keep busy

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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.
See also: busy, keep

keep busy

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.
See also: busy, keep
References in classic literature ?
I saw that I was just another Robinson Crusoe cast away on an uninhabited island, with no society but some more or less tame animals, and if I wanted to make life bearable I must do as he did -- invent, contrive, create, reorganize things; set brain and hand to work, and keep them busy. Well, that was in my line.
This activity will teach children important aspects of Ramadan and keep them busy. Decorate a clean sauce jar (or a box) with craft material.
'Hermita also conducts regular sports activities with the inmates to keep them busy and active,' said Inspector Gerard Pelare, Danao City's police chief.
Even though I've been buying records for more than 50 years, I humour them and invent a band to keep them busy.
Word of mouth & Location keep them busy. Low rent & overhead, very nicely decorated, with 32 seats & good take out business are all part of this unique business opportunity.
"It will be great fun for the children to be involved in and keep them busy over the half-term holiday," said Councillor Nigel Howells, executive member for sport, leisure and culture.
Supporters of Kirkwood Hospice have appealed for donations of wool to keep them busy creating knitted toys to raise cash for the hospice at Dalton.
Looking after the kids can sometimes feel like tiring work, so if you're looking for new ways to keep them busy visit playgroundfun.org.uk.
Fruiting plants such as viburnum, berberis, cotoneaster and pyrancatha will keep them busy throughout the winter and you can supplement what your garden has to offer with titbits on the bird table.
However, Dennis Wager of Impact Demolition, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, says that having cranes and operators make sense "if you can keep them busy."
"But if kids have spare time on the hands in the summer, you need to keep them busy, and keeping them busy costs money."
Since booster club members typically are parents with full-time jobs that keep them busy, "being too busy" cannot be allowed to become an excuse for poor planning.
This year children in Sunderland will be offered gymnastics, dancing, canoeing and tennis to keep them busy.
As for the bad bugs, we use nasturtiums as a "decoy" plant to keep them busy, and plant dill, fennel and coriander to attract aphid-eating lacewings.
One of the best methods to control behavior is to keep them busy!