Rest Is Resistance: A Manifesto
What if rest was a political act? This is the concept that Tricia Hersey explores in her manifesto on rest. Despite her popular project, the Nap Ministry — rest, she summarizes, isn't just about napping. Rest is also about slowing down, setting boundaries that feel good, stepping out of the rat race, disconnecting from social media, and holding space to dream. Hersey also addresses the popularization of "grind culture" and the capitalist myth that worth = productivity. Her message is applicable to all, but specifically is drawn from the intergenerational trauma inflicted upon the Black and Indigenous body, and more so the female body, pushing productivity to the absolute edge of what is humanly possible. The link between capitalism, white supremacy, and grind culture is illuminated from a historical and contemporary perspective, alongside a practical approach to shifting our mindsets to make space for rest and rejuvenation — not to increase our productivity, but to step into a truer version of ourselves.
"Our collective rest will not be easy. All of culture is collaborating for us not to rest. . . . We are sleep-deprived because the systems view us as machines, but bodies are not machines. Our bodies are a site of liberation. . . . There is synergy, interconnectedness, and deep communal healing within our rest movement. . . . Rest is a healing portal to our deepest selves. Rest is care. Rest is radical."
"Grind culture has made us all human machines, willing and ready to donate our lives to a capitalist system that thrives by placing profits over people."
"You are worthy of rest. We don't have to earn rest. Rest is not a luxury, a privilege, or a bonus we must wait for once we are burned out."
"America is not a welcoming place to all bodies. America was built on the backs of Black and Indigenous people who labored without rest for centuries as this country built its economic power. White supremacy became a vehicle to poison the hearts and minds of an entire nation to view human beings as less than divine. Rest is resistance because it is a counternarrative to the script of capitalism and white supremacy for all people."
"Every single moment of the day was dedicated to what I could accomplish. True liberation to me is to not be constantly attempting to prove our worth and ticking off to-do lists. To just be."
"This is healing work. This is justice work. When we are aligned against the ideas of oppressive culture, we understand we didn't arrive on Earth to be a tool for a capitalist system. It is not our divine purpose. You were not just born to center your entire existence on work and labor. You were born to heal, to grow, to be of service to yourself and community, to practice, to experiment, to create, to have space, to dream, and to connect."