Keeping healthy when life gets busy


Life can be hectic sometimes.  And while it’s great to be busy and have fun, we all need a little down time and to take care of ourselves.  Business can be good, but too much can be stressful, especially for an introvert like me who needs down time to relax.  So today I’m sharing with you my favourite ways to take care of myself when life gets particularly busy.

Practice mindfulness

When I first heard of mindfulness, I thought it was something a bit hippy-ish that I wasn’t interested in.  But it didn’t take me too long to realise that mindfulness wasn’t necessarily about sitting for hours in meditational poses.  Mindfulness  is really just a way to stop all those thoughts and stresses from taking over and helps you to unwind, relax and be in the moment.  And science proves it works.   I started using the free app Smiling Mind to help me get into mindfulness, but now when I’m feeling stressed I can just simply practice breathing deeply, letting go of stress and being in the moment.   Other ways of mindfulness include colouring (and there are many mindfulness colouring books available now), and I actually find running to be quite a ‘mindful’ activity too.

Take a break

A photo from our pre-christmas break a few years ago

Relaxing on our pre-christmas break a few years ago – the beach all to ourselves!

It sounds a little counter productive, but for me when I’m really busy, the best thing I can do is take a few days out to unwind.  It helps me relax and refocus.  A couple of years ago, my husband and a couple of friends took 3 days off about two weeks before Christmas and it was the best holiday ever!   Good accommodation was easy to find,  we had the beach almost to ourselves, and it was really peaceful.    This year I’m doing the same thing with my bestie, except instead of a road trip, I’m flying.

To get a great priced flight, I’m using Jetstar Price Radar.   It’s a saviour when you want the best deal, but you don’t want to have to keep checking back all the time. Price Radar does it for you!   You search for your flights, then simply hit “activate price radar”.  You’ll then get email updates when flights hit your ideal price. I chose to look at a range of dates, as I’m not too worried when I go away, I just want a great priced flight that will give me a relaxing time away (and more money to spend when I’m away!!).  We’re planning on heading to Christchurch for a few days of relaxation, and a little bit of exploring.  I can’t wait! If anyone has any recommendations for good places to eat, or must see places, let me know in the comments below.

Screen shot 2015-10-18 at 2.18.44 PMScreen shot 2015-10-12 at 8.30.36 PMScreen shot 2015-10-12 at 8.30.00 PM

Prep, prep, prep

To keep in a good healthy eating routine when you’re busy, preparation is key.  I like to make sure I have quick, easy things to grab when I’m in a hurry.  Here’s some of the things I buy and make:

*Large salads/coleslaws

When I make dinner, I’ll often make a big salad or coleslaw so there is enough for a couple of days.  I then use this as a base for my lunch the next day.

*Sunrice Brown rice and quinoa cups

I normally cook my own rice, but these are great if you’re in a hurry and I have them on hand just in case.  Just microwave for 60 seconds and it’s done.  I’ve been mixing this through left over salad from dinner with boiled eggs and a little feta cheese for a tasty, healthy lunch on busy days.

* Tinned chickpeas

A good source of slow release carbohydrate, protein and carbohydrates, these are a nice addition to salads.  I drain a tin, rinse well, pat dry in a tea towel then pan fry with Moroccan or Cajun seasoning until crispy.  It takes less than 5 minutes but adds lots of taste and texture to your meal.


A leftovers lunch with some pan fried chickpeas stirred through via my instagram.

* Bags of nuts + fruit

I like to keep a bag of nuts in drawer at work so if I’m hungry there’s a healthy snack on hand.  I also keep a little bowl of fruit on my desk at work for the same reason.  One sweet snack and one savoury snack so I’ve got my bases covered!

*Boiled eggs, avocado and tomato + toast
If I’m in a hurry, I’ll chuck a couple of eggs on to boil while I get ready, then grab an avocado, a couple of tomatoes and some Vogels toast and that’s lunch sorted!  You can pre-boil eggs and keep them in the fridge for up to 5 days too.

Find time to stay active

healthy woman

When you’re busy sometimes exercise is the last thing you feel like doing.  While you may not be able to fit in what you have done before, even a shorter workout is still valuable in terms of wellbeing.  For me, exercise is the perfect way to unwind and de-stress.  I’ve been running or taking a cross fit class in my lunch break, and if I need to, I’ll just stay at work a little longer to finish what I need to get done.  I always feel great for the afternoon when I’ve exercised at lunch time. It invigorates me and helps me focus, so it’s worth the time it takes. I don’t always get as much exercise in when I’m busy but I make sure I still get some.   Find a way that you can stay active, whether it’s getting out at lunch time, or swapping a drinks catch up with a buddy for an exercise class.  You’ll feel better for it.

Do you have any good tips for staying well when life is hectic?  And any tips of good food places or things to do while in Christchurch?


This post was sponsored by Jetstar.


28 Responses to Keeping healthy when life gets busy

  1. Meagan Kerr November 3, 2015 at 9:28 pm #

    When everything is hectic, I make sure I make lists of everything I need to do and schedule in so “me time”. Taking breaks is so important!

  2. Kuini November 3, 2015 at 9:36 pm #

    Great ideas, I agree preparation is key!

  3. Caro November 3, 2015 at 9:46 pm #

    Can’t wait for our girls trip south!

