Maintaining Physical And Mental Well-being: Self-Care Tips For The New Year

We’re all about self-care in 2024! Self-care encourages you to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself. It’s all about caring for both your physical and emotional well-being. So, how do you go about it? Well, here is your guide:

 Start being physically active.

Physical health is a core part of self-care. Research has shown that regular exercise increases the level of serotonin in our bodies significantly improving our mood and energy. When exercising for self-care, you should choose an activity you love, this could be running, taking a walk or anything that makes you feel alive.

Get enough sleep.

Sleep is essential for your well-being. It’s recommended that you get at least 6-8 hours of sleep every night. Your body needs time to rest and renew. You can also take daytime naps as they are excellent for refreshing your body and improving concentration levels.

Eat healthier.

Your diet is one of the major parts of self-care. Eliminate foods with saturated fats, sugar and salt. Instead, make a habit of consuming foods that build your body like vegetables and fruits.

Live your best life.

Look for what motivates you and inspires you, these are things that make you feel alive.  You can start by going on solo dates or treating yourself to something simple like taking a relaxing bath or doing your hair or nails. Keep this commitment to yourself.

Self-care does not have to cost anything; it’s just doing things you enjoy. Remember that self-care is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Messagea Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).

How To Set Achievable New Year’s Resolutions: Tips & Inspiration

Setting achievable New Year’s resolutions involves thoughtful planning, realistic goal setting, and a commitment to making positive changes. Here are some tips to help you set and achieve realistic resolutions:

  1. Reflect on the Past Year:

  • Assess your achievements and challenges from the past year. This reflection can provide insights into areas where you want to make positive changes.
  1. Be Specific and Clear:

  • Clearly define your goals. Instead of unrealistic resolutions, make them specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
  1. Start Small:

  • Break larger goals into smaller, manageable tasks. This makes the overall goal less overwhelming and allows you to celebrate your small wins.
  1. Prioritize:

  • Focus on a few key resolutions rather than spreading yourself too thin. Prioritize the goals that are most important to you.
  1. Create Action Plans:

  • Outline the steps you need to take to reach your goals. A clear action plan helps you stay on track and provides a roadmap for success.

New Year’s Resolutions Inspiration:

  1. Health and Wellness:

  • Set goals related to physical activity, nutrition, and mental well-being. This could include starting a new exercise routine, adopting a healthier diet, or practising mindfulness.
  1. Learning and Growth:

  • Commit to acquiring new skills or furthering your education. This could involve taking a course, learning a new language, or exploring a new hobby.
  1. Career Development:

  • Identify specific career-related goals, such as taking a short course, networking more actively, or setting a plan for your professional growth.
  1. Relationships:

  • Focus on improving your relationships with family, friends, or colleagues. This could involve spending more quality time with loved ones or resolving conflicts.
  1. Financial Well-being:

  • Set realistic financial goals, such as creating a budget, saving for a specific purpose, or paying off debts.

Choma, the key to achieving your New Year’s resolutions is consistency and perseverance. Start with small, manageable steps, and build from there. Celebrate your progress, and don’t be too hard on yourself if you face setbacks. Each day is a new opportunity to work towards your goals.

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, an  Instagram message, a  Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).

LGBTQIA+ Social Media Profiles You Need To Follow

There is still much we can learn as a society that is slowly fighting for LGBTQIA rights and pursuing an inclusive democracy for all. Here are a few Instagram accounts to follow if you are a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, an ally, or simply interested in LGBTQIA+ culture.

Neo Baepi

Image Via Instagram

Neo (they/them) is a South African photographer who has worked on various projects in the industry and has shown their love for photography and the arts in their content. Photography is the art, application, and practice of making images by recording light, either electronically with an image sensor or chemically using a light-sensitive material such as photographic film.

