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It's funny how each one of us has certain realities of self care we consider a waste of time...

For some of my clients it's sleep, for others it's eating, exercise, having alone time, socializing or any number of activities that they intellectually know are important but emotionally don't like to spend time doing.

For me, it's being sick! I'm very aware of the importance and appreciate the value of regular healthy habits, but I don't like having to slow down when I'm not at 100 percent. (It's similar to how I don't mind taking in my car for oil changes but find it frustrating if anything unexpected breaks between visits.)

But this week, I decided to break from the habit of ignoring the fact that I was using a much larger quantity of Kleenex tissues than usual and to honor my legitimate need for extra TLC when I have a cold.

Here are some of the ways that I was gentle with myself:
  • Went to bed earlier.
  • Drank more tea and took more vitamins.
  • Gave myself two nights at home without meetings or phone calls.
  • Lowered my standards of practicing French & exercising five times a week.

Although these may seem like small tweaks, they were significant to me because my routines are so grooved that it would have been easier to override my need for rest than to honor it.

And the interesting positive results of this approach have been:

  • Instead of fighting to act as if I don't have a cold, I'm enjoying the opportunity to treat myself with special care.
  • I don't feel perturbed at my slightly slower pace throughout the day.
  • I feel like I'm headed toward a quicker-than-normal recovery.

I'd like you to take some time today to think about whether there are any true needs in your life that you're ignoring to your detriment. Then consider how you can "honor" those needs on a regular basis.

Not only will you be a happier, healthier person, but you'll have more compassion and understanding toward others' needs.

To your brilliance!
About Real Life E®
Elizabeth Grace Saunders is the founder and CEO of Real Life E® a time coaching and training company that empowers individuals who feel guilty, overwhelmed and frustrated to feel peaceful, confident and accomplished through an exclusive Schedule Makeover™ process. She is an expert on achieving more success with less stress. Real Life E® also increases employee productivity, satisfaction and work/life balance through custom training programs.

McGraw Hill published her first book The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: How to Achieve More Success with Less Stress. Elizabeth contributes to blogs like Lifehacker, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and the 99U blog on productivity for creative professionals. She was selected as one of the Top 25 Amazing Women of the Year by Stiletto Woman.

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