3 Mindfulness Tips for When Life Gets Hectic

Busy Bee on Lavender


Wouldn’t it be lovely if life was just a gentle unfolding of events? If work and family stuff and exams and big changes were all neatly spaced out and we never had to think of more than one thing at once?


Although we may find ourselves regularly wishing for such a life, the truth is that life gets hectic! And sometimes there’s so much to get done or to think about that we might feel like our minds might overflow.

Wishing for life to be different tends to make our to-do lists seem even heavier, so what’s the alternative? How can mindfulness help when we seemingly don’t have any spare time for it?


Write It Down

Trying to keep mental to-do lists can be highly stressful. We worry whether we’ve forgotten anything, or become anxious about potentially forgetting something unless we tell ourselves about it again and again.

This constant stream of forward planning can make it hard to sleep at night, or makes us grouchy with our loved ones.

Instead of storing everything in your mind, try writing it down. This can give the mind an opportunity to let go and relax for a while. As well as being practical, this is also a great way to take care of your well-being.


Journal & Pencil


Make Use of the Breath

There are lots of great quotes out there about how we must ‘make time’ for the important stuff, and while the sentiment is true and sometimes useful, at other times it can just make us feel guilty or irritated.

If we’re rushed off our feet it can be really hard to find time for things like a seated meditation, even though we know it will help. During busy periods it may be more beneficial to simply make better use of something we’re already doing, and that is breathing.

When we’re busy trying to meet deadlines, moving home, revising for an exam, looking after the children, etc., we’re breathing throughout all of these activities. So whilst we’re breathing anyway, we might as well make the most of it!


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Whenever you notice that you’re feeling tense, or that you’re not paying attention to what’s happening because you’re thinking ahead to everything else you need to get done, try just deepening the breath for a short while.

It won’t slow you down or get in the way of what you’re doing; in fact by becoming a little more present and mindful you’ll probably make less mistakes, and feel less stressed out too.


Heart-shaped Coffee


Small Acts of Self-Compassion

The stress of being busy can take its toll, and we may find that we’re feeling angry, irritable, tearful or depressed as a result.

It’s during these moments of distress or discomfort that we could really do with a little self-compassion. And a little goes a long way! Regular, small acts of self-compassion can drastically transform your day, as can weaving mindfulness into our day.

Research shows that treating ourselves compassionately triggers the production of oxytocin – a hormone which helps us feel loved and safe.

In her book, ‘Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind’, Dr. Kristin Neff explains how when we give ourselves a comforting hug, oxytocin is released in the same way as when someone else hugs us.

So we don’t have to wait until someone else reaches out a caring hand; giving ourselves the same kind treatment has the same effect.

Next time you notice that you’re feeling distressed or uncomfortable, try wrapping your arms around yourself for a compassionate hug, or try gently stroking your own arm or face, whilst gently acknowledging how hard things are for you right now.

Talk to yourself, either out loud or inwardly, in the same way you would to a friend who was feeling overwhelmed or pressured by having so much to do. See how it changes your experience.


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5 thoughts on “3 Mindfulness Tips for When Life Gets Hectic”

  • Gail King

    Thanks for the great reminder of three personal practices I've personally found helpful when I'm stressed-out.

    I've done all three suggestions, but have found that the deep breathing more than calms my mind: it lowers my blood pressure and eases my pounding heart, too. I usually try to breathe IN, with my tongue to the roof of my mouth, to a slow count of four, then breathe OUT to a slow count of eight. After about three of these "breaths", I can actually feel everything calming down. Once when I was at the doctor's office about ready to have my BP taken, I knew it'd be off the charts because I was so stressed, so I did my little breathing "exercise" after the first reading and asked the nurse to take the BP again. She did - and my systolic pressure (top reading) was 15 points LOWER and the diastolic pressure (bottom reading) 10 points lower.

    Deep breathing, even for a few breaths, really works well. Be Blessed!

  • Mindful Living
    Mindful Living 21 April, 2016 at 8:02 pm

    Wonderful post! It is so true how much self-compassion helps to reset the negativity that can run rampant during times of stress!

  • TMP Admin

    Thank you for your comment, we're glad you enjoyed the tips :-)

  • Raj Sharma


    Thanks for the great post.

    I find that practicing mindfulness yoga for half an hour in the morning goes a long way in helping me cope with the stress levels for the rest of the day.


    • TMP Admin

      Hi Raj, thanks for your comment. We're so glad you enjoyed the blog post, and it's great to hear that your yoga practice is helpful for you! Warm wishes, Emily

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