55 gentle ways to take care of yourself when you’re busy busy busy



ways to take care of yourself

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We all have times in our lives when we just have too much stuff going on. There are always deadlines, exams, due dates and just too many priorities to juggle. And when everything is going wrong, the world is screaming for your attention and you just don’t have time – the last thing you need to hear is to “just take a day off”. Here are 55 gentle ways to take care of yourself when you’re pressed for time and energy. Enjoy!

Say no to anything that is not important to you

Laundry, phone calls with your mom, demanding girlfriends – this is not the time to be nice and “responsible”. Give yourself the permission to focus on what’s important. Getting the unessential responsibilites off your schedule will not only create som extra time and space, it will also lighten the burden you’re feeling to keep up with it.

Ask for help

There’s nothing wrong with asking for help, and you’ll quickly learn that most people around you actually love to be asked! It makes them feel useful and important. What usually helps the most is to get help to do the normal things; cooking, shopping and regular every-day tasks. However, don’t underestimate how important the people in your life can be when it comes to feedback, motivation and supporting your self-confidence regarding the important work you’re doing.

Get enough sleep

An oldie, but a goodie. This old advice is not only essential when it comes to self-care, it is also absolutely essential when it comes to being able to do your best. Particularly important when it comes to exam periods and work stress, sleep will help you achieve. It’s easy to think that a few extra hours of work will do you more good, but it won’t. Sleep will.

Drink tea

Coffee will only get you that far, before it sends you down into tiredness again. While still being hot and comforting, tea (and especially the herbal kind) won’t make you dehydrated and shaky. If you’re feeling tired and think you need a coffeine boost, go for cold water (or iced tea) instead. Cold water will help wake you up!

Listen to your favourite music

Calm music will help you calm down and upbeat music will help you up your game. Pick music that won’t distract you (like music without lyrics or in a foreign language). Your favourite music will boost your mood and keep you happy, no matter how tired you are.

Eat healthy and green food

I know it’s tempting to order pizza, but it really pays off to take your time to cook and eat nutritious and healthy food. Not only will it help you achieve better, it will also boost your mood! I truly recommend heading over to The Stonesoup for some quick and easy recipes. Most of these recipes can be made in less than 10 minutes!

Take 5 minutes in the morning to just stretch and breathe

If you start your day in a stressful way, you’ll probably feel stressed for the rest of the day as well. Make sure your morning starts with 5 minutes of silence and ease. Stand up and stretch your body to make you as tall as you can be. Then bend over and touch the ground. Stretch again. Try to just feel your body and pay attention to your breath. Starting the day in a way like this will make you more relaxed as well!

Walk everywhere

You might be busy and think that every minute is valuable time to put into your work, but some extra minutes of walking might be a better way to spend some time. If you live close to where you’re going, it’s better to walk than to use public transport (or your car). Not only will the exercise be good for you, you also get some important fresh air and daylight. If you have to commute, get off public transport one or two stops too early, or park your car further away than usual. The extra minutes of fresh air will save you lots of time when you start working and feel more focused.

Take 5-minute mini-breaks every hour

You can’t stay focused all the time. No matter how efficient you work, you’ll always get distracted, let your mind wander or end up spending time reading e-mail (and blogs) instead. A better way to spend this time is to get up from your chair, walk outside and take a 5-minute break. The change of place, the change of physical posture and the movement will make it easier to start again when your break is over. You’ll also give your brain a chance to relax and process information, which is essential for your well-being.

Break your self-care habits into smaller tasks and do one each day

No need to look like you’re constantly running after your life, even if you are! Just break up your routine into smaller, and more achievable chunchs. Shave your legs one day, paint your nails the next day, wash your hair the day after, etc. This approach also works with keeping your house tidy – just do one little chore every day and you’ll stay on top of everything more easily.

Make a plan of everything that needs to be done

Instead of juggling all your to-do’s and must-remember’s, write them down on a piece of paper. Then make a plan of how you are going to manage everything before your deadline. You may have to schedule a lot of tasks on certain days, and it may seem like too much to do, but at least you’ll know that everything will get done. Make sure you stick to the plan, every single day. Don’t fall for the temptation to start on tomorrow’s tasks today, trust that the plan will take you there, and enjoy some free time on the days when you finish your tasks early.

Make sure you keep in touch with your friends

Just a few text messages, tweets or the occational coffee will make sure your friendships don’t suffer. You will feel much better when you focus on something else entirely, and it will prevent you form becoming a workaholic hermit. You don’t have to keep in touch with everybody, most people will understand that you’re having a busy period. Just make sure you stay in touch with the people that make you happy and inspired.

