We’ve all been guilty of putting our needs on the backburner when we are busy. The issue with this is that we tend to forget our needs—most of which are crucial to our well-being. Daily stresses may prevent us from taking extra care of ourselves, leading to exhaustion and anxiety to blossom within. When we exhibit emotional and physical burnout, it’s a result of our bodies, hearts, and minds being pushed to the limit. However, there are ways to avoid feeling stressed all the time.
Taking care of oneself daily is not just important, it’s essential. Allowing oneself to practice emotional, spiritual, and mental hygiene everyday serves as a reward—it enables us to refocus and benefits us on all levels.
BUST sat down with Jerico Mandybur (@jerico.mandybur)—Girlboss editor, host of the podcast Self Service (available on Girlboss Radio), Tarot reader, and self-care advocate—to discuss her new book Neo Tarot: A Fresh Approach to Self-Care, Healing, and Empowerment and learn helpful healing tips.
Why is self-care important?
Self-care is just shorthand for looking after our basic needs—which we all know comes easy to some people and is a real struggle for others. Women and femmes especially are raised to be “givers” and put everyone’s needs before their own. While people’s experiences of trauma, emotional labor, etc. are relative, it’s fair to say we could all use more time—for self-reflection, stillness, and holding space for our emotions and experiences. That’s all self-care is, at its core: a container of time you can use to restore your energy.
What inspired you to be an advocate for self-care?
My life experiences just led me to that place. I’m a survivor of childhood abuse and various trauma, and as a result of that, I dealt with various mental health issues and chronic migraines. In adulthood, I’ve experienced the kind of professional and personal burnout that comes from repressing and ignoring these things—ignoring your emotional and spiritual nature—and instead putting all your energy into work. I feel like this is the norm, rather than the exception, unfortunately. So as I’ve learned about looking after myself better, I’ve been lucky enough to have a platform to share that along the way.
Are there any self-care tips that one can do in the office or during the daily commute?
Realistically, “work” doesn’t stop outside of the hours of 9-5 these days, so I try to incorporate self-care into my day. Setting a timer for drinking water, putting a proper lunch break into your calendar, going outside and walking around the block, doing 10 minutes of meditation, watching something informative on YouTube to relax—I would recommend doing as many little things as you can while working or commuting, because it’s too easy to say “maybe tomorrow” to self-care after you’re home in the evening, exhausted.
Healing is a long process. How can one start to heal?
Set the intention to know and accept yourself more, then gently incorporate low-stakes awareness exercises into your day. Set reminders to spend a few minutes noticing how you’re feeling at different times of the day. Journal about your emotional state. Keep a record of all your wins and the things you want to try again tomorrow. Don’t put any ounce of expectation on yourself to suddenly become a yoga expert, or wake up feeling better! No one is ever fully “healed”—healing is a doing word. So as long as you’re doing something self-reflexive, you’re doing it.
What inspired you to write the book?
I wanted to create a Tarot book that read less like “here is the meaning of this card,” and more like a Tarot reader in which the interpretation is layered with nurturing yet honest advice about how to access the energy of each card and use it as self-care inspiration. So I wanted to make a book and deck for people going through a healing process to feel “held” as they learn how to read the cards. Plus, as a queer Egyptian/white woman, I was happy to have the opportunity to help address the lack of representation in tarot.
Any words of wisdom you have to empower young people out there?
Don’t compare your self-care journey to anyone else’s—in terms of what you’re overcoming, and in terms of healing. And don’t believe anyone who tells you that you need to spend money in order to self-care.
Photos by Isabella Beharavan