Ten tips to be your best in 2024

What should you consider doing differently this year?

Thursday, January 11 2024

If you ended last year feeling exhausted to the point of burnout, now is the time to reset to avoid falling into the same unsustainable patterns for the year ahead. Set the pace for a productive and fulfilling 2024 with these insights and tips from Netcare Akeso.

“When our work-life balance falls out of kilter, all spheres of life are likely to suffer eventually unless we take steps to assert our boundaries to redress the balance,” says Megan Gonsalves, Netcare Akeso’s Crisis Line and marketing manager.

“Taking the time to reflect on the past year allows us to assess whether we devote enough time and energy to our physical and mental wellbeing, relationships with others and our occupations.

“In the pace of modern life, additional pressures can easily start heaping up on us if we do not have strong boundaries. The beginning of the year is therefore the ideal time to plan proactively how to manage the demands of the year ahead.”

Gonsalves points out that there will always be things outside of one’s control. “It is essential to develop our strategies, internal resources and skills in advance to cope in difficult times, which are inevitably part of life.

Ashira Moonsamy, an occupational therapist practising at Netcare Akeso Richards Bay and Netcare Akeso Umhlanga, adds that intentional mental preparation for the year ahead helps set the course toward achieving the necessary balance for optimal, sustainable functioning.

Moonsamy’s 10 tips to plan for a strong 2024:

  1. Be realistic about what you can take on. Setting goals for the year ahead requires an honest evaluation of the commitment and capacity available for these tasks. Consider setting a series of more achievable goals spaced throughout the year, contributing towards your ultimate objectives for 2024. 
  2. What fuels you? Only you can decide what your needs are for keeping motivated and fulfilled year-round. Plan positive ways of replenishing yourself when the going gets tough, such as relaxing activities, spending time with family, or dedicating time to giving back to your community.
  3. Make space in your diary for rest and relaxation. Maintaining our wellbeing requires taking regular breaks, which ultimately enable us to achieve more overall.
  4. Nurture your good relationships. Surround yourself with people who are good for you, and invest time in supportive, fulfilling relationships with your partner, friends and family. If you are struggling to connect emotionally, this could be a warning sign of burnout.
  5. Commit to a healthy routine. Sleep, exercise and self-care are the foundation of our resilience to stress and cannot be sacrificed to make way for added responsibilities – no matter how busy 2024 turns out to be.
  6. Remember, it’s OK to say ‘No’. Setting healthy boundaries and sticking to them helps protect us from becoming overwhelmed or feeling resentful as the year progresses.
  7. Create an early warning stress scale. Identify the different levels and associated symptoms of stress you have experienced before, ranging from healthy positive forms of stress that contribute to motivation to more harmful levels of distress that may be mild, moderate or severe.
  8. Plan your support resources. Talking through our worries with a friend or loved one can often help us process stress and put it in greater perspective. In addition, Netcare Akeso’s 24-hour crisis line is always available on 0861 435 787 with trained counsellors to listen and guide you on the various options for professional mental health support if needed.
  9. Don’t put your eggs all in one basket. Maintain different areas of your life, including work, social life, hobbies and interests, as this will help you to draw energy and support from the areas that are going better than others.
  10. Allow for flexibility and practise self-compassion. Begin the new year with realistic expectations for a few bumps in the road ahead. Be gentle with yourself, and remain adaptable to make the best of 2024, whatever this year may bring.


About Netcare Akeso
Netcare Akeso operates a network of private inpatient mental health facilities and is part of the Netcare Group. Netcare Akeso provides individual, integrated and family-oriented treatment in specialised inpatient treatment facilities, as well as certain outpatient services, for a range of psychiatric, psychological and substance use conditions. Please visit or contact [email protected] for further information.

In the event of a psychological crisis, call 0861 435 787, 24 hours a day for emergency support. Psychiatrist consultations can be made through Netcare appointmed™, online at or by calling 0861 555 565.

Issued by:   MNA on behalf of Netcare Akeso
For media enquiries contact: Martina Nicholson, Meggan Saville, and Estene Lotriet-Vorster
Telephone:  (011) 469 3016
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