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Do you or your team struggle with a mental illness? For FairKitchen’s Mental Health Month, our partner, the South African Depression and Anxiety (SADAG) have put together practical self-help tips to help you cope better in your everyday life. 

Don’t forget that through the FairKitchens toll-free helpline, there is always someone available for you to talk to. Call the FairKitchens helpline anytime on 0800 006 333.


1. Share your feelings.

Trying to deal with your pain on your own can only make it worse. Share your feelings with others rather than keeping them to yourself. 

2. Don’t be alone.

Although you may want to be alone, you may feel better if you try to take part in some activities you previously enjoyed with your family and friends. 

3. Routine helps! 

Set yourself a daily routine and try as much as possible to maintain that routine. You may not be able to do all you usual activities, so be sure to set a routine that is realistic. 

4. Set achievable goals.

Learn to make small goals that you can reach. Once you have reached them, say positive things to make yourself feel good about your achievement. 

5. Avoid making big decisions.

For example, changing jobs or ending a relationship, are decisions you shouldn’t make until you are feeling better. 

6. Change your lifestyle. 

Most people suffering from Depression have been found to be perfectionists and who drive themselves too hard. You may need to learn to lower impossible standards. Try and reduce your workload in order to live your life at a slower pace.

7. Exercise! 

Depression often makes you feel tired and lack of motivation. Despite this, any form of physical exercise, however small, will be good for you. If some exercise can be taken in the fresh air, this can add to the benefit. Go for a walk or play soccer with your friends! 

8. Diet is important. 

Under- or over-eating are symptoms of depression. It is essential to have a well-balanced diet that prevents tiredness and feeling run down. 

9. Relaxation.

You may get angry and irritated easily. Relaxation techniques such as running, reading, sewing or playing soccer are all effective ways of reducing anxiety and stress.

10. Read books.

Learning about and understanding the nature of the condition and its possible causes will help to remove much of the fear, guilt and misconception which many people have. 

11. Avoid bad habits.  

Things like smoking, drinking or taking drugs. Alcohol in particular is a depressant and it can make you feel better in the beginning, but you will feel worse afterwards.

12.  Join a support group. 

A support group is the first place you can go where everyone understands and no one judges. Knowing that someone else truly understands by having ‘been there’ brings a sense of relief. 

13. Always remember …

Seeking treatment is a sign of strength, and is the first step to feeling better. 

14. Feeling better takes time. 

Don’t expect too much from yourself right away, it will take time to feel better. 

15. Call the FairKitchens Helpline.

Our counsellors listen. 

At the other end of the phone day and night, they won’t judge or tell you what to do.  

Run in partnership with The South African Depression & Anxiety Group (SADAG) the 24hr toll-free #FairKitchens helpline is here anytime you need to talk.

Free to all foodservice professionals across South Africa, #FairKitchens helpline has been set up to address the particular challenges faced by those working in our industry. 

We know the pressures of long hours, demanding service and late shifts. Sadly, local research shows mental health and stress-related illnesses are common in our kitchens and rarely talked about openly. It’s time this changed.

All calls are confidential and there’s no need to tell us your name. 

Call us anytime on 0800 006 333.

Content supplied by South African Depression and Anxiety Group. For more information visit