rest is a divine right, then acting on that belief.
Let’s rest together.