How to stay healthy when life gets busy

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife

This post is sponsored by National Stroke Foundation

BUSY…. it became my word of 2015, I used it as an excuse for nearly everything. Firstly I was too busy to get my back properly checked, four months later I finally went to the physio and got treatment, I was feeling much better within a fortnight, I truly wish I went sooner, but busy got in the way.  I haven’t had nearly enough coffee’s with my Dad or friends as I was working all day and then running kids around in the afternoons, even my exercise habits took a side turn… because I was too busy.

It wasn’t until I stopped work in November last year to move house that I realised how much pressure I had been putting myself under.  Not realising that I have not been putting the important things in life first. With kids, work and so many other responsibilities in between I was blinded by busy and it got in the way of me properly looking after myself.

I haven’t so much given myself a New Years resolution, I gave myself a new house resolution, which I started in early December and I have to say I feel so much better (except for coming down with bronchitis on the second day of the new year).


It is possible to stay healthy when life gets busy by taking time out each week to organise time outdoors with the family, create work/life balance, prepare healthy snacks and more.  Like Jada Pinkett-Smith says nobody else is going to look after you and your happiness, better than you.  Looking after your health will energise you and help you keep on top of everything you need to do in everyday life.

How to stay healthy when life gets busy

Easy to grab snacks

It can be so easy to open the pantry and grab a sweet biscuit or some chocolate when you’re hungry. Instead create other items that are just as easy to grab, but a healthier option, just to name a few:

  • handful of nuts
  • vegetable sticks
  • pre-washed fruit
  • hard boiled egg
  • bliss balls
  • a protein bars
  • yoghurt

I love chocolate and know it’s a weakness of mine, so I have not purchased any chocolate to store in my pantry, out of site out of mind (well not really off my mind but rather…. out of my mouth). Instead, I have packaged up some go-to snacks to easily grab.


Container on the left is my favourite container at the moment, the clever, screw-on collar and silicone lid ensure nothing leaks out and both parts nest neatly together when empty in order to save space. It can hold two different types of snacks (in this I have fruit in the bottom, and nuts in the top compartment, options could be fruit and yoghurt or vegetables sticks and hummus – list is endless). The containers on the right I purchased recently from the Reject Shop, set of five, BPA free and they twist together.

A good night’s sleep

Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. According to the Sleep Health Foundation and adult should sleep between seven to nine hours each day.

I used to stay up late at night watching TV, now I put the kids to bed around 8pm, watch a show with my hubby and then go to bed around 9pm.  By going to bed earlier I have found I am waking earlier, usually between 5-6am which has given me some good quality time by myself in the mornings, sometimes I potter in the kitchen or read a magazine while drinking my cuppa in peace.  

Get a general health check

Over the New Year I was really crook with asthmatic bronchitis.  It was day five that I got my hubby to take me to the doctor’s to get checked… took me that long you know thinking I’m superwoman and can beat a little bug, not realising I was having asthmatic episodes.  I had been been to the doctor only a handful of times over the past year, and it occurred to me that I haven’t had my cholesterol tested (I’m on the high side of good) or blood pressure checked in at least 12 months, this was not good, it should be monitored more regularly than that.  Now that I am feeling better, I have made myself an appointment with my doctor for when the kids go back to school for a general health check.


It’s so important to keep on top of your general health and to know your numbers. To know what is your cholesterol level is, your risk of diabetes, your blood pressure etc.

Every hour, five Australians die from heart, stroke and blood vessel disease.  It’s hard to know if you’re at risk because often you won’t feel any symptoms.  High blood pressure and type 2 diabetes are both risk factors for stroke and heart disease.

A Know your numbers health check helps you to understand your risk factors and the steps you can take to reduce your risk.  Being too busy to get to the doctors is no longer an excuse, as in Queensland, the National Stroke Foundation runs a Know your numbers’ program where you can visit a local participating pharmacy and get a free blood pressure check and a diabetes and cardiovascular risk assessment. Find the participating Know your numbers site nearest to you here.

For those not in Queensland – check if your local pharmacy offers free blood pressure checks, or alternatively ask your GP the next time you go to see them.


To make it even easier to keep track of your numbers, the National Stroke Foundation has also created these awesome free printables for download – health trackers to help you Know your numbers in 2016.


I had to go back to the chemist to refill my antibiotic prescription and while I was there I got them to do a free Know your numbers health check on my hubby and I.

