How to Feel Emotionally Refreshed with HALT

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You’ve probably heard someone joke about feeling “hangry,” right? Turns out, checking in with your basic human needs is a very quick and easy way to feel better and refreshed.

Feeling emotionally uncomfortable?

HALT — an acronym for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired — is used as a method to cope with emotionally evocative experiences (often referred to as “triggers”). The HALT method can be used as a cue to prompt a moment of pause and engagement in healthy coping strategies. Take a breath and tune into your physical, emotional and psychological needs. Prioritize these basic needs and notice the impact on your sense of wellbeing.

Hungry

Even before becoming a parent and stockpiling snacks in the diaper bag, I wouldn’t leave the house without something to eat. Almonds, protein bars and a spare bag of Cheddar Bunnies are a perfect pick-me-up for kiddo or me. While you’re at it, don’t forget to hydrate! Hunger and thirst can be easily confused.

Check in questions:

How long ago did I eat? Have I eaten enough today? What is my body craving? Am I dehydrated?

Angry

Talk it out, write it down or engage in some active movement. Anger can feel energetic in the body and it may be helpful to express it in a healthy way. Consider it as a way to move the energy through your body so that you are not holding it inside.

Check in Questions:

How can I honor this anger? What is this anger rooted in? Is it more helpful to process this with someone right now?

Lonely

As human beings, connection is essential. Even as an introvert (I recharge with solo time), it’s important to have regular connection with loved ones. Send a text, pick up the phone, or hug a loved one. Connect with your tribe — animal friends included.

Check in Questions:

Who was the last person I connected with? How can I reach out to in this moment? Am I recharging by myself or isolating in avoidance?

Tired

As a parent (heck, as an adult) fatigue has a significant effect on my mood. I’m a fan of naps and will grab one whenever possible; but I know many people don’t enjoy naps. Consider, instead, resting for a moment. What would it feel like to sit in a quiet space to rejuvenate your mind and body? A few quiet minutes can soothe the soul.

Check in Questions:

Was my sleep restful last night? What environment do I need to rest? What can I take off my to-do list in order to rest right now?


Honor your emotions and use their emergence as a cue to meet your needs. Ask yourself: What is this emotional experience telling me?


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