Make room for rest

This one’s important. Make sure that whenever you plan to rest – really rest. That means that you will have to make a conscious effort to push all work-related thoughts and worries away. It’s also important that you rest your mind as well as your body. 5 minutes of stillness is better than 30 minutes in front of the TV!

Surround yourself with inspiring photos

Put up some of your favourite photos where you can see them when you work. Whenever you get unfocused, you will feel much better if you can rest your eyes on something pretty, rather than everything that reminds you of how busy you are. If you can’t put up photos at work or in a study hall, bring a scrapbook or use Pinterest on your computer.

Write a daily gratitude list

A daily gratitude list is really helpful to shift your focus and help you appreciate the situation. It doesn’t have to be long, a few sentences will do. If you keep a gratitude journal, you can also look back on your previous entries whenever you need a little boost of happiness and motivation.

Spend your lunchtime as sacred you-time

… and enjoy your healthy food with a little journaling, blog-reading, or people-watching. See it as a way to nourish your soul on several levels. It’s important to eat, but it’s equally important to be inspired, creative, silly, whimsical and happy.

Write a worry-list

Stress makes us more vulnerable, and worry can be a nasty side-effect of a busy period. If you find yourself worrying a lot, it’s a good idea to write a daily worry-list. Whenever you catch a worrying thought, write it down and save it for later. Spend 5 minutes in the morning and 5-minutes in the evening worrying about whatever you put on your list. It may sound simple, but postponing your worry will actually make it less worrying whenever you sit down and actually think about it in peace and quiet.

Take a run or a long walk

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Any sort of excercise will release endorophins, your body will thank you + it clears your head so you can focus on all the important work that lies ahead.

Keep a planner and shedule no-appointments time

To make your life less chaotic, it’s a good practice to keep a planner. Make sure you write down every single appointment, to save yourself from unwanted surprises and missed meetings. Just remember to schedule time for yourself. Honor your appointment with yourself just as much as you would keep an appointment with anyone else. Just make sure you schedule time with yourself first – anyone else needs to come in second in your life.

Keep track of your achievements

It may seem like you’re never going to get over a busy period, which is why you should keep a list of achievements close at any time.Whenever you hit a milestone – write it down! It will be very useful when you’re feeling tired by the end of the day and know that you still have several more hours of work before you can call it a day.

Wear your pretty clothes

… and be busy with style! If you dress nicely, chances are you’ll feel better too. All it takes is 5 minutes in the morning, and with your most powerful, wonderful and pretty clothes on, you’ll feel like a million for the rest of the day.

Go to a yoga class

…Or do some yoga at home. Even ten minutes of savasana is better than nothing, and will recharge your batteries (and your mind).

Take a hot bath

Nothing helps you relax like a hot bath. Use your favourite bubbles, turn off the light, light some candles and you’re good to go. One hour in the bath in the evening may be the best way to relax because of this simple fact – you can’t take your work and your computer with you.

Light candles

Candles have a relaxing effect, especially gently scented ones. If you can’t light candles in your workplace, make sure you light them when you get home. Lavender and cedarwood are scents that can help you relax.

Write support-thoughts and affirmations

Support-thoughts are thougths written down when you’re calm, that can support you when you are really busy and tired. For example, a gentle reminder of why you’re doing all the work, a short pep-talk, or a reminder of how wonderful you are is an amaxing way of taking care of yourself.

Craft an emotional emergency plan

Ideally, you should have this written down before you enter a really busy period. If everything goes wrong, and you’re maxed out, panicky or just plain exhausted – who do you call? what do you do? where do you go? Planning this in advance is self-care on a high level.


Do I need to say more? When stress builds up, take five seconds off and just breathe. Deep.

Do something silly

Don’t forget to have fun! Who said you can’t laugh, even though you’re busy! Make jokes, engage with you co-workers, read comics and just allow yourself to be silly for a little while. I promise it wil boost your mood, your co-workers’ moods and a little laughter every day will help you through a really challenging time.


Now is not the time to play superwoman. Be nice to yourself and let your brain tackle one task at a time. Rumours have it that this is more productive in the long run…

Read Focus by Leo Babauta

This book is quick to read (and there’s a free version!) and it will change your work habits and make it much easier to be you. Enough said.

