5 REAL Ways to Tackle Stress (No Apps or Napping Pods Required)

Glenn has been working long days, arriving early at the studio and leaving in the evening. He has poured his energy into applying lessons from the four books he's urged everyone to read. It's not easy. In fact, it's downright stressful.

So, I went in search of stress-reducing tips to help the boss man. Some of what I found was pretty helpful, and some of it was, well, weird. One article in particular totally stressed me out: "The world is stressful. These 25 items can make it less so."

TWENTY-FIVE? Just reading it all increased my stress level. While the list offers fixes for "inner peace, outer peace, and all your other pieces," I don't need another app to keep up with, a coloring book to channel my inner kid or a $25,000 napping pod.

All of these gadgets and methods don't get to the root cause of stress, so their ability to deliver long-term relief is close to zilch (with the exception of the $25,000 napping pod that I'm so putting on my don't-ever-get-me-this Christmas list). There are effective ways to reduce stress that don't involve adopting a rescue dog or "snuggling up in the fuzziest fuzzy blanket in the history of fuzziness."

Here are five real ways to tackle stress:

1. Don't Procrastinate

I read an article years ago by a lawyer about time management. He and his wife, also a lawyer, led busy lives, balancing thriving careers and a family. When asked about how they managed it all, something he said has always stuck with me. Stress often directly relates to unfinished work. His advice? Get it done. Just do the work. Magic happens when you check something off your list.

2. Prioritize

You can't do it all --- at least not well and without added stress. Approach your "to do" list the way home organizers declutter a house: what goes, what stays, what gets donated. How do you decide what stays and what goes? Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, suggests ranking tasks by important/not important and urgent/not urgent. It's a good way to start. Additionally, I always ask myself, "Who does this matter to?" and "What is the benefit?" Does it matter only to me? What will be the impact if this doesn't happen for the family or at work? Will anyone notice? Can you delegate something to anyone else? Whittle down your priority list using these tactics --- then make peace with your choices.

3. Declutter

Speaking of decluttering, another memorable teaching moment came from financial coach Suze Orman: where there is clutter, there is debt. After hearing her say that years ago on an Oprah show, I've always tried to keep my desk and house picked up. I'm not always successful at both, especially at the same time, but I try. Keeping my paperwork in order forces me to manage finances and throw away unnecessary mail, resulting in a tidy office and financial peace. I don't want the stress that comes from unknown financial obligations, debt or a cluttered house. Maintaining your physical environment provides breathing room and "white space" to think and relax.

4. Serve Others

Ask anyone about their volunteer experience and he or she will tell you they got more out of it than they gave. Helping other people feels good and takes the focus off your own troubles. Oftentimes, it puts our difficulties in perspective, relieving both stress and anxiety.

5. Pray or Meditate

Spending quiet time in the morning, reading scripture or meditating, allows you to connect and refocus on what's most important. The scientific benefits of both prayer and meditation are plentiful. Prayer reduces stress, improves self-control and makes you nicer. Meditation improves concentration and attention, reduces anxiety and turns off the brain's "me center." Combine the two for a power-packed way to start your day stress-free.

I'll give honorable mention to the scalp massager in the list of 25, but from my experience, I don't need more stuff or trendy tricks to reduce stress.

What about you? How do you stay calm and relaxed when things are stressful? Comment below.

Would Glenn make a better bounty hunter or a Jedi? You'll have to find out in a new episode of the Beltway Banthas Podcast, where Glenn goes deep on Star Wars with host Stephen Kent. In this 45 minute discussion, Stephen and Glenn explore the political themes of the Star Wars franchise, Darth Vader's redemption from Return of the Jedi, Glenn's earliest memories of seeing the films and even debate elements of the latest Star Wars films.

If you enjoy the pop culture and nerdy discussions that Glenn, Pat and Stu get into on the radio show, you'll love this! After you're through, you can also check out Stu Burguiere's appearance on Beltway Banthas to talk Star Wars. You can find that here.

It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…




Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.