THE discussion around prioritising mental health is rife at the moment, but for some, the issue is that it’s not always easy to ‘find the time’ with work, family life and everything else that takes place in between.

Durban-based specialist wellness counsellor Alishia Mudaly says that making small changes in your lifestyle, even if it is just one thing, can lead the way to a better state of well-being, and there’s no better time to start than right now as it is World Well-being Week (June 26–30).

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“Taking care of yourself is an investment in your mental health and unlocks the potential for inner peace, resilience and a brighter outlook on life,” she said.

“Managing stress, self-care activities and avoiding toxicity will help you feel better,” she said.

Five tips from Mudaly for overall well-being

1. Prioritise self-care
Make time for activities that nourish your body, mind, and soul. For example, engage in regular exercise, practise mindfulness or meditation, get enough sleep, and indulge in hobbies or activities that bring you joy.

2. Maintain a balanced diet
Fuel your body with nutritious food to support overall well-being. Incorporate a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats into your meals. For instance, try swapping sugary snacks for fresh fruits or opt for homemade meals instead of processed foods.

3. Foster positive relationships
Surround yourself with supportive and uplifting individuals. Cultivate meaningful connections with family, friends or colleagues. Engage in open and honest communication, spend quality time together, and offer support when needed. An example could be scheduling a regular catch-up with a close friend or joining a community group with shared interests.

4. Manage stress effectively
Develop healthy coping mechanisms to deal with stress. Practise relaxation techniques like deep-breathing exercises, engage in activities that help you unwind, eg, reading, listening to music or taking a bath, and consider setting boundaries to maintain a healthy work-life balance. For instance, you could try incorporating a daily ten-minute meditation session into your routine.

5. Practise gratitude and positive thinking
Cultivate a positive mindset by focusing on gratitude and positive self-talk. Take time each day to reflect on things you are grateful for, write them down in a journal, or share them with a loved one. Challenge negative thoughts and replace them with positive affirmations. For example, instead of dwelling on a mistake, remind yourself of what you learned from the experience and how it helped you grow.

“Remember, these tips are general recommendations, and it’s essential to tailor them to your specific needs and preferences. Consulting with a wellness professional can provide personalised guidance for your individual circumstances,” she added.

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