Take the last evening off

The last night before your big D(r)eadline is the night to relax. Panicking in the last minute isn’t a very good way of taking care of yourself. And you don’t want to oversleep on your exam day, have dark circles under your eyes on presentation day or distroy everything in the last minute because you spent the last night cramming. Take the last evening (or even the last day) off and relax. You’ve done your best, there’s nothing more you can do. Pat yourself on your back – you made it.

Keep a tidy workspace

It will make you more focused, relaxed and less overwhelmed.

Create some routines

When work or studies take all your focus, it can be useful to create some new habits or routines to take some of the burden off your back. Make it a habit to cook a larger batch of dinner on day 1, and eat leftovers for the next two days. Use Sundays to prepare what to wear for the next couple of days. Wear your hair in a ponytail five days in a row. This is not the time to expect yourself to find lots of different and exciting outfits, hairdo’s or recipes.

Write things down

When you’re mind is working over-time, let it relax by helping yourself remember everything. Write down any ideas, to-do’s, must-remember’s and other things you have to remember. This way, you don’t have to carry the additional stress of remembering everything you need to remember.

Accept a little clutter and mess

Just let it be. Some dust and a little dirt has never hurt anyone. Focus on what’s important to you, you can always clean up the mess later. Just don’t go around and feel bad about it on top of everything else!

Allow your emotions to come to the surface

If you’re tired and sad, cry it all out. If you’re stressed, don’t try to put on a mask and hide it. Get it all out, all the frustration, the overwhelm, the anger and the fear. You’ll feel much better after.

Honor your limits

Set some limits and stick with them. A lot of tasks when we’re busy don’t have a set limit, like when you’re studying and being creative. It’s easy to feel like you’re never quite done. Set some clear limits for yourself and honor them. Say to yourself; “when the time is up, I’m DONE”.

Take the weekends completely off

If you’re under constant pressure over an extended period of time, it’s good practice to keep the weekends completely sacred. This means no work e-mail or calls, no appointments or catching up.

Gather your support group

Call your mother and ask her to help you take care of the house, tell your girlfriends what you’re dealing with, seek out others in the same situation as you, and make sure your partner is on your team. Not only can they help with practical tasks, they will give you lot’s of moral support and you’ll feel less alone.


Outsource what you can, for example your home cleaning, laundry or bookeeping.


If you’re working on a team – make sure you don’t try to do everything yourself, delegate as much as you can to lighten your load.

Get more sunlight

Especially if your busy period is happening in winter, make sure you get your daily dose of sunlight if you’re spending a lot of time in gloomy libraries and workplaces.

Take your vitamins

This won’t even take you a minute – just go for a multivitamin paired with your breakfast. Especially important if you’re eating a lot of processed and unhealthy foods when you’re busy, but remember that vitamins don’t make up for an unhealthy diet.

Eat fresh fruit and vegetables

Keep some fruits and nuts close by and snack when you’re hungry. Don’t forget the veg, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and carrots are great snacks!

Use scented oils in the shower

Lavender to relax, or a little peppermint to wake you up – all you need is a drop or two of essential oil in the shower.

Resist the urge to be productive all the time

You can’t be equally productive every single waking moment, so you might as well schedule some off time right away. Be nice to yourself and don’t expect to accomplish as much in the late evening as you do in the morning.

Limit your media consumption

… because your brain can only process a limited amount of information. When you need your focus to be on work, don’t overflow your brain with tv news, newspapers, magazines and books.

Meditate in the morning

Ten minutes of stillness can make all the difference.

Block out distractions

Need to get some work done? Consider to pull out your internet cable, switch off your phone and lock the door. If only for a few hours, you won’t miss out on anything, and you’ll feel a lot better afterwards.

Compliment yourself

Positive self-speech can seriously impact your mood. Instead of adding to the monkey-brain thoughts of not good enough, too stressed and panic – tell yourself you look good, that you’re doing great and that you can manage everything that comes your way.

Do the dreaded tasks first

There are always tasks you’ll love to do more than others, and it’s tempting to do those first. However, it’s a good idea to do the hardest tasks first. That way, you’ll save yourself from all the dread!

Brighten your day with colourful pencils and pretty stationery

It doesn’t have to cost much, but it will make a huge impact on your happiness – especially if you’re a stationery and design geek… (well, who isn’t?)

Reward yourself

Maybe not the best overall habit to get used to, but desperate times call for desperate measures. If you need it to get through – reward yourself with gifts, chocolate and breaks whenever you finish a task. Just don’t make it a habit to kick yourself if you don’t make it. Maybe you need the treat anyways?

Postpone all major decisions

… This is not the time to move houses, quit your day job or break up with your spouse (however tempting any of those changes are). Save the big stuff for when you’re calmer and can think clearer.

