Spring is in the air, and so is a lot of collective stress.

It’s been a brutal start to spring.

We’re all feeling it.

It’s cold.

It’s snowing.


Nearly everyone’s March Madness NCAA Basketball brackets burst with unimaginable game outcomes (I still love you, Tar Heels. Yeah, I’m talking to you, Berry and Pinson!).

Our kids have taken to marching on the capitol and giving moving speeches along the way because they are fed up with being shot at during school. (These are OUR BABIES marching because of violence! OURS!)

I don’t even want to talk about the news media’s obsession over a woman named Stormy who had an affair with our current president before he was president. (Why is this mass media newsworthy? We all get it. A lawyer gave her hush money. Is that really 60 Minutes worthy? Our babies marching – OK, I can see that. But, an hour of Stormy? Oh for heaven’s sake!)

Collective stress is in the air, arriving before the impending rain of pollen.


That pollen will cover and clog everything it touches until a good storm washes it away. We truly don’t want to stop the deluge of pollen because it promotes growth.

Just as the rain will wash away that irritating green river of pollen, there are actions we can take to remove collective and personal stress.

Here are 7 actions to rinse off stress.


  • Breathe

Have you noticed while watching the news, you may be holding your breath or shallow breathing with your shoulders up around your ears?

Have you ever noticed how you breathe when you are happy and exhilarated, like when UNC won last year’s NCAA Tournament? Many of us were taking deep, long breaths after that win.

We can help reset our stressed-out nervous system by practicing breathing exercises.

Breathe in through your lower abdomen, poking your belly out. Continue the breath by expanding your ribcage. With the same breath, breathe into your collarbone area. Now, exhale pulling your stomach in towards your spine.

When you practice breathing full breaths, you may become aware of how often you hold your breath or breathe shallow breaths.

Make sure you are taking several deep breaths (Yogic breaths) every day.


  • Nap

Stress wears us all down. When you sleep, your body’s nervous system can repair.

Take a nap for ten minutes, thirty minutes if you can, every day to help you reset and repair. You’ll be amazed at what a brief break can do to increase your daily productivity.


  • Meditate

Speaking of daily rest, not only does your body need to repair so does your mind. Ten to twenty minutes of daily meditation helps to clear away the clutter collective stress heaps on you.

Meditation is the act of doing nothing.

You can do nothing for ten minutes, right?


  • Yoga

Practicing yoga on a regular basis helps to relax your mind and muscles.

Yoga also helps increase your focus.

You don’t have to go to a studio to practice yoga, just do some poses in your office or your living room.

Keep it simple.

I’ll post a yoga pose for you here to get you started.


  • Exercise

Get up and get moving for at least 30 minutes every day.

That stress is wearing you down.

Walk it out!



Do something to get your heart pumping and your body sweating to rinse away that stress.

helping others

  • Help Others

Remember that time you helped out in the soup kitchen?

Or the time you made cookies at The Ronald McDonald House?

Or when you picked up the drink tab of your friend wearing a Duke basketball sweatshirt? (You helped out a Duke fan even though you know Bagley is a big diva who holds onto the rim too much when he dunks.)

Remember how great it made you feel?

Conversely, stress makes you feel awful, so do something that makes you feel good – help someone!

having fun

  • Find the Time to Do Something You Love to Do

Since we are talking about doing something that makes you feel good, do something you love to do.

Stress takes a toll on us all. It can make us forget who we are.

It can make us forget what we love.

If you love shooting baskets, go outside and shoot hoops for a few minutes.

If you love to read, go read.

Whatever it is you love to do, go do it!

Collectively, we will all recover.

wash away

  • To follow my blog, please click the subscribe button on this page. We’ll be working together on ways to journey towards the positive.
  • Click the Yoga tab to find simple yoga poses that we can all do together to help move in the direction to calm down and let go.
  • Next week we’ll take a look at Reasons Why We All Need to Calm Down! I hope you will find your way back to The Happy Bishop to read the post.

Now available, How to Survive the ICU Experience, an eBook to help you as you sit by the bedside of a loved one. Buy your copy here!

Ipad with Coffee