Living with illness is complicated by innumerable small decisions affecting our health. I sometimes resolve these small struggles by imagining what I’d advise a close friend to do if she were asking for help with my problem. For example, if I’m unwell, but am unsure if I should stay home or go to work and tough it out, I imagine what a I would advise a friend under similar circumstances. This is a constructive exercise because I’m always kinder to others than I am to myself. I have high expectations of myself, always longing to be productive and active. Frequently I’d be wiser to let myself off the hook and let go a little. But when I imagine a close friend with my issues seeking advice, the counsel I’d give is usually gentler than what I tell myself. Try this trick when you’re struggling with a small health challenge, and see if you’re able to give your imagined loved one good advice. Then take it!