Blog / Mental Health

How I Stay Active When I Feel I’m Going Mad With Other Things To Do


I’ve fallen into a vortex of “other things” (possibly termed “distractions” (I’m in denial)) that have been keeping me from training to climb a mountain. While Brian works on his mountain training regiment and Matt hits 6am CrossFit classes, I’m twirling my thumbs on a film set (my day job), stress eating and standing still. When I think about the work do be done, I panic. But what can I do, I wonder?

It’s really easy to get caught up with the tasks that pay your bills. We all have responsibility and most of us want to exceed our own expectations. In my panic I turned to the nearest railing and did ten push-ups against the wall. I felt better. Just a little bit better.

But I’ve deceived you – I haven’t totally been standing still while working but, compared to my usual routine of running, yoga, and strength training (bootcamp or crossfit) multiple times a week, it feels like I’m going nowhere. The classes I take keep me sane and centred and help me feel good. Without them I feel like I’m immobile, despite hustling around all day. On set, I make time to stretch throughout the day. I consciously correct my poor posture, a result of being too tired to think straight/stand straight. I obsessively plan which days and classes I’ll attend once this production I’m working on wraps. And then I stretch again.

“How do you do it?” I asked a colleague of mine who runs every evening, despite our 10-18 hours work days. This particular conversation started with him asking me if I ran last night, something he’s been asking since day 1 of prep. “No,” I replied, a bashful look overcoming me once again. “How do you do it? When we’re working 18 hour days, how do you find time to work and run and spend time with your family and…”

“You do it because you want to do it,” he said. “You do it because you’d rather run for an hour and get 5 hours sleep then get 6 hours sleep. Or you run for 30 minutes with your kid or partner or you find time with them and with your running. You do it because you want to.” Pursing my lips, I nodded. It’s that simple.

He told me that you have to want to do something bad enough that you actually do it. Thinking about it doesn’t cut it. Good intentions only get you so far, he said. You have to get up and go. Put your shoes on, and give yourself 15 minutes on the pavement. You’ll feel better, he said.

That night, as inspired as I was, I got home and was so tired I fell asleep after putting on my running tights.

When you exercise, your body creates endorphins that make you feel good. Really good. So good that when you don’t exercise, your body craves those good vibes and you feel awful. You feel guilty. You feel depressed. I’m feeling all of these things and I’m giving it up. I’m leaving these feelings at home.

In an effort to curb my “inactivity” while on a busy contract, here’s a few things I’ve drummed up during my mini breaks:

  • Dynamic stretches (arm and leg swings, body shakes and twists)
  • Always take the stairs
  • Walk as much as possible
  • Stand up every 30 minutes
  • Wall pushups (and when people see you doing these, invite them to join in!)
  • Calf raises (when standing, lift yourself on to your tippy toes and lower yourself down again)
  • Offering to carry things for coworkers
  • Constant hydration

Nothing beats getting outside, running through the trees, hiking up a hill, and enjoying the sunlight. I am grateful for all those moments I have in parks and pathways and in nature because, when I’m busy like this, I crave them. Distractions are a great way to motivate you to get creative with your body and abilities. I plan to take FULL advantage of summer once we’re wrapped here. But for now… I’ve got a couple wall pushups to do!


Do you have any tips and tricks for staying active while being busy? Let us know in the comments below!

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65 thoughts on “How I Stay Active When I Feel I’m Going Mad With Other Things To Do

    • For example to the par or to the school. But you have to be the as comfortable as posible to can walk more time and more distance.

  1. some of the tricks to keep you active it can be to realize the thigs that you enjoy doing it, for example if you like practising a sport, go ahead and do ir, but if you like paintin, singing or practice chess, try to do it in your free time, with that you can be doing something productive in your free time insted of beeing eating chips o junk food.
    btw. good job, this tricks help me a ton 🙂

    • Hi, im Lizbeth
      I like the article because is very presice, i like the vocabulary and went i read the parragraph i’m very interentig for these parragraph because everything is good. The article said, i haven’t totally been standing still while working but, compared to the usual rutining of running anda i said to be the as comportable posible to run and walk moré and moré distancie. I could With the author because is good drink water and do exercise.

  2. Maybe you can go to work by bike or by feet, so that you do exercise while you don’t have to avoid morning traffic. Also you can use weights for your ankles and take the stairs while you are using it!

  3. When I have a lot of work, and I know that it is going to take a lot of time to do, I take little breaks of five minutes to feel that I had a lot of rest and then keep doing it with a better attitude.

  4. -Drink a lot of water to fell hydrated.
    -Breath calmly for a few seconds.
    -Take a short nap in the afternoons.
    -Wash your face if you are sleeping.
    -Sometimes taking a shower is relaxing.

  5. another thing that you can do is if you have a car, park your car in the farest place of the parking, so you will need to walk more that you usually do, and another idea is that when you goes to the bathroom you can make 10 squats or less every time

    • Those are great ideas! I love the idea of parking in the back of the lot and walking the farthest distance to the entrance. It’s a good way to give your legs a little more time to work themselves, as opposed to staying seated for as long as possible. People don’t realize how important it is to stand up!

  6. When im too bussy I give myself at least one hour to relax a bit, I go to my school and run or do some push ups or any related exercise, also I play soccer with my friends and do some trickshots to the goalie.

    • That sounds great, Gabriel! Giving yourself time to relax is a big part of self-care that’s important for our own wellbeing! How can we be so great and compassionate to others if we don’t treat ourselves the same way? Great ideas!

