Having a big to do list with numerous items to be completed each day / week / month may seem like a good way to organise your time, and for most it probably is, but there's a chance it could be negatively impacting your health. The to do list itself isn't the issue. The issue is the pressure it puts on us to keep going and going and going. The relentless level of activity and the stress associated with either getting each item completed or not having time to complete it will be impacting our health in a negative way.
This low level of stress that prevails over most of our lives is upsetting the balance of hormones in our bodies. Increased levels of the stress hormone 'Cortisol' has a big impact on our metabolism and how our bodies react to different situations. It leads to an unhealthy internal environment in our bodies, which is turn leads to the onset of many different diseases if it persists for long enough. Couple that with lack of sleep and the poor nutrition that most people have nowadays and you're leading your body and mind to failure.
But with so much to do how can you reduce the stress levels you expose yourself to? Quite simply put the first bit of advice we'd give is to try and do less. Take pressure off yourself by only having a to do list that's actually achievable. Take things one step at a time and don't pressure yourself to have everything done yesterday. Secondly we'd suggest actually putting 'have a time out' down on your daily to do list. The idea here is that you then actively think about taking time to relax, de-stress and generally forget about rushing around. This will allow you to reduce the levels of circulating stress hormone and improve your internal environment. That only works though if you don't stress about fitting in a time out!
Analyse your lifestyle and think about what items and activities cause you the most stress and try and reduce them. Look at which ones help reduce your stress and try and increase them. Spend more time outside in nature - it's proven to help reduce stress levels (even in the rain!). Start eating properly (not the 'normal' nutrition advised by the government) and you'll improve stress levels almost immediately. Take gentle exercise regularly - i.e. don't spend all day sat down. There's a whole host of things you could do to reduce your stress it's about taking them one step at a time.
What we're asking you to do today is allow yourself a time out without stressing about what you could be doing instead. Allow yourself the time to relax - meditate, go for a walk, sit in the garden - whatever helps you relax. Do this everyday and you'll soon see a difference in how you feel!