Surprisingly, Scotty hasn’t had a general health check in the past seven or more years and couldn’t remember the last time his blood pressure was taken.  Thankfully, his assessment didn’t raise any alarm bells and he just need to routinely monitor his numbers.


I on the other hand, need to take better care of myself.  The pharmacist expressed how important it was that I go and get my cholesterol levels checked regularly, as cholesterol contributes to blood vessel disease, which is a risk factor for stroke. In my case, even though it’s hereditary, it’s something I need to regularly monitor.


Sneak in exercise

Exercise doesn’t necessarily mean going to the gym or doing a five kilometre walk, any form of physical activity is better than nothing.  Try some of these ideas:

  • gardening
  • swimming
  • bike riding
  • playing soccer, tennis, catch with the kids
  • cleaning the house can even give you a good workout

Miss 12 and I go for a walk three mornings a week.  The kids also gave me a new bike for my birthday, one with a very comfortable seat and I have thoroughly enjoyed riding around our neighbourhood on the bike. I follow the kids around on their bikes and I feel like a kid again.

Drink more water

Staying hydrated is a must for good health. The human body is made up of 50-75 percent water. It makes sense that staying well-hydrated (especially in hot weather and when exercising) is crucial to making sure our bodies function at their best.

Drinking water is a chore for me, however, I have recently started taking a bottle of water with me wherever I go. Having it next to me at my desk, in the car and in my handbag while shopping I find that I am drinking more water, even when not feeling thirsty, which is good for me!! I do feel better for it.


This water bottle is brilliant it offers an easy way to extract juice and flavor from citrus fruits and infuse them directly into your water bottle.


If you have previously visited my blog, you may have read that I have a really good work/life balance.  Traditionally, I work between 10-3 and the remainder of the day is family time, busy did get in the way of this in the later part of last year and I did find I was working into the night.  A key element of my new home resolution was to get that balance back and I won’t work at the desktop from 3pm; it doesn’t matter how many email or items I have on my to-do list, I switch off.  Sometimes, I may sit with the kids in the evening and watch some TV, the kids usually choose the program and if I’m not a fan of the show I may dabble on the laptop.

Balance to me is a huge factor in my stress levels which effectively hinders my health.  Look at your scheduled and balance your home, family and work commitments so you are taking time to look after you.

Being busy does not mean you can’t be healthy, I hope some of these tips will inspire you to become happier and healthier this year.

This post was coordinated by The Remarkables Group and run in accordance with my disclosure policy.

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Mel January 20, 2016 - 6:08 AM

This post came at a good time. Bit of a long post but I’ll share. I’ve used my 3 kids under 5 as an excuse not to do regular exercise and eat properly. After coming home home from work I thought it was selfish to leave them for me time. I always make sure they eat well, but I snack on rubbish all day, especially at work. 2015 was the worse year of health for me ( I had a minor stroke, even with all my numbers being right ). Yesterday, my kids wanted me to run round with them but I was just too tired. Last night, I decided that taking an hour to myself to exercise or just be alone isn’t selfish. It’s needed to keep me healthy and sane. If I’m not healthy, I wont have energy to be there for my kids and have quality time with them. Here’s to a better 2016!

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 20, 2016 - 8:56 AM

Ooh Mel, how are you feeling after having the stroke? By the sounds of it you are far too young for this to happen to you. So glad to hear that you can see that it’s important to look after yourself, taking time out is great for your health but will also make you a better mum in the long run and your kids will see that you are setting a great example. Here’s to 2016 to being a healthy new year!!!

Mel January 20, 2016 - 9:56 AM

I’m fine. I’m 35. Came as a huge shock but I came out of it really well. It’s taken 6 months for me to realise that I do need to put myself first. This post was great timing.

Keep up the great work. Love reading your posts.

Ms_MotorbikeNut January 20, 2016 - 7:45 AM

I suffer with hypertension (High Blood Pressure) & to save me going to the Dr’s all the time to have my blood pressure checked, my husband brought me my own blood pressure kit from Chemist Warehouse for around $80

With people’s lifes being so busy these days I would suggest everyone to buy a blood pressure kit. Go to your Dr find out how to work the one your brought right ask the Dr at the time what range would you like my (or family if wanting to keep an eye on the families as well)blood pressure to be?