Khaya Mhleli

Image via Instagram

Khaya has taken the makeup industry by storm by being playful and changing the way we think makeup should be worn. Khaya displays creativity at its finest as a beauty influencer. A beauty influencer is an individual who has established credibility in the beauty industry and has leveraged their online presence to influence others with their insights and opinions on beauty products, trends, and techniques. They play a significant role in the modern consumer’s decision-making process, acting as a bridge between brands and audiences.

Khensani Mohlatlole

Image via Instagram

Khensani (She/Her) is a jack of all trades. A writer, social media coordinator and head of strategy. She leads the pack in terms of extensive analysis of the local and international fashion scene by fusing her enthusiasm for fashion with her analytical approach to the media. Quality content is created by social media strategists for their company’s social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They identify target audiences and plan posts in advance to maximize social media visibility. They also stay current on the latest social media trends.

The positive thing about social media platforms is that it’s being used to connect people from all walks of life. It also educates everyone by raising awareness of previously ignored social concerns and, most importantly, by celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community.

Do you have any LGBTQIA+ Instagram profiles I should follow?

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, an  Instagram message, a  Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).

Tips On How To Build Your Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is the opinion we have of ourselves. When you have healthy self-esteem, you tend to feel positive about life in general and this helps you tackle anything life throws at you with grace. When your self-esteem is low, you may tend to be critical and feel negative about yourself.

How does low self-esteem affect you?

If you have low self-esteem or confidence, you may hide away from social situations, avoid trying new things and challenging yourself. Living with low self-esteem can harm your mental health or make you feel unworthy. Others may develop unhealthy habits like smoking and drinking too much, as a way of coping.

Things you can do to build your self-esteem:

  • Get to know yourself

Get to know what makes you happy and what you value in life. You can also write this in your journal if you have one.

  • Be kind to yourself

Try challenging unkind thoughts about yourself that might automatically put you down.

  • Say positive things to yourself

You may do this in front of a mirror, at first it might be uncomfortable but as you do it regularly, it will become more effortless.

  • Practise saying no

Being assertive can be difficult if you’re not used to it. Agreeing to too many things to please others can drain you. It’s okay to say no at times. Don’t feel bad about it.

  • Avoid comparing yourself to others

Social media can play a huge role in making you compare yourself to how others are and what they are doing. Remember, you’re running your own race.

  • Do something nice for yourself

Make your favourite meal or take yourself out.

  • Celebrate your successes

Take time to praise yourself for anything you have accomplished, no matter how little it may seem.

  • Accept compliments

You could save them up to look over when you’re feeling low or doubtful of yourself.

  • Write a list of things you like about yourself

For example, this could be a skill that you’ve learnt or something you do to help other people.

Try to build relationships with people who appreciate and bring out the best in you and avoid people who constantly bring you down.

Remember you may not quickly move from low self-esteem to high self-esteem overnight, but you can make improvements day by day with just a little self-love and appreciation.

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, an  Instagram message, a  Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).

How To Turn Skill Into Profit

Turning a skill into profit is a great way to make some money and build a business. Whether you’re an expert or have a natural talent for something, you can use it to your advantage to make an income. The thought of starting a business can be overwhelming but, you can use your passion to earn some bucks with these simple steps:

Step 1: Identity what you are good at.

Think about your passion and what you do best. Focus on this and use it to your advantage. Whether it’s cooking, writing, painting, cleaning, making crafts, or something else you can use to make money.

Step 2: Test out the idea!

Now that you have identified what you are good at, it’s time to do some research. Identify where you think your skill is in most demand and to whom you will be selling your skill. Once you have identified this, test out your idea. Speak to the people you have identified as your target market and find out if they need your skill or services. This will also help you refine your idea according to what is needed most by the community.

Step 3: Get organised.

You have identified your skill and done your market research. Now it’s time to identify what you will need to make money from the idea. What resources do you need? How will you get the resources? How will you present your skill to the public? Make sure you have a plan in place to help you stay on track.

Step 4: Use the right pricing model.

