Self-Care Ideas for When Life Gets Busy

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When life gets busy, self-care goes bye-bye! Here are some practical and very doable self-care ideas for when life gets busy.When life gets busy, self-care goes bye-bye! Here are some practical and very doable self-care ideas for when life gets busy.

Self-Care Ideas for When Life Gets Busy

Self-care is a popular topic these days and there are lots of interpretations about what is self-care. To me, self-care is taking care of your whole self: your body, your mind, and your spirit. And self-care is important!

At one time or another we are all dealing with our own stuff. There are times when we are busy beyond belief and we don’t know how to find relief. Here are some of my do-able self-care ideas for when life gets busy.

Usually, I’m cool, calm, collected, and fairly organized. Recently, I found myself feeling rattled and making little mistakes. Worse, I couldn’t stay on top of my time and I wasn’t getting things done. Not only was I not working on my blog, I was struggling to keep up with my job.

There was no exercise, no eating right, and certainly no time for self-care.

When life gets busy, self-care goes bye-bye! Here are some practical and very doable self-care ideas for when life gets busy.

Self-Care Idea #1: Pay Attention to Your Self Talk

I found myself repeating two things: “I’m losing my mind.” and “Something has to give.”

Probably not the best affirmations for self-care and they certainly did not help me feel better. So, number # 1 on my self-care list became, say better things to myself!

Instead of using phrases that can actually make you feel worse, start using words like this:

  • I can do this…it’s tough right now, but it will get better.
  • I will find a solution and it will be the right one for me.
  • There are resources available to help.
  • This helps me appreciate the not-so-busy times!
  • It’s okay to take a few minutes and catch my breath.

Self-Care Idea #2 : Take Care of Your Personal Space

Another thing that was stressful and making me feel worse was that my home was getting really messy and dirty. It was another blogger, who gave me an idea that helped me on this point. I read this blog post called Ten Ways to KeepYour Home Tidy and # 6 on the list was the 10-item game.

It is such a simple idea and even on the busiest morning, I can pick up 10 things. That set in motion the idea that I could always take a minute or two to put a few things away. Over the course of a few days, my home became much tidier and with things picked up, I had time to wipe a few counters too.

Cleaning your physical space is powerful. Even taking the time to clean a small part of your space can really help to make you feel better. It’s easy to think you need to clean everything to feel better but that isn’t so. Try cleaning out your purse, your computer bag, your bathroom or kitchen counter. Restoring order to some of your personal space can help restore order to your mind.

Self-Care Idea #3: Have a Do-Nothing Day

I recommend taking one of these because when you don’t, you can find yourself sick instead. Friday is my day that I don’t go into my job. Usually it’s a day to get other things done or rest a bit.

At the end of that crazy week, I was going into Friday thinking that I could catch up on all my work that I hadn’t finished plus a lot of other things including working out and cleaning my home.

No, instead I ended up feeling sick all day. At first it was frustrating and I worried about not getting things done. However, I was able to remind myself that I had been really tired and that perhaps by just doing nothing more strenuous than reading a book, I’d give my body and mind a chance to rest and that when I did feel better, I’d be more capable of working on my projects.

That’s exactly what happened. I made the mental decision to let the work go for the day and take the day to rest. As I felt better, I did some easy tasks around the house between times of reading and resting.

The next morning, I felt so much better and ready to tackle those projects. As a bonus, because I had been off and on cleaning throughout the week, I didn’t have to face a big cleaning job!

Self-Care Idea #4: Talk it Through

In the midst of the week, I felt that I was going to have to let something go from my life. Maybe the job? The blog? Regular visits with my grandchildren? My cycling? My social life?

I ended up talking to my fiancée about it. He was able to remind me that some things would be coming to a natural end soon. A class I was taking one evening a week would be ending. The training I was facilitating at work and that was causing me to always feel behind, would be over soon.

By talking it through, I was able to see the light at the end of this tunnel. Just knowing that some time-consuming things were going to end on their own gave me enough breathing-room that I was able to mentally regroup and know that I was going to be fine.

Self-Care Idea #5: Do Something that is Important to You

Even with knowing that things were going to ease up, I still had the feeling that I wasn’t doing the things that were personally important to me. As a blogger, it’s critical to write new content on a regular basis and that is sometimes the most difficult to do since I need lots of quiet time to do that.

Thank You sick day…after a day of rest, I was ready to go again. And I was able to set a goal of something I wanted to complete for my business.

It’s just as important to do do fun things too. They are important too.

Last week, I took the time to do a project with my granddaughters. These things which feel extra or simply fun can provide tons of self-care. We chose rock painting as our group activity. My daughter and I and her two daughters spent over two hours painting and chatting. Spending time with those two girls is important to me and I try to see them once a week.

