Monday, October 10, 2011

An Acronym to Remember--HALTS

Hi Everyone,

How are you handling the change of season?  Are you finding a new craft or hobby to try?  There's always the new list of community education classes to consider each term, from your local community college, or community center.  Have you changed your exercise routine from outside to inside?  Tried a new class at the gym?  Looked for some new exercise DVDs to try at home?   I'd love to hear what positive changes you've made, to help you get through the blahs from 'sun withdrawals'.

The title for today has to do with an acronym that can come in very handy, whenever you stop and try to figure out why you made a decision that you question yourself about, after the fact.  The acronym is HALTS, and it stands for:   Hunger, Anger, Lonliness, Tired, and Sick.   Usually one of those conditions is in place, when we make a decision that isn't quite up to par.  Let's look at each one:

Hunger--Maybe you were hungry and even hypoglycemic (suffering from low blood sugar), when you decided  to buy that bag of candy, instead of the bag of carrots you would have otherwise purchased, or when you snapped at someone.

Anger--Did you do or say something you weren't proud of, because you were angry?  I find it interesting when a person actually punishes herself, perhaps by binge eating or drinking, when in fact she was frustrated with someone else.

Lonliness--I know I've had more than my share of chocolate chip cookie dough at times when I was feeling lonely, thinking I was making cookies for others, when I was really just feeding my emotions.

Tired--Were you out shopping and grabbed something quickly, not really considering the consequences, just because you were tired and wanted to get home and put on your pajamas?  Did you not think out what you wanted to say to someone, and instead just blurted out the unfiltered thoughts what were on your mind, because you were too tired to think logically?

Sick--If you don't feel well, and you don't stop to take the time to rest and take care of yourself, you will not be at your best, and poor decisions might be made.

The lesson I take from all this, personally, is to stop and listen to that little voice that is telling me to go against what I would otherwise want to do, and question myself as to whether this is happening because I'm experiencing one of those 5 conditions.  Then, if I can catch it in time, I can try deep breathing, reading, calling a friend, walking away, playing the piano, writing out my thoughts--any one of those or other similar healthy choices to help get me through the difficult moment, and be much prouder of myself for the healthier outcome.  Also, if I  journal about my day, I can look back at some of the decisions I made, and check to see if any of those 5 conditions were dictating how my day played out.

Even you already knew about HALTS, I hope this will help you keep yourself in check.  I know it's helping me just to go over it again.  

Wishing you wellness,