Accept yourself as you are

Let yourself off the hook and accept that you are only human. You are doing your absolute best, and you are doing exactly what you need to do. Trust your instincts and keep doing whatever you’re doing. You don’t need to change anything about yourself – trust that you are perfect just the way you are.


I wish you a happy, bustling time –
hope you achieve everything you dream of and more!

Do you focus enough on yourself when the world is screaming for your attention? What are your best self-care tips that are not on the list?

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{ 114 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara/Matchbox Kitchen October 28, 2011 at 4:35 am

So many great tips! When I get overwhelmed with lots of work sometimes I just have to cry for a few minutes. And then all of a sudden I feel much better and can tackle my to-do list. I’ve used this quite a few times this past month, haha. But it works!


Marthe October 28, 2011 at 10:06 am

So good to hear you’re letting your emotions out! Hope you’re getting some rest in the midst of everything too! :)


Dana May 22, 2013 at 4:24 am

I cry sometimes too – like today. So much going on. I have created my own madness in a sense – I launched my own non profit and now I have so many emails and calls that I can’t keep up with it all. I cry, make time for friends, get enough sleep, eat well and the thing I am doing now that is hard for me because I feel like I am letting people down is say “no” I’m sorry I can’t meet and talk with everyone. I need to reserve some time for myself.


Caroline October 28, 2011 at 8:22 am

Wow! Just what I needed, crazy busy with deadlines right now… I’ll put (some of) these into practice… Thank you!


Marthe October 28, 2011 at 10:06 am

Please do! And good luck with your deadlines, I’m sure you’ll rock them! :D


Rach // In Spaces Between October 28, 2011 at 8:54 am

Such an inspiring post, thank you for sharing these brilliant ideas! This week started with me feeling overwhelmed (although, unsurprisingly, being Friday I’m feeling pretty good right now!) and a few nights ago, I went home, declared I was having a “nothing night” on Twitter, switched my phone off, left the computer alone and just read. I fell asleep at 8:30pm and woke up feeling SO. MUCH. BETTER. the next day. Taking that time out is so essential, the flow on effect can be detrimental to so many areas of your life if you don’t. Thanks again Marthe! Rach xx


Marthe October 28, 2011 at 10:08 am

Oh wow, that sounds like the way to go! A friend of mine has a concept called “no nothing (wrong) day”, where the point is to do absolutely nothing, and whatever you chose to do, you can’t get it wrong. Sounds a lot like what you’ve been putting into action too!

Thank you for commenting:)


Amelia Jane October 28, 2011 at 4:17 pm

These are fantastic, and much needed!
I rewarded myself with some cute post-it notes (little monsters!) which I write intentions and reminders on, and it’s such a boost to see them all colourful and cheery in my day to day diary. I highly recommend it!


Marthe October 30, 2011 at 11:41 am

Aww, what a cute ida! I think everyone should have little monsters with intentions and reminders. What a way to fight our bigger and scarier monsters!


Krissy October 29, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Marthe, you always kind of blow my mind. This list is incredible and so inspiring.


Marthe October 30, 2011 at 11:45 am

Thank you so much as always, Krissy! Your sweet comments always inspire me to go on and write!


Kel October 30, 2011 at 8:45 am

hmmm [said with tongue firmly planted in cheek, and finger pointing to self]

if people have time to read 55 things with a paragraph on each….they are not really that busy
or – perhaps, it is revealing to them why they feel so busy



Marthe October 30, 2011 at 11:48 am

Very good points!

Procrastination during busy times and feeling busy when we probably aren’t are two whole posts alone! ;)


Sarah Von November 1, 2011 at 3:01 pm

This.is.awesome. Girl, you’re gonna go viral ;)


Marthe November 1, 2011 at 3:06 pm

OMG, (insert fangirl squee!) thank you so much!


Ellie Di November 2, 2011 at 5:50 pm

I looooooove this! Self-care is SO important, especially nowadays where things are spinning faster and faster and we forget to watch out for ourselves. This is a great list of suggestions!


Kailey November 3, 2011 at 9:28 pm

What an incredibly helpful list! Thank you so much for sharing these tips with us, I shall be favoriting for future references!


