keep (oneself) busy
To remain occupied (with something); to ensure that one is not idle or bored. I found that I had to keep myself busy while I was grieving. I just couldn't bear to sit still, or else I would start thinking about everything that happened. I bought a bunch of coloring books and board games so the kids can keep themselves busy during the break from school.
1. To stay active and engaged in many pursuits. I haven't seen you in so long! Have you been keeping busy? A: "How have you been?" B: "Oh, you know, keeping busy. That's what happens when you have three kids!" I try to keep busy when I'm off during the summer, but many days I find myself just wallowing in the pool.
2. To ensure that one is occupied. In this usage, a person's name or pronoun appears between "keep" and "busy." Keep the kids busy while I wrap these presents. I've been trying to keep myself busy while I look for a job, but I won't lie, the days are long. I'm sure all this homework will keep you busy.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.