Rest and Resistance

By Kriste Peoples

Rest and Resistance

It’s been a week, people. Up until 10:30 this morning, no sh!t, I still thought it was Monday.

Last week brought many of us to new edges of outrage, grief, rage, despair, and rage (yes, more than once). Come Sunday, many of us were brimming with joy and pride, all the feels.

I don’t know about you, but quaranteening and this extended emotional whackamole has forced me to explore my creativity in surprising and sometimes laughable ways, and I’m grateful for that outlet. I’ve also been finding new city-bound trails to run and wander and exhaust myself on.

Probably the hardest thing I’ve needed to do — while still having the privilege of an income these days — is re-learn how to rest for real. And not just as a sole response to overwork, overwhelm, trauma fatigue and fear, but as an important part of my own preemptive self-care — before things break down (again).

In the days surrounding the solidarity run for Ahmaud Arbery, I had no idea what to do with myself. I was tired and over every last thing. I talk about outdoor engagement A LOT and one truth is, risks are real anytime we set foot outside (or even when we stay inside sometimes, but that’s another story) — particularly as people of color. Which can make it even more challenging to take to nature for rest and healing when we need it most.

By whatever means you use to resist oppression and injustice, or to cope, or to recreate and refuel, don’t dismiss the importance of rest. In the crush of all the inequity and injustice we see and carry, being healthy and well, rested and happy, caring kindly for ourselves is its own powerful form of activism. To the extent we’re able to avail ourselves of this resource, it can be plenty.