Then go home and every day find a time to check your blood pressure (usually around the same time every day) I usually find early in the morning after hubby has gone to work but before waking our daughter up for school a great time.

If your blood pressure is up or even down or your families then get yourself of to the Dr’s our blood pressure kit has saved our family a number of times from having to race to the Dr’s to get it checked all the time.

When we do go to the Dr’s we take along the readings we have noted down every time we take our blood so the Dr can see what is happpening.

Cheers for now
(((( Hugs )))) XXXX Kisses XXXX

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 20, 2016 - 8:51 AM

Great idea that your hubby purchased you on for your hypertenstion, great way to keep checking it daily and that it records all your readings, I didn’t know they did that. For those that don’t need it daily it’s good to know some chemists will do it for free, saving you time not having to book doctors appointments and pay the fee. Life does get busy, we need to learn to put outselves first and so glad to hear your hubby is helping you too 😉

Anon January 20, 2016 - 8:35 PM

Kat, you are one of my dearest friends, don’t be so hard on yourself, you are busy, but you are very successful too, you are a true inspiration to me and I admire your drive, your success and how you are such a great mum. I hope that I bring up my kids as well as you have yours, your children are the most politest kids I know and I can see how much you adore them. They are very lucky to have you as the role model you are.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 20, 2016 - 8:58 PM

I’m speechless, thank you lovely friend, I think your right though and have heard that often this past week, I need to be a bit nicer to myself.

Louise January 20, 2016 - 8:37 PM

I hear you, I have taken my kids to the doctors multiple times in the past 12 months, but when I’m sick I don’t go I try and get through it because I’m too busy to drive myself to the doctors with the 2 toddlers. Great post Kat, I should take better care of myself.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 20, 2016 - 9:00 PM

Time to put yourself 1st Louise, book an appointment like I have to go get a full checkup at your local GP, I did this a few years ago and learnt I was lacking a few vitamins. I’ve booked mine for the week after the kids are at school 🙂

Juliette W January 20, 2016 - 8:39 PM

Well this is news to me, I can’t remember the last time I got my blood pressure checked, I just thought it was something for old people.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 20, 2016 - 9:02 PM

No Juliette, it’s for all age groups, it’s really important to get checked at least every 6 months (but check that with your doctor), click the link above to find your local chemist with the know your numbers campaign and pop into the chemist to get it checked 🙂

Love that drink bottle January 20, 2016 - 8:39 PM

I have that drink bottle and I love it, makes me drink more water, it’s not so bland.

Katrina - The Organised Housewife January 20, 2016 - 9:03 PM

We are enjoying it too, simple lemon is my favourite. I remember when I was younger my Nanna used to freeze passionfruits and pop them into her water… so fresh.

Chelsea January 23, 2016 - 10:56 AM

That post was great! I feel exactly the same way.
Late in November last year my 3 year old broke his femur and was tied to a hospital bed for 3 and a half weeks then in a hip spica for another 3 weeks after that. I had started my dream job in September and also had a 9 month old and all of this happened. My husband and I pretty much did shift work between the house and the hospital and work and it was extremely tough. Before all this happened I thought I was SO busy but I wasnt! Being up at the hospital and watching people with sick kids that are there for so much longer then we were and the potential that their child was not coming home we had nothing to whinge about and I realised I definitely wasnt busy. I think I got the wake up call that was needed 🙂

Emilie January 28, 2016 - 5:18 PM

It came to mind that you may not have seen the film or read the book.m, but when it comes to lifestyle changes that make you feel much better, you may want to watch That Sugar Film, or read That Sugar Book. It was a revelation to me! I wasn’t overweight, but I wasn’t healthy either. I had weekly headaches seemingly out of nowhere, I was lethargic. It was the sugar. Simply cutting that out has made such a difference!

Judith May 28, 2016 - 5:31 AM

I am a evening-person though, I hate mornings and always wake up more tired than when I went to bed. And if I go to bed early I find that I will not be able to sleep for a couple of hours, which will give my mind the opportunity to start worrying about random things. I much rather have some me-time at night than in the early morning…I’d feel terrible for hours trying to feel properly awake in the early morning, so I’d still get going (feeling properly awake) at 10 the earliest. Next to that I hate coffee, so that doesn’t help either 😉

Judith May 28, 2016 - 5:35 AM

as for health checks, here in the Netherlands we only visit the doctor when we are ill or notice something otherwise wrong with ourselves.


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