Whether you feel grumpy, irritated or just not quite right, here is simple self check you can do anytime.
There’s a basic acronym that everyone should learn as a way of managing their mental health when emotions become too overwhelming. When you feel your brain is working overtime, you are becoming anxious or frustrated, use HALT to check in with your emotions.
Hungry: This could be either a physical or an emotional need. Are you eating often enough– the right things– and at the right time? Are you “hungry” for affection or validation?
Angry: Although anger is a healthy and normal emotion to experience, it’s important to understand what’s causing it so you can properly express it.
Lonely: You can still feel lonely while surrounded by large numbers of people. Instead of making a bad decision because you’re lonely, reach out to someone.
Tired: Operating on low energy affects your ability to think and cope. Are you giving yourself enough time to rest and recharge?
It’s simple, memorable and surprisingly effective, but there is much more to learning effective coping strategies than just one acronym.
Coping strategies are often personal and unique to each of us. Our brains are all wired differently, we crave different things, so it’s important that we adjust our downtime to suit what we need as individuals.
Personally, I need regular quiet time for myself, it helps me process what is going on, and what i need. Walking is a great way for me to achieve this as well as journaling, reading or listening to music. I also love being active, and getting outside in the sun both with friends or by myself.
So in the lead up to the holiday rush, HALT if you need to, and have a think about what you need and whether you are getting enough of what you need most.