Mary November 6, 2011 at 1:02 am

Lovely blog and I love this list. Well-written and very true, I feel like printing out your post to pin up at work :)


Martina Lynne November 6, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Wow, this is all such wonderful advice! I’m a PhD student, so my daily life is pretty high stress in a pretty silly way. I’m not training to be a medical doctor, so I’m always aware that the stress of my job training is not really as high stakes as it feels (I mean, no one’s life is ever in my hands), and somehow, that seems to make things worse at times. “Quick!” my brain yells at me, “think brilliant and novel things about that book before you fail at everything!” This is not a good way to get things done. So your advice is really well taken over here and I really do plan on implementing what I can from this list. Thank you!


Zelde November 7, 2011 at 1:09 am

This list ist just what I needed at the moment. I’m crazily busy and things just seem to be mounting up. I’ll try out your tips that suit me, starting tomorrow. Thanks. :)



Antonio November 10, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Loving this post and your blog!
You have a new follower.



Anita Lim November 16, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Thank you & this is a great list!
I think the only one I’m not too sure about it the worry list? I agree writing worries down is a good idea, but I’d much prefer to do some thing positive about them like decide on the next action, if there is one, rather than worry about them. Or I say what’s the worst thing that can happen & try to put it in perspective.


KatieP December 11, 2011 at 10:54 pm

This is such a great list. I tried to pick my favourite but I couldn’t.

Maybe lighting candles … just because it’s not so obvious and makes a world of difference (all that lovely flickering soft light).


Petrea December 12, 2011 at 12:35 am

“No need to look like you’re constantly running after your life, even if you are! Just break up your routine into smaller, and more achievable chunchs.” YES! I definitely need to do more chunking & leave some down time in there! Thanks!


*bejeweled* December 12, 2011 at 3:48 pm

What a wonderful list! I love this: Shave your legs one day, paint your nails the next day, wash your hair the day after, etc. This approach also works with keeping your house tidy – just do one little chore every day and you’ll stay on top of everything more easily


Sheri December 13, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Beautiful in every way. Especially this time of the year I see so many people send themselves into a complete panic over things that really mean so little in the end. Being grounded and calm is the best gift you can give to anyone who loves you.


Marthe January 7, 2012 at 1:26 pm

It’s true – this time of year when what we really need is ease..


Square-Peg Karen December 13, 2011 at 8:21 pm

It’s wild how – when we need these things the most we can forget them so easily. Thanks for this post – what great reminders!!


Marthe January 7, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Thank you so much Karen!


Shelby December 20, 2011 at 6:09 pm

this list is absolutely brilliant and spot on I might add… lovely blog!


Marthe January 7, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Thank you!


Tena Weinand January 26, 2012 at 5:29 am

Wonderful ideas – I have to add an important one…pray. There is a God who created you and loves you. Reach out to Him…and start a wonderful relationship that fills you with peace in ALL circumstances.


Eryn January 26, 2012 at 5:38 pm

I found this post on Pinterest and have already begun working it’s magic! I linked the post. So that my readers might relax, as well.

Have a lovely day!


Lisa Wood January 30, 2012 at 11:05 am

Such a great list – looking forward to trying out the one where you suggest waking up in the morning slowly and having enough sleep! I also need to learn to take weekends off ;)



Michael Enos February 2, 2012 at 7:11 am

What a great list! I was just about to write a blog myself on taking care of one’s self . . . I don’t need to create a list, I need to point people to yours. Great job! Glad I found you!


Nicholas Landry February 21, 2012 at 1:40 am

These are great… I’m really going to make an effort over the next 8 months to start implementing these. I’ve even pinned this post to my main bookmarks bar. Thanks so much! Cheers!


LE March 10, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Goodness Gracious! So many great ideas, so lovingly crafted into prose – and can I say how impressed I am that you’ve taken the time to respond to almost all posts!

This may be on the list in some other permutation, but: Seek Joy. I realized at a certain busy and sad period of my life that when asked the question “what brings you joy” … I couldn’t answer it.

So I seek joy. It gets me through both my less and more busy periods (i.e.: it’s something I am constantly working on)… it’s especially good to be able to do it when I’m stressed out.

Thanks for making your voice heard :)


Kristina Gulino March 14, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Wow I love this. Definitely could have used all these tips back in school (what a major drain)! Sharing this on Twitter – I know a lot of busy ladies out there could use a tip or two (including me)!

Thanks a ton!!
Nook & Sea


Leah April 8, 2012 at 12:43 am

I saw this on Pinterest. All it did was make me very sad and depressed. The list could also be titled:

“55 things to not take for granted before you have children.”

I’m a mommy to 3 young children and most of this list is impossible for me most of the time!

Yes! Do all of these things all of the time! Breathe them in, enjoy the heck out of them, especially if you plan on having children, because soon most of them won’t be options, and the ones that are will require arranging babysitting, which is just another added stress!

