Mind

Jay-Jay Feeney on the importance of mental health and ditching fads

The radio host is back and better than ever.

By Sara Bunny

With so many changes in her world, radio host Jay-Jay Feeney has had a lot on her plate lately - but she couldn't be happier about it.

"At any other time in my life I honestly don't think I could cope with everything that is happening right now, but at the moment I'm feeling so positive," she says.

There was her recent shift to More FM, a big upheaval after working for more than 20 years as a presenter in her former role on The Edge, and the move from Auckland to Christchurch to take up the job.

Then there's her newfound dedication to taking better care of herself and breaking her habit of taking on too much, plus the official switch back to her maiden name following her split from husband Dom Harvey. New job, new routine, new city – there's a lot going on, but for the bubbly broadcaster, the most meaningful change of all is her new outlook on life.

"What I've learned is that mental health is the most important thing," she says. "If you're feeling good mentally, then I think you can take on anything, and that's how I feel right now. I feel the strongest I've felt in a long time – years.

"It's weird to think that a year ago I was the complete opposite to where I am now."

When it comes to being open and honest, Jay-Jay, 43, is well-known for wearing her heart on her sleeve, and her candid talk about her depression battles have struck a chord with many.

Over the years, she's learned that safeguarding her health has to be her top priority.

"I'm a stress bunny, and I'm really not good at dealing with it," she explains.

"I think for me it's about trying to avoid stress more so than managing it. I tend to take on way too much; that's a real problem of mine and I'm working hard to change it."

And when it comes to her food and fitness routines, she's ditched the fads and is going back to basics.

"I've always been a yo-yo sort of person when it comes to health. I would go on diets, binge and then get back to normal again. I understand now that we don't have to punish ourselves the way we do. It's about taking it step by step and playing the long game.

"We've been told all of this before, but for me it was about being in the right frame of mind to listen to it."

To find out what changes Jay-Jay has made to her health and fitness routines, see the latest issue of Good Health Choices.

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