  4. Lena | Lena Talks Beauty November 7, 2015 at 4:58 pm #

    My last resort work lunch is a tub of brown rice with quinoa, and a tin of tuna. It’s a bit boring but it’s easy and healthy.

  5. Anne November 15, 2015 at 4:08 pm #

    Good tips. A trip sounds like fun, I’ll check out that price radar. And agree prep and planning iare definitely key when you are busy

  6. Sarah November 19, 2015 at 9:26 am #

    Jetstar’s price radar is so great! Recently I booked a one way flight as I didn’t know how long I was going to travel for so picked a window and set up the price radar. Totally forgot about it until an email came through with a great price and I jumped on it!

  7. NZ Muse November 20, 2015 at 3:33 pm #

    Baths. Running. And yep, a holiday is always good if you can swing it!

  8. Carla T December 14, 2015 at 8:23 pm #

    Great ideas here. We got a greyhound at the start of the year and I find walking him every day is great time out. Need to work on getting more sleep though.

  9. Lesley Burns December 14, 2015 at 8:38 pm #

    Yes the idea about makin gextra salad is great.It means you have the makings of a good lunch next day so you dont snack and might even give you a short period to sit quietly and practise your mindfullness

  10. Jodie December 14, 2015 at 8:40 pm #

    Great ideas thank you! and good tips with jetstar… I feel like booking some flights 🙂

  11. Larissa December 14, 2015 at 8:44 pm #

    Getting enough sleep, drinking water, regular exercise and clean eating are my secrets to success!

  12. Boni December 14, 2015 at 8:55 pm #

    These are great tips, thanks!

  13. Samantha - PlanetBakeLife December 14, 2015 at 8:55 pm #

    Staying healthy during busy periods can suck but I find that forward planning really helps. I try to make sure I have loads of healthy and hearty meals planned ahead or in the freezer for when I’m snowed under.

  14. Kelly Blackie December 14, 2015 at 8:56 pm #

    The key for me is having healthy things on hand. As a working mum it’s tough to do quick easy nutritious and delicious dinners quickly! Chickpeas and salads are awesome!

  15. Amanda F December 14, 2015 at 9:14 pm #

    Taking breaks is so important! I love the price radar for jetstar too!

  16. Karina December 14, 2015 at 10:54 pm #

    Awesome tips!! Am heading off to track down that app!

  17. Landi van de Venter December 14, 2015 at 11:19 pm #

    I’ve joined WeightWatchers about 6 weeks ago and lost 16kg so far. But I must admit the only thing I could think of was all the yummy food I’m going to eat till I pass out. This article opened my eyes again and was just what I’ve needed.

  18. Sophie Addison December 15, 2015 at 2:07 am #

    A good healthy diet and exercise is important. Please help us for the festive season…lol 😉 Merry Xmas and Happy 2016! 🙂 x

  19. Andee December 15, 2015 at 7:07 am #

    Walk to your destination more often than not – that way you have done some exercise in your busy schedule. And do some stretching at home (good for the back)

  20. Anna Scarlett December 15, 2015 at 8:12 am #

    Love all these ideas! I try to make sure I fit in some time for exercise as I feel so much better after a walk or a boxing session if I’m stressed! And I try to eat well even though the urge to get into the cookie jar when I’m stressed is strong!! I make sure I have detailed lists of things I need to do and if possible try and delegate some of the items on my list!

    So many good places have opened up in Christchurch lately! Addington coffee co op is great for breakfast, King of snake, bootleg BBQ or Orleans are great for dinner. White house black is lovely for a wine and nibbles on a sunny day! The gondola is worth a visit and the Farmers market on a Saturday is fab! Enjoy 🙂

  21. Stacey December 15, 2015 at 10:27 am #

    I just received a colourung in book and pencils from some lovely friends as a secret Santa gift. I am looking forward to taking some time out for me and colouring in (while my kids sit peacefully beside me and do the same). This year has been crazy so I have made the call to regain my balance. Your tips will come in handy.

  22. virginia driver December 15, 2015 at 10:57 am #

    Great Advise. Must take it myself.

  23. Cushla December 16, 2015 at 7:21 am #

    In terms of mindfulness I think it is really important to try in get into the habit of mindful eating – especially at this time of year. It can be too easy to stuff your face without even being that aware of it. Still enjoy treats but really savour them and stop at one ????

  24. Adele December 16, 2015 at 7:29 am #

    Love all these ideas. Definitely back to the basics in terms of self care and organisation is key for me! Have picked up a colouring in book and looking forward to a break over Christmas!

  25. Tash wildermoth December 16, 2015 at 7:34 am #

    Great tips to keep sane during the Christmas holiday season <3

  26. Carla Aitken December 16, 2015 at 3:44 pm #

    Good advice!! Def. preparation, and SLEEP!

  27. Nicola January 21, 2016 at 9:38 pm #

    Hi Jodie, you’re the winner of the Dr Libby book! Email me to organise your prize


  1. Looking beyond sugar - Eat Well NZ - November 4, 2015

    […] Aim to get enough sleep – most people need between 7-9 hours a night.  Something that isn’t mentioned as much as sleep is relaxation and down time.  But having time to relax and unwind is also important to your overall wellbeing and happiness.  Schedule down time in your life too. For more tips on this, see my post here. […]

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