  7. Hi! My tip for stay active is do a sport that you like; like baseball, soccer, basketball, etc.
    You can also dance if you like. I think dance is fun way to relieve stress😋

    • I agree! I love watching baseball and I’ve decided that next season I’m going to join a team to see if I can play. It’s all about having fun, isn’t it? I love dancing too. It’s a great way to gain confidence and to de-stress, I agree!

  8. I think a tip that would be very helpful for you to stay active while being busy is to do not waste time, like if you have a lot of things to do but you feel tired, you should drink a lot of coffee then do all the tasks you need to do and at the end rest.

    • Hey Sofia, that is a great tip. Coffee really perks me up in the morning and helps me get my to-do list done! Wasting time is a big one, too, that a lot of people struggle with. Procrastination can get in the way of getting things done, even with coffee.

      There’s a quote I love that goes like this: “It is not enough to be busy… The question is: what are we busy about?” I think if we busy ourselves with things we love to do, we won’t procrastinate as much!

  9. Do you have any tips and tricks for staying active while being busy? Old the days play in a soccer team, play drums ones a week

    • Soccer is so much fun! I used to play soccer, too. I don’t play many sports anymore but I love hiking and walking and biking around town. You used to play drums, too? Wow – that’s talent! I bet you worked up a sweat doing that!

    • Walking to school is great. I love walking, being outside, and taking in the fresh air. It’s amazing how much we can notice, too, when we look around while we walk. The world is beautiful, isn’t it?

  10. maybe if you like to dance and listening to music, you should listen to music you like and dance so you can be active but also happy.

    • I agree! Walking is so great for your body and your mind, and if you walk a lot, then your body and joints will stay healthier for longer than if you just sit on the couch all day. Speaking of walking, I think I will go for a walk now. 🙂

  11. Hi Andrea Wrobel!, first I want to congratulate you about this cool short story, and also I want to give you a tip of how to stay active if your busy, and one of the tricks that my mom does is drinking green tea instead of natural water because that gives you energy and it also helps you to burn fat. Another of my mom tricks is instead of going to work by car, she rides a bicycle.
    Bye!, Thank you :).

    • Hey Iris! That is a great tip. I’ve read some incredible things about green tea. It helps boost your metabolism as well, which is always great. I love green tea, but I could definitely be drinking it more. I also agree with riding a bike! I love riding a bike. Here in Toronto it’s the most efficient way to get around, plus you get to exercise without even trying! 🙂

  12. I think a good idea would be:
    Use a bike or walk
    Always have some fruit in your bag
    Drink 2L of water a day

  13. Hi Andrea, i liked your post. Its a very useful information that we can use when we feel very busy! 🙂 I hope you continue writting good post like this one.

    • Thank you Socrates. I will surely continue to write and I hope you come back soon! Remember, when you feel like you’re too bust to think straight, taking a moment outside in the fresh new air can change the world!

  14. I really liked your article; I think its helpful for people who has this problems because they need to find a way to do the things they want to, but they a little of inspiration. Your article will help a lot of people. Thank you

    • Thanks, Regina! It’s so easy to forget about the little things – the easy things – like drinking water. I hope to inspire others to remember that 1% effort is better than no effort at all! 🙂

  15. hi andrea, i liked your article because this tips are good for us to stay active. I want to read all your articles for more information about you and i hope meet you soon!. 🙂

    • Thanks for reading, and I hope the tips work for you. I know stayed hydrated is so important to leading a happy life. It’s so easy to forget the little things, sometimes!

  16. Hi Andrea, this is Sergio ;).
    I found your text very interesting. It gives very precise tips to stay active while being busy.
    I’ve learned so much.
    You should come to Culichi a get some drinks together.
    See you.

    • Hi Sergio! Thanks for reading. I’m glad you learned so much! Hope that 1% effort every day inspires a happy Thursday for you! Perhaps I will make it to Culichi one day, too.

  17. I think this is really useful, because It gave me tips of how to be healthy. I really liked the pushwall tip because it´s really useful. I think that even when we are busy we must find time to excersise because It will keep our body in a good shape and it will take our stress away. It will help our daily routine because we would fell better and less tired.

    • I definitely agree! I’m glad you liked the tips I gave. I think it’s important to keep our minds and bodies active so that we can live longer, happier lives. Who doesn’t love to be in a good mood? 🙂

  18. Well, I believe this could be effective ways for staying active; therefore, I may start following your advices while working.Thanks

  19. Hi Andrea, I really liked your article because its useful for me. I have this problems but with your article will make me change my mind. For example; I will try to stay hydrated and active all day long.

    THANK YOU! ❤

  20. I think this article is very useful for our daily life because you´re giving us very good tips to keep us active everyday even thought we´re too busy to work out, we always have time to do just a little bit.

    • Yes, it’s that 1% of effort every day that will make a big difference. One percent seems like nothing but going for that walk instead of sitting on the couch can make us much happier people! 🙂

  21. I think that when you are tired yo can stretch your muscles so you can relax; Also, you can walk on mornings and drink a lot of water so you can be hydrated all day and with energy. You can also give yourself a time to relax.

  22. I think that always using the stairs is a good tip because when you use the stairs you are doing exercise. Also, i agree with you about the tip of drinking a lot of water. We always have to make time to do exercise and to be active.

  23. I’m agree with you that we need to do exercise like wall pushups, stretch your muscles and drink a lot of water, so you can be active all the day.

  24. Greetings Andrea. This is a very useful post; however, I had some ideas like eating an apple and pushing a sponge ball. I hope you upload more articles like this 🙂

  25. running while you think of something, walk to all the parts parks etc, eat chocolate and drink much water, stand up very early ETC

  26. Hi! I really like your post. For me was really interesting; because, I have been really busy this day, but in the same time I need to do more exercise.

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