Finding a good pricing model requires thorough market research. A pricing model is based on the value of your product or service to customers. It is important to understand what your customers need and how much they are willing to pay for it. Also, consider how much your competitors are charging for similar products and services and the cost of production and distribution to make sure your prices are profitable. Remember, you can always adjust your pricing over time.

Step 5: Promote yourself.

Get the word out about the services or products you are offering. You can use tools like social media and post adverts in community groups. You can also consider making posters and distributing them and talking to people about what you are offering and how they can purchase them. Make sure you’re targeting the right audience.

Step 6: Set goals.

Determine what success looks like for you and set goals accordingly. This will help you stay focused and motivated.

Step 7: Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

If you need assistance, don’t be afraid to ask for it. There are many resources available to help you succeed. You can also join networks of people who are in the same industry as you. This will give insight into how they are succeeding in the industry.

Turning your skill into profit can take time and effort, but it’s worth it. With the right approach and the right attitude, you can make your skill work for you. It’s important to be patient and consistent. It takes time to build a successful business, so don’t expect to become an overnight success. Focus on providing quality services or products and building relationships with customers.

You’ve got this!

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Messagea Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).

Choma Café Changed The Life of Palesa Ramakhetheng

Palesa Ramakhetheng

Palesa Ramakhetheng is a beneficiary at Khomanani community-based organisation in Vlakfontein in the south of the City of Johannesburg, sub-district G. Khomanani is one of HIVSA’s 39 sub-partners implementing the HIV/AIDS in Vulnerable Populations (PHVP) Program. The centre provides several services such as nutritional support, and homework assistance and was previously implementing the DREAMS Program including the Choma Innovation Café.

The Choma Café

Khomanani received a Choma Innovation Café from HIVSA. The Choma Innovation Cafés aim to support Programmes such as the PHVP Programme that is currently being implemented at Community-Based Organisations, this is done by providing online information on Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) and other health-related information as well as creating a safe space for interaction on the abovementioned subjects for 10 – 19-year-old Adolescent Girls & Young Women (AGYW) and boys. The Choma Innovation Cafes were funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project. Palesa Ramakhetheng was one of the young girls who accessed the café. She is from a single-parent household. The household depends on Child support grant and food packs they receive from Khomanani Health Group.

Palesa Ramakhetheng at the Choma Café

Palesa was enrolled in the Choma Café in 2017 at the age of 12 years. She attended structured interventions on SRH offered in the Café as well as Vhutshilo 1 sessions.  Vhutshilo 1 is a structured intervention that aims to educate young people between the ages of 10 and 14 safe from HIV and STIs.  In 2019 Palesa was appointed as a member of the Child Advisory Board (CAB). The purpose of the CAB is to engage and empower youth along with their families and communities to ensure that youth are empowered to reach their full potential by being given a platform in which to express themselves. Palesa took on program leadership responsibilities by actively providing input to the program and informing them how the program is best implemented for them, this involves having a close relationship with onsite facilitators and providing ongoing feedback.  Through the SRH sessions, Palesa learnt about different ways of preventing HIV. She was tested for HIV, and she knows her status. In 2020 she was initiated on PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) and she is still on PrEP to date.  PrEP is medicine youth at risk of contracting HIV take to prevent getting HIV. Palesa continues to take PrEP to ensure she stays HIV-negative.

Palesa also had the opportunity to access the Choma café for school research and homework assistance. Although she has always been a good student, Palesa gives credit to the Choma Café for passing her Grade 12 with a Diploma in 2022. She is awaiting acceptance at one of the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges she applied to. According to Palesa.

“Choma made me fit in at school. No one could see my struggles and that I could not afford data.”

A Day in the life of a Yes4Youth employee: Lusanda Matyesini

The Yes4Youth program prepares young people for employment by providing technical skills & relevant work opportunities, one of the strategies used to achieve their goals is through job placements. Lusanda Matyesini signed up to the Yes4Youth program in 2021 and was placed at HIVSA for a period of 12 months. Here’s some cool stuff about Lulu and her reflection on the past year.   