Ack! Help! I just want a nap and a shower!


A December 31, 2013 at 11:56 am

I was thinking the same thing! My kids are bigger now, but remembering when I had little people in the house made me think that this list was rather impossible for a sahm ! Maybe a new list for those mothers, as each of us has or was a mum.


Jess April 24, 2012 at 12:35 am

Thank you SO MUCH for this post! I just came across your blog today, and I am loving it. I live much the same way, and I’m proud to say that I already do 3/4 of the items on your list. Keep up the awesome work, and keep sharing your life and ideas. <3


Erika June 11, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Love this post!! Your spelling of stationery, however, is incorrect. Please correct? When referring to paper goods, we use an “e”. Thanks!


Jane August 22, 2012 at 7:10 pm

You’re comment was very unnecessary. You had no reason to call her out for a misspelled word, how mean of you. Please keep your degrading comments to yourself.


Tabatha September 18, 2012 at 4:48 pm

She wasn’t being degrading at all. She said she loved the post.


Ali July 17, 2012 at 7:48 am

Absolutely wonderful. I can’t wait to download the book. Thank you for spending the time to put this together!


Khayden2 August 5, 2012 at 7:57 pm


I loved every bit of that. Thank you.


Tracy Matthews August 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm


I love this and can’t wait to do some of these amazing self care things for myself. You have so many HUGE things happening! I can’t wait to see your grow and reach so many more brilliant human beings. It is a honor to know you and to see the impact-ful work you are doing in the world.



betsy September 21, 2012 at 2:31 am

This post is absolutely beautiful. I could not have come across it at a better time in my life. Thank you for taking the time to really put meaningful and thoughtful work out there. It is appreciated a million times over and more.


pam September 26, 2012 at 1:58 am

Thank you for this post!! I recently started suffering panic attacks, and have been seeking ways to overcome, rather than medicate. Hoping this helps! Thanks again!


A September 26, 2012 at 2:46 pm

thanks so much. i’ll do each of this 55 ways


grace October 16, 2012 at 4:16 am

thanks so much for this. i am always going a billion miles per hour and sometimes it hurts my health or i have a breakdown in the middle of homework. i never want to take time away from working to focus on myself. these tips are perfect for me because they are simple and effective. i hope you are blessed for you help!


Rebekah Clark October 29, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Love this! Thanks for the post.


chomiji November 5, 2012 at 12:25 am

Thank you for this!


xandra November 16, 2012 at 5:30 pm

i LOVE this list! i have not read it in full so that i can save the tips for when i’m i’m feeling more busy busy busy. in the meantime i’ll keep it in mind for whenever i’m feeling the stress as some instant guidance :)
xandra ★


priya November 26, 2012 at 3:23 am

I love this.
Thanks so much! this is really really useful and necessary for me to look back on when I am not sure how to take care!!!


Aziza Panjwani December 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm

oh my god, I am so going to try. Ever since my freshman year stress has been like my best friend, and I’m a senior now, so it’s saying a lot. I was reading through this and it helped a lot!!! I’m going to start doing this tomorrow! (:


Beth December 18, 2012 at 5:26 pm

I’m not sure this applies to mothers of small children…;)


Sara December 27, 2012 at 1:08 pm

I’m not the author and not yet a mother (though I am an oldest sibling of five, the oldest grandchild in a large family and an elementary school teacher). However, I would say the following:

Don’t let this list add to the stresses :) The list is only trying to help us calm down. I would choose one or two to incorporate when you think of it or need it.

Because small children make life constantly “busy”, there are some tips that would make sense for frequent application. Others, such as take a long bath, are essentially impossible with small children–unless they come with and then suddenly the bath is not so relaxing :).

I could see these being useful: saying no to unimportant things, drinking tea, and taking a minute to stretch and breathe (even if that is once the last kid has gone down for a nap or right before you start reading them a story or while the food is in the microwave–even a few deep breaths can help!)–maybe you could even have the kids do it with you?

Gratitude lists–or even mental notes–can be great. Even if they are never remembered later, thanking God or a higher being or life for a beautiful/quiet/pleasant/cheery moment can help us remember that we have them.

Good luck and God bless!


Kelly January 11, 2013 at 6:40 am

Thanks, Sara! I work full time (as does my husband) at a semi-high stress job and have a demanding(but healthy!) 3-yr-old. I tend to dismiss these lists/things of this nature as being generally inapplicable to moms if small kids. I really appreciate your points. Thanks for redirecting me!


