play cross pause mindstrength play-circle quote-marks facebook linkedin twitter menu kindness appreciation awareness focus instagram right left plus reload down tick heart asterix

SOS

If you are feeling exhausted, stressed-out, anxious, down, or all of these, try the meditations and exercises below.

These moments are not fun, the exercises can help. You may want to start with a ‘calm down’ meditation. The SOS exercises can provide relief from the symptoms and give space to approach situations in a different way.

Try for free

Calm down

Change perspective

theme-awareness-text

Get unstuck

theme-appreciation-text

Shift attitude

theme-kindness-text

SOS MindStrength is a paracetamol – some quick symptom relief. If you want to address more than the symptoms you can subscribe and do the MindStrength masterclass. You can also plan a chat with us and discuss options.

If what is going on for you right now is too overwhelming, then please speak to someone and get the support you need. Use your own wisdom to judge what is right for you.

See the order in the chaos

It might not feel like it, but there is some order to the chaos when we feel overwhelmed. What usually happens in these moments is some, or all, of the following, and in no particular order:

  1. We feel unable to relax.
  2. Our mind goes around and round about why we are feeling overwhelmed and what to do about it.
  3. We think that this feeling is never going away.
  4. We hate how we are feeling and are not a great fan of ourselves in this situation or are particularly fed up with someone else.

The SOS exercises have been designed around these four common symptoms of being overwhelmed. The SOS exercises are grouped by these four symptoms and they link to the four elements of MindStrength: Focus, Awareness, Appreciation and Power of Kindness.

All the exercises take between 5 to 10 minutes to complete.

Take action

Best is to start with a ‘Calm Down’ exercise and then see if you want to do another exercise. You can do as many as you like. You can also spread them over your day, or over different days. Just go to the exercises when you feel you need them.

If you want more (SOS) exercises and meditations subscribe to our site and get access to our meditation library and start the MindStrength masterclass.

Meditation

Sit with the stress, see it change

Meditation

There is beauty

Meditation

Let it be

Meditation

Stop feeding the stress

Meditation

What is happening now?

Meditation

Feel the impermenence

Meditation

Relax — whilst sitting

Meditation

Relax — whilst moving

Meditation

Get out of your mind

Meditation

It's OK, really.

Meditation

Powerfull Me

Meditation

Transform

SOS Exercise

Simple actions to take care of yourself

When we are feeling overwhelmed by emotions, we can take some simple steps to make our body feel better:

  1. Have a snack – preferably something healthy but eat something. Get your blood-sugar level up.
  2. Go to the toilet – seriously. Emptying your bowels and bladder makes you feel better
  3. Get physical – without harming yourself or others obviously – it helps getting rid of the energy of the emotions you are feeling.
    1. Scream, possibly not in the middle of the office but somewhere you cannot be heard by others (or warn them)
    2. Run up and down a flight of stairs (or any other physical exercise)
    3. Punch a pillow
    4. Find an appropriate place and cry

SOS Exercise

Simple actions to take care of yourself

It can be incredibly helpful to go for a walk when we feel overwhelmed. When you walk you are helping yourself step out of your mind and become more aware of your body. As our minds can be part of the problem when we feel overwhelmed, walking can make you feel better. Added bonus you are getting some movement!

If you can, go into nature and walk in a forest, on the beach or through a field.

If that is not possible, just going around the block where you live, or work is also great.

If walking is not an option at all, see if you can be outside for a bit, even opening a window and feel the outside air.

SOS Exercise

Simple actions to take care of yourself

Things are pretty hard right now. Whatever it is that is challenging you, what is most certainly happening is that your brain is focussing on this.

Our brain is highly alert to anything that makes us feel stressed, anxious, sad or any other difficult emotion. While this is not a bad thing, it can help in these moments to actively get our brain to move towards more easy emotions.

We are then relaxing our ‘threat mechanism’ in our brain and activating the ‘care/soothing mechanism’ of our brain, a system that is critical for recuperation, relaxation and wellbeing.

We can do this by actively thinking of things that we appreciate, even now, in the midst of everything that is going on. A great way to do this is the 10 finger ‘there are good things around’ exercise: name 10 good things that are around right now.

For example: the sun is shining, I have a cup of coffee, my bed…. etc. etc.

SOS Exercise

Simple actions to take care of yourself

When we feel overwhelmed and things are difficult, we can easily forget that we are actually doing an amazing job at managing whatever it is that is going on. Even when we feel we are not managing well at all – we are managing!

See if in the midst of what is going on for you, you can see that you are learning and growing as a person. This might not be that easy, but take a bit of time, and if it helps, imagine that you are your own friend. You might tell your friend that they have shown amazing resilience in the midst of things or that they are showing so much patience with the difficult situation.

Ask yourself:

  • Can I think of anything positive about this situation?
  • Am I learning about myself and my own reactions, even if I might not like them?
  • Do I believe that this is making me stronger?
  • Are there people in my life that are helping me through this?

SOS Exercise

Simple actions to take care of yourself

It is important to take care of yourself when things are difficult. Actually, it is always important, but when things are tough it becomes acutely important. We have a tendency to push through, to say to ourselves we should be strong, and to put ourselves last on the list of things we have to do and take care of.

No matter if putting yourself last might feel like the right thing to do, or the only thing to do, there is another way. You need care too, and you are doing that by being here and checking out the SOS exercises. Well done.

Make a list of things that you enjoy and that make you happy:

  1. Walking in the sun
  2. Having a cup of tea
  3. Playing with my kids
  4. ………………….
  5. ………………..
  6. ……………………
  7. ……………………..
  8. …………..
  9. ……………….
  10. ………………….

Do one of these activities at least once a day, without distractions (no phone, no music, no multi-tasking). Be smart, take care of you.

SOS Exercise

Simple actions to take care of yourself

What is your favourite song?

Listen to it. Nothing else, no checking emails, no cooking, no social media scrolling – just listening (and if you feel like it, dancing) to that one song that lifts you up. Feel it in your body and mind. Notice what happens to you when you do this, and how you feel after.

Repeat if necessary.

SOS Exercise

Simple actions to take care of yourself

When we feel overwhelmed, we have thoughts that keep coming back over and over again these are usually thoughts about ourselves and often not very positive. Things like: I cannot do this, I should have done this differently, I should be stronger etc. etc.

Not very fun, and even worse, we often believe our own thoughts. But thoughts are not facts. You can also think of a herd of green elephants. Does not make a herd of green elephants true.

Catching our thoughts and treating them for the opinion that they are, not as facts, can help diffuse their power.

What is the thought? Give the thought a pet name (with some love and humour) How many times did you catch yourself thinking this?
   
   
   

SOS Exercise

Simple actions to take care of yourself

When you feel overwhelmed the challenges you are facing can feel all-consuming and as if they might be around forever. However, things change. Last year we probably had different worries and challenges, and in a year from now, our worries and challenges will be different again.

We intellectually know this, but when we feel overwhelmed, we can easily forget. Asking yourself questions like: how important will this be in a year from now? Or how much of my energy is my current challenge worth? Can help remind yourself that things change and what feels massively important right now, might not be so important in a year from now.

To remind yourself of this, fill out the below table:

Worries and challenges 12 months ago Worries and challenges today
  
  
  
  

Or remind yourself what was your favourite song 12 months ago, and what your favourite song is today.

Everything changes.