Tell me more about yourself

My name is Lusanda Matyesini, I am 22 years of age. Most people call me Lulu. I am very talkative, I have a bold personality, and I love taking pictures. My favourite thing right now is taking Tik Tok videos and creating content in general. My dream is to be a nurse, and I am currently working on that dream.

Where did you hear about Yes4Youth?

I heard about Yes4Youth at Siyanakekela Community Based-Organisation, where I was a beneficiary. They have a program called The Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe (DREAMS), which helped me to apply for the Yes4Youth learnership. I applied for 2 roles at HIVSA, one for Admin and the other for Digital Media. I was hired as the Digital Media Assistant in July 2021.

What did your role entail?

My role was to assist the Digital Media project and the team with community engagements, creating social media content and being a PA for the Project Manager, which I loved.

As part of the Yes4Youth program, I was also required to complete their online skill development program. There are 21 short courses which I had to complete within the 12 months.

What did you learn?

My role as a Digital Media Assistant enhanced my love for community work. Going to schools, communities, engaging in meaningful conversations, health talks and promoting the magazine was an incredible experience. I learnt about marketing a brand and creating content.

Although I found it challenging to navigate between my two roles (work and modules), I have learnt so many valuable things. For example, the time management course I did, taught me the value of time and how to manage time. Another module I found interesting was called Financial Savings, in this module I was taught how to save, use and spend money wisely.  

What challenges did you have?

There were many challenges, but most of them helped me grow. It was difficult adjusting to being an 8-5 girl, but I adjusted eventually.

Working and studying full-time can be very challenging, so it’s important to prepare yourself mentally.  

Would you recommend the Yes4Youth program?

Definitely! I would recommend it. You honestly learn a lot in a period of 12 months, you learn how to be in the workplace, you learn different skills that come with your placement, you learn how you are as a colleague, how to do your job and how to interact with people in the workplace. I know that these skills I have acquired will be valuable in my future career.

Words of Wisdom

Don’t do something because you are supposed to, but do it because you want to learn more, and become something more. Do everything with your chest.

To be part of the Yes4Youth program, visit their website here to read more and apply.  

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send a Facebook message or a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).


How to fund your small business

Starting a new business can be overwhelming if you’re not sure where to start. From doing research, developing a product or service and creating your business plan, to getting funding. Businesses need finance for a variety of different purposes. Your funding options will depend on the type of business you’re planning to start, and how much capital you need. Here are 5 funding options to consider for your start-up.

The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) Business Funding

NYDA is a platform that raises funding for small enterprises in the country. They especially work with youth in South Africa. This grant program provides young entrepreneurs the opportunity to get financial and non-financial support for the development of their businesses. Part of the non-financial services they provide includes mentoring, co-operative development, business management, and consultancy services. You can start the process here.

Angel investors

Angel investors, also called private or informal investors are also good options for funding your business. They provide favourable and flexible funding terms, when compared to other lenders. You can connect with Angel investors here.


Crowdfunding is one of the newer and more modern ways of funding your business. This can be done through crowdfunding platforms such as GoFundMe where you can create a campaign, set a goal for how much money you want to raise in a specified time, and ask people to pledge certain amounts to your cause.

Bank loans

Most banks offer start-up capital/loans to entrepreneurs. Banks give out the loans at a specified interest rate that must be paid back according to the agreed rate. Visit your local branch to find out more about the requirements and how you can benefit from these opportunities. Just don’t forget to read the fine print, Choma. 

Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA)

The Small Enterprise Finance Agency (SEFA) provides business loans to small and medium sized companies. You can visit SEFA to apply and get funding for your business. 

Getting funding isn’t an easy process but don’t give up. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs have failed in their first missions. What’s important is that you plan your business and finances carefully. Good luck!

