The first time I heard about HALT was working with individuals who struggle with addiction. HALT is used a lot in relapse prevention programs, however I think it can be utilized daily by anyone who finds it beneficial. I use HALT a lot to ensure that I am taking care of myself and queuing into what my body is telling me that it needs. Simply asking yourself each day to assess your body for HALT symptoms (‘Am I hungry, angry, lonely, tired?’) will help you be more aware of what you need, and aware of how you’re interacting with the outside world. Paying attention to these simple needs is quick and easy, and will ensure that we are aware of our own well-being.

Hungry: Sounds pretty self-explanatory, right? But, how many of you skip meals or forget to eat when life gets busy? It happens more than we realize! We all know the importance of a healthy, balanced diet and how this truly is fuel for our brains. I know when I have skipped a meal or eaten late, I can feel myself get tired, impatient, and unfocused. There is no way to function every day feeling like that! For anyone to complete their daily tasks successfully they need to refuel their brains and bodies. People aren’t lying when they say breakfast is the most important meal. Even if you are not hungry in the mornings, try to get something in your body to fuel up your brain and body for the long day ahead. It is also so important to eat full meals throughout the day. We all get busy and have to settle for a granola bar now and again, but when you have time to plan ahead, try to prepare nutritious meals. There are many tips and tricks on the internet to take shortcuts and make meal preparation a breeze!

Angry: People associate anger as such a negative thing. Anger is just a feeling, it does not need to be anything more than that. It is okay to feel the way you feel. I wrote a blog about this a while back to remind you all that you are entitled to your own feelings! ( http://swsecrets.net/?p=43 ) Why are you angry? Just recognizing your anger can make a huge difference in the way you feel the rest of the day. Identify your anger. Have you ever tried ignoring your anger and then lashing out at someone later on in the day? We are all guilty of that, I bet! Taking time to recognize our anger and using steps to calm ourselves will keep us from lashing out at others. Plus, once we are aware of our anger it is less damaging to our mood. Awareness is everything.

Lonely: Everyone knows what it feels like to be lonely at some point in life. However, there is a difference between being lonely and being alone. If you feel lonely, there are always ways to make more connections with people. Whether that is online, community activities, scheduling more time to spend with friends…There are endless opportunities, and this is a great way to practice that self care I know you’ve been working on 😉 ( http://swsecrets.net/?p=174 ) Take a leap of faith and put yourself out there! Make a small effort each day to do one thing that helps you to feel connected to someone else. Just be sure to spend time with people who you feel comfortable with. Spending time with people that are not good influences in your life, or someone you’re not comfortable around, will not fulfill your feelings of loneliness. Make these interactions meaningful and fulfilling.
I personally struggle with being alone. I could be surrounded by people all the time and would rarely feel the need to have any alone time. This is something I am working on  changing about myself because silence is a beautiful thing. We are constantly surrounding ourselves with noise, but just being in silence can be so peaceful. I do not listen to music on the way home from work anymore, and it feels so good! Silence is golden.

Tired: Being tired takes a serious toll on our bodies. How often do we feel ‘tired’ and practically chug 8 cups of coffee before noon? It’s easy to ignore how tired we are when each day is filled with meetings, errands, other activities…Our ability to think accurately diminishes when we are constantly running on fumes. And if you add hunger, loneliness, and anger in the mix…Look out! Increasing the amount of sleep you get each night or finding a few moments in the day to close your eyes may be all you need to have a better outlook on life each day. Satisfying your need for rest is what keeps us healthy- both physically and emotionally. Simply recharging your mind/brain can be helpful- using self care techniques such as listening to music or deep breathing may be all you need to get through the day, and recharge your batteries!

HALT is a quick reminder to be sure we are meeting our basic needs each and every day. Am I hungry, angry, lonely, or tired? Taking a simple assessment of our needs will help us to practice being more in-tune with our bodies. Just take one minute per day to HALT, think about yourself, and how to manage the remainder of your day. You owe it to yourself to be happy and healthy.

It is health that is real wealth, not pieces of gold and silver.

-keep shining