I’m pretty sure when I look back on life as an old woman, I am never going to regret a single minute of writing or spending time with my loved ones.

Self-Care Idea #6: Take Some Time to Connect

As we careen through days of work, family, and chores, it’s easy to start feeling disconnected from the people we love. Since I have a bit of a commute, I often use that time to talk to my mom, sister, or a friend. But it’s not optimum. Even though it was a crazy week, I took the time to connect with all three of my children in person. I also took the time to talk on the phone while NOT driving with my mom.

Connecting to people is a basic human need. It’s not just something that feels nice; it is necessary to our well-being. Most of us don’t live with our close family and friends in the same neighborhood or community. Often, we are hundreds if not thousands of miles away from the people that love and support us the most. Heck, I live half an hour away from some of my close family and I can easily go a month without seeing them.

Modern life creates challenges in the connecting department.

While, it does take time and effort to connect with people we love, this is something that is worth the effort.

Self-Care Idea #7: Make Conscious Decisions About How You Spend Your Time

This one is hard! I often want to say yes to everything.

When I take something on or it’s assigned to me, I want to do a great job. I’ve realized over the past few weeks, that I literally do not have enough hours in the week to do everything I want to do much less do it all well.

As an introvert (not shy or anti-social!) I need my down time or I begin to malfunction. This means I am doing things imperfectly for sure. It’s also a signal to me that I need to take better care of myself by choosing more carefully how I spend my time.

At this time, I have to make decisions about what to say “yes’ to and what to say “no” to. It’s tricky because these are not easy decisions with an obvious no. By accepting that I’m “imperfect” in that I cannot do it all; I give myself permission to do less so that I can not only feel better, I can do better.

What Self-Care Really Means

Self-care is more than squeezing in a bubble bath or some exercise. It’s more than the ideas I gave you above. Self-care truly means realizing when you are over-extended and stressed and instead of trying to do more, to actively and consciously make decisions that give you some respite and relief.

Often, it doesn’t even take a lot to make a big difference. While, I am actively dreaming a weeklong vacation by the beach—I don’t actually need all that to feel better. To feel better, I and you need to do something, anything, that provides a little breathing room.

I hope these self-care ideas for when life gets busy. give you some inspiration to take care of yourself in a way that makes sense in your life.

Keep showing up my friends!



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  1. Kate Campion on August 17, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    Thanks so much for featuring my 10 item game. I always feel a bit silly describing it, but it really helps me get moving and helps me keep the mess under control!

    • Sara on August 18, 2019 at 10:41 am

      After getting your newsletter this morning, I immediately tidied up the kitchen counter. It only took a couple of minutes but it felt great. Thanks for always providing such great inspiration!

  2. Leigh Suznovich on April 16, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    Love these ideas. My self talk is something I really have to work on, I am constantly tearing myself down when I screw something up or I can’t figure out a problem.

    • Sara on April 16, 2018 at 8:59 pm

      I know–it’s so easy to do. We’re worse on ourselves than anyone else is.

  3. D at Be you and thrive on April 16, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    I love that the first thing you shared was ‘self-talk’. Boy can this be a foundation for self care in general. Also, I love connecting with people when I need re-energized. Great ideas!

    • Sara on April 16, 2018 at 4:00 pm

      I usually try to be careful but I just couldn’t seem to help myself for a few days. But when I could change it; it really helped.

  4. Ruthie Ridley on April 16, 2018 at 1:25 pm

    Talking it through is a big one for me. For some reason as a mom and a wife self-care gets put to the back burner which is never good. Thanks for this list.

    • Sara on April 16, 2018 at 2:17 pm

      Sometimes when you are a mom even the best-laid plans go awry! Unexpected illness or school projects/events can throw everything off.

  5. candy on April 16, 2018 at 9:04 am

    All of these are wonderful ideas. Having a do nothing day is always a stress relief. Having an honest talk with oneself is important.

    • Sara on April 16, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      It’s counter-intuitive that taking time to do nothing can make us ultimately more efficient but it works for me.

  6. Lee on April 16, 2018 at 8:35 am

    Great post! Recently I went through a hard time, parent in the hospital, husband with surgery, etc. I found I was so stressed I couldn’t move my head. I decided to take a step back and take care of myself first. It was so hard but when I scheduled something just for myself I found I was able to relax and my frame of mind changed when helping my family.

    • Sara on April 16, 2018 at 2:16 pm

      Great advice to take care of yourself when you are a caregiver, especially appreciate the tip to schedule time for yourself. Thanks for sharing!

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