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).

How to set your 12-month goal plan

Achieving what you set out at the beginning of the year takes some planning and commitment. Without a proper plan for your goals, it can be difficult to achieve them. That’s why you need a specific and clear plan so that you can keep track of your progress. Here’s more.

Be specific

Write down what you want to achieve in the next 12 months. Be specific and as detailed as possible so that you can plan appropriately. For example, if you want to do well in school this year, set the marks you want to get and think of ways you can achieve them.

Be realistic

When setting your 12-month goal plan, make sure that you’re being realistic. You need to set goals that are achievable within 12 months. Being unrealistic can lead to disappointment and feeling demotivated. For example, if you scored 30% in a particular subject and want to improve, you’ll have to pace yourself realistically like aiming to get 50% in the first term, 70% the following term, etc.

Break down your goals

Since you’ve got 12 months to achieve your goals, it’ll make it easier for you to break them down into smaller targets that will all add up to the end goal in mind. For instance, improving your marks at the end of the year will need you to aim to improve every term because all your class tests, end of term exams, and assignments will count at the end of the year to give you your desired outcome.

Draw up a plan of action

In order to achieve your goal, you’ll need to work at it. So, write down a step by step plan on how you’ll get to your goals. Be clear on what you’ll do daily, weekly, monthly, etc to contribute to your desired goals at the end of 12 months.

Stay committed

After writing down your plan of action, you need to stay committed to it. This means following through on your daily plan of action, even when it’s difficult. You can give yourself rewards along the way to help you do this.

Choma, your goals are valid and can be reached if you give yourself the time and patience to plan for them. Remember that some goals may be more challenging to reach than others, but that shouldn’t discourage you. Keep going, you’ll get to your destination in the end.

Remember if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Messagea Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).

What does it mean to work smart?

Working hard doesn’t always guarantee that you’ll be able to achieve your goals, but working smart can allow you to achieve more in a short space of time. Here’s why you need to work smarter, not harder.

What is working smart?

Working smart is gaining a sense of self-awareness in order to know your strengths so that you can use them to achieve your goals. For example, if you are a morning person, you would do the most demanding tasks in the morning and leave the less demanding task for later on. Knowing yourself and your strengths can help you complete your work efficiently and in a satisfactory manner.

Working smart means better results

When you are aware of how you work best, you’ll be able to achieve better results. You won’t waste time and effort trying to do something in a way that you’re not comfortable with, or good at. Your self-awareness will guide you in achieving the best possible results.

You’ll be more productive

Working smart allows you to be more productive, this is because you’ll find ways to get the job done quicker. This allows you to free up some time to focus a bit more on things that require more attention. It’s all about allowing your strengths and limitations to guide you to do things to the best of your ability, rather than what other people expect.

It’ll boost your self-confidence

Completing tasks and being happy with the work you do is a huge confidence builder. It gives you better perspective on what you are capable of doing and this is great for your mood and self-esteem. This is what we mean when we say that confidence is a result of working on yourself.

How can you work smart?

Don’t overwork yourself: Overworking yourself often leads to burnout and not being able to deliver or achieve your goals. Be realistic and kind to yourself by not taking on more than you can handle.

Manage your time: Set time aside for every task that you have to do and try to finish the tasks within that time frame. When you know how much time you have to work on a task, you’ll be able to use your time wisely to fulfil your duties.

Have a schedule and stick to it: Have a plan daily that will help you organise your day. For example, if you’re working from home, you need to have a routine and stick to it so that you’ll get into the habit of completing work on time and not end up mixing your personal life and your work life.

Give yourself the opportunity to achieve your goals by being organised and prioritising your tasks. Remember to be disciplined and work on what you planned according to your schedule. You already have strengths and abilities within you, Choma. All you have to do is take the time to discover them and allow them to guide you in achieving your goals. You can do this!

If you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Messagea Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).