In honor of Black History Month, we’ve been discussing ways that we can honor those who came before us by honoring ourselves. Today’s episode discusses the importance of rest. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to overlook the different types of rest we need to maintain our well-being. But for Black women, who often carry the weight of intergenerational trauma and systemic oppression, rest is a vital act of self-care and resilience. Let’s dive in.
Rest is more than just sleep; it encompasses a variety of activities that help us recharge and rejuvenate, including physical rest, mental rest, sensory rest, and creative rest. Research has shown that chronic stress can have a significant impact on our physical and mental health, leading to a range of issues from anxiety and depression to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Taking regular breaks to rest and recharge can help prevent burnout, increase productivity, and improve overall well-being.
Sleep is essential for our physical health as it allows our bodies to repair and rejuvenate. During sleep, our bodies produce growth hormones that promote tissue repair, bone formation, and muscle growth. It also allows our immune system to function properly, fighting off infections and diseases. Lack of sleep can weaken our immune system and make us more susceptible to illnesses.
Sleep is also critical for our mental health. It helps our brains process and consolidate information, making it easier for us to remember and learn new things. Getting enough sleep is essential for maintaining a healthy mood and reducing the risk of developing mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. Sleep deprivation can lead to irritability, mood swings, and difficulty concentrating.
For us, rest is especially crucial as we navigate the ongoing effects of systemic racism, sexism, and ‘isms’. The intergenerational trauma of slavery and Jim Crow, along with the daily microaggressions and biases we face, can take a significant toll on our mental and physical health. Resting is a powerful way to honor our ancestors and prioritize our own well-being. It allows us to heal, process emotions, and connect with our bodies and spirits.
Resting is not just a personal act of self-care but a powerful way to honor the legacy of our ancestors. In a culture that values productivity over everything else, taking intentional time to rest and prioritize our well-being is a radical act of resistance. Our ancestors endured unimaginable suffering and oppression, and their resilience and strength continue to inspire us today.
Tanya Christian is a home and lifestyle expert at Consumer Reports who reports on sleep staples to help consumers make informed decisions.
Be Well, Sis Partners:
Athletic Greens– Redeem your offer for 1 year of high-quality Vitamin D + 5 free travel packs
BetterHelp: Get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/bewellsis
Let’s Get Checked: If you want to feel more empowered in your health and wellness and get tested at home, visit trylgc.com/bewellsis and get 25% off your test using code BEWELLSIS