As we head into a traditionally busy time of year, there may be many mixed emotions. Perhaps this year will be a return to former traditions or perhaps this season will bring with it new experiences and challenges. Regardless of what this time of year looks like for you, there are bound to be some emotionally activating situations.
One skill that can be helpful in staying attuned to your needs and emotional state is the HALT skill. This skill is meant to help you check in with how you are feeling, identify possible needs, and then take action to meet those needs when possible.
HALT means "to stop," and this skill invites you stop and evaluate if you are:
- When was the last time you ate? And was it fulfilling and fueling for the tasks you have ahead of you? Take a break, get a snack, and then see if other needs are asking to be met.
- Are you feeling anger towards someone? Is there someone safe you can talk about your feelings with? Consider removing yourself from the situation or practicing other emotion regulation skills to manage your anger for the time being.
- Are you feeling alone, whether you are by yourself or surrounded by others? We all have a need for meaningful connection and can feel discontented when that is not being met. Make plans to connect with someone important later or reach out at that moment to have a meaningful conversation with someone.
- Have you been resting or sleeping well? Are you physically exhausted and pushing your limits? Working to maintain a consistent sleep schedule is important for managing your emotions. Even if you cannot lie down and nap right that moment, consider stepping away to have a few restful moments and plan to tend to your sleep needs later that night.
So if you find yourself feeling reactive, showing up in a way you do not want to, or even just feeling "off," take a moment to HALT.
Are you interested in learning other skills? Please reach out to our office today to set up an appointment. We often focus with clients on learning and implementing skills that help create better emotional balance in their lives and relationships.