Amelia December 21, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Just had this article sent in a company email from my boss. One of my favorite blogs. I am glad to see my office agrees ;-)


JN December 23, 2012 at 7:32 pm

i definitely agree with this. i will start putting this into practice.


Jill December 25, 2012 at 6:15 am

Also, Drink lots and lots of water. Every time you get a chance, whenever you’re feeling stressed. Try to make sure it’s COLD water, but if not, that’s ok, too. Water just has a way of being able to calm you down a bit. Especially if you’re getting a headache!!!


Earl Jenkins January 31, 2013 at 8:06 pm

A lot of times, those low-grade headaches people get are caused by dehydration. Drinking water is good for you in so many ways.


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Marthe March 31, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Go ahead!



I was on this January 3, 2013 at 6:11 am

Good post however , I was wanting to know if you could write
a litte more on this topic? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Bless you!


Birgit January 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm

A hugh thank you for this post. Though everyone knows this, it’s really good to be reminded of it sometimes!


call prospecting January 15, 2013 at 5:11 am

My brother recommended I might like this blog. He was entirely right.

This post truly made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this info!


Chrissi January 25, 2013 at 3:19 pm

I have figured out several of these through my years, but have just recently discovered the power in the morning stretches. I actually started because of an injury, and a friend who is a PT taught me some things to help with pain I was having. I discovered quickly that this is as good for my attitude as it is my body. I’ve even put a post-it on the bathroom mirror that says “Stretch please” in case I’m having a rushed morning and try to pass on the stretches. :) Thanks for the tips!


Viv February 5, 2013 at 8:29 pm

If you’ve got time to read all of this..
You’re not REALLY busy are you?


Karen February 7, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Just adopt a couple and see improvement.
Here are some other little tips


bachelor February 11, 2013 at 11:02 pm

Nice one,you made me inspired it adds learnings.


Natalie Rose February 17, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Do you mind if I use some of these? This is an amazing post and I would love to incorporate some of them to my blog.


Marthe March 31, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Go ahead!



Mary February 21, 2013 at 7:24 am

A good smile always goes a long way. The more that you think you are busy the busier you will be.


Donna February 27, 2013 at 6:51 pm

How am I ever going to keep track of all this?! I’m, like, freaking out!


Marthe March 31, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Breathe, darling! :) You don’t have to do it all!



CoachTiko February 28, 2013 at 5:57 pm

I love this! I especially need this now that I’m working for myself full-time. I’m learning that it’s important to not ignore self care. In fact, taking the time to take care of myself supports me in being more present and efficient in my business. Thank you for the tips! Really thankful you’ve given a variety because what works one day may not work the next!


Nix Given March 10, 2013 at 10:17 pm

Your photo is from this website. This girl lives in Ryazan, Russia.



Marthe March 11, 2013 at 9:42 am

Thank you so much!! :) :)


Cold Calling March 12, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Great post however I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject?
I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Thank you!


Emma March 13, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Thank you for this. My 26 year old passed away 16 months ago due to cancer. The list is helpful for my “reconstructive” journey as I slowly pick up the pieces of beautiful “me.” Thank you!


Jude Boudreaux March 24, 2013 at 3:09 pm

what a great list! I’m going to make sure my wife reads this, as she’s been incredibly stressed lately. Hopefully we can help her make some time for yoga or meditation!


Stonewall Speer March 28, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Great list. Doing some of these good habits, considering how to add others into my routine. Lucky find, perfectly timed with lunch today on my first week with 2 jobs. Opted for blog reading over nap, well worth the “me time” .. and sharing, see you on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook .. loved it!


Angela April 7, 2013 at 5:41 am

some nice thoughts, sentiments and all round good positive advice.

Not really connecting with what I was looking for on this webpage. The google tag line that I found for this site said “how to take care of yourself when you’re busy busy busy”…..

one of your suggestions says spend your lunchtime doing….. (x, y, z). I stopped reading after that.

“Busy busy busy” women are not taking lunchtime at all.

Hope this resonates with others.



Gina April 23, 2013 at 10:49 pm

This list is so powerful. Thank you! I especially love the idea of stretching and breathing in the morning. My day usually starts with a toddler crying out from her crib…I like your idea much better! Beautiful site.


Carlota April 30, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Hello there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this page to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!


Ruth May 1, 2013 at 4:47 am

Thank you for this. Such sage advise. Clearly a women of great grounding, balance and self awareness. Helping the rest of us be a little more graceful in our frenzy. Most Grateful.


Anonymous May 28, 2013 at 2:59 am

It is so easy to forget the little things that can make a monumental difference.
Thank you so much for writing this. These words were much needed.


Vatsala Shukla June 3, 2013 at 6:55 am

I must confess, I use all the tips given in the post with 1 exception which has me quite revved up right now – the worry list! I intuitively know when a worry is Urgent and Important or Important but not Urgent :) and if it is important, it goes on my To Do List. I’m going to try the Worry List this week and see how many worries I actually have! Should be an interesting exercise in self-realization.


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First off I want to say terrific blog! I had a quick question in
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Reagan Mae Berry July 7, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Hey there! I love this blog! It is simply AMAZING. Man, I wish I had this fabtabulous list a long time ago! I’m not sure all of those would work for me, but I love all of them! I love the worry list. Everyone knows about the “Count Your Blessings List” but counting your worries is awesome, too! Love it.
check out my blog and have a nice day!


Allie February 9, 2016 at 6:15 am

I found myself nodding my noggin all the way thgohru.


Psyche Z. Ready September 4, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Thank you. I have left this page bookmarked on my toolbar so that I remember to re-read it. It seems I’ve got a crazy-busy time at least every few months, and even just sitting and reading through this list helps. Thanks so much!


Dan October 21, 2013 at 5:06 am

I don’t know how to say it hmmmm…. THANKS+ You helped me alot.


Alani November 12, 2013 at 4:23 pm

I love love love this so much!
Every single point resonates with me! xxx
Thank you!


Lynne November 30, 2013 at 2:16 pm

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G article!

Simple & clear suggestions.
Easy to accomplish.
Infinite positive results…

Thank YOU!


Nicole December 3, 2013 at 9:34 am

This is amazing. Thank you!


Emily December 3, 2013 at 10:28 pm

I stand to be corrected, but this appears to be written by someone without children.


~jw December 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm

I began tackling the biggest stressor in my life (debt) in 2011 by seeking a second job. But, instead of working retail, etc, I opted to begin babysitting, a job I love. Because it’s something I’m good at and enjoy doing, it often doesn’t feel like work at all!

But, I’m busy-busy-busy… I make it a priority to get plenty of sleep, and I find that I sleep much better these days, because I’m truly body-tired (not just frazzled) at bed time, and because I’m addressing the money worries that used to keep me awake. Plus – playing with kiddos, helping them grow? Rewarding!

My advice? Find something you love to do …. And do it!!!


megan December 6, 2013 at 11:30 am

oh my gosh this list is soooo perfect :) after a long day of being trapped inside all these layers, my wittle friend needs to come out and pway! its good to air it out ya know :)


vaishnav December 8, 2013 at 7:40 am

Thank you so much for such a phenomenal and useful post. It is really a great help. :)


Kristen February 13, 2014 at 4:22 am

Oh! so lovely to stumble across your online home.


Kristin April 9, 2014 at 7:15 pm

Great list. :-)


Victor September 19, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Good information. Lucky me I came across your website by chance (stumbleupon).
I have bookmarked it for later!


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Nina November 14, 2015 at 9:29 pm

Really helpful article. Thank you!


AndreaT November 18, 2015 at 4:29 pm

Great advice, especially for workaholics. I was wondering, what type of herbal tea is good for your inner body and skin?


sukriti February 4, 2016 at 11:45 am

hey i read lot of stuff usually and this is something worth reading.i am recently lasting due to overload of work and the moment i read this i was like yes that’s all i need to do right now……
thanks for such advice.


Amy Lucas February 25, 2016 at 8:04 pm

So often we adopt Dorie’s motto “Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming.” But, unless we stop and take some time (even a little time) to ourselves, we’re doing quite a bit of damage to our bodies over time.
Back pain, headaches and neck pain don’t happen overnight. These mechanical issues are often the result of wear and tear to our joints over a long period of time. Unhealthy habits can have lasting consequences. Thank you for writing posts like that that remind us all to slow down.


Dejan March 5, 2016 at 11:21 am

Great article!!!


Dicia B. April 16, 2016 at 5:46 am

These are things I needed to read, especially the write a daily gratitude list. Sometimes, I forget what I need to be thankful for (especially my husband)!


Dawn Robirtis July 22, 2016 at 9:55 am

Great tips thanks for sharing. The only one I’m not sold on is not chatting with you Mom or friends. A quick chat with my Mom or a good friend cheers me up huge. I’m off the phone with a smile and feel lighter as I’ve been able to say outlaid “I’m stressed.” It takes the weight off my shoulders and I can tackle things with more energy.


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