Self Care: H.A.L.T.

Self care, I had no idea what that meant before I started this journey. What the heck was self care? Dodging those people I didn’t want to see, or had skipped out on? Sleeping off the night before? Yelling at someone so they would leave me alone and stop asking so many questions? That was my kind of self care before I started to love myself. Every day we wear a lot of hats, and it’s easy to put other people’s needs ahead of our own, and, it is nice to give back or do something for someone else, but we can’t forget to do something nice for ourselves, or even better, make it more than one thing, and a priority.

When I first set out on this path I hated myself, so the thought of being loving and kind to myself was a little tough to swallow, and having lived most of my life pretending to be who I thought you wanted me to be, I didn’t really know what to do to be kind and loving to myself and to give back to myself. Who was I? What did like? But I found as I started walking a path of learning who my authentic self was and learning to love that person I started to figure out what to do to show myself the love and respect that I would want from others, and to nurture the person inside of me who still believed she was less than.

That’s what it really is. It’s showing yourself that you matter, that your needs should also be met, and that with everything that we do every day, we need time to do something nice for ourselves and show ourselves we care, we need to recharge our batteries and put more fuel in the “I love myself” tank. We all run around with these ‘to-do’ lists, but we never seem to put ourselves on that list, we need to make sure, somewhere on that list, we write our own name down and make time to do something nice for ourselves, even on the busiest of days, even if it’s just singing out loud in your car to our favourite song, let your authentic self shine and show yourself love.

As I got more clarity, and found more self-love, I found ways to give back to myself, and I now make it a priority every day, and this also includes the things I’ve talked about before, making sure I’m eating properly, getting enough sleep, doing the things I need to do to give myself the best chance at success for my day, maybe sitting in silence to calm my nerves or thoughts, or reading something that helps me put things in perspective, lighting a candle, it’s about making sure I am doing what I can to put my best foot forward, all of that is also self-care, and self-love. When I find that my mind is racing and I’m feeling overwhelmed that is the first question I ask myself is, how am I doing in the self-care department, am I in H.A.L.T? I’ve mentioned H.A.L.T before, H.A.L.T stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. If I am any of those things I’m not in self care, I have neglected to do the things I need to do to face the day with a clear mind and the energy the I need to tackle my day.

Let’s get into H.A.L.T. Hungry, well, that is simple, if I’m hungry I need to eat, no excuses, I need to do it. My head turns to mud when I’m hungry, I can’t make decisions, and I become overly sensitive. Angry, well, I usually get angry at myself for not eating and for not being able to make decisions because I’m hungry, and then I overreact to things and get angry. Lonely, this will pop up if I have been isolating, not reaching out to friends and family and letting them know what’s going on for me, so I’m feeling shut off and distanced from those I love. Tired, did I go to bed early enough, did I get enough rest for the day ahead, if I didn’t, I am grumpy. H.A.L.T. keeps things simple, it’s the basics, but we all have needs we need to take care of to make sure we are giving ourselves the self care we need.

If these simple things are met I am usually pretty good to go through my day, and then adding a little something that’s just for me is a nice way to celebrate myself and let myself know that I’m cared for and loved, you should also do this, because, you are worth it and deserve things in your life that make you feel good, and nourishes that part of you inside who may have felt beat down, discouraged, who may not have had a voice, or had been feeling lost and alone, do it for that person, love that person and treat that person with the care and love they may not have gotten, give it to them now, give it to yourself now, give yourself what you need, give yourself self love, and self care.

SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you always put everyone else’s needs before yours? Do you take time out of your day just for yourself? If not, why? Do you think you’re worth taking some time for yourself? If not, why? You are SLAYER! Work on building self-care into your days and see how that changes your perspective on yourself, and the world around you. What’s one thing you can do today for your own self care? SLAY on.

S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you

4 thoughts on “Self Care: H.A.L.T.

  1. This post is so timely for me. I lost both my parents in December and had major changes to my job as well (new ‘open work’) environment and additional teams to support. I am also the executor of my parents’ estate and have two younger sisters looking to me for leadership.
    I shoved my grief aside and began tackling everything else with a single-minded passion to just ‘get things done’. Any days off from my full time job I spent taking care of estate business.
    I had no extra bandwidth and wasn’t sleeping well at all. I shared my challenges with my boss and as understanding as he was, at the end of the day he expected my job to be done. I made several mistakes over the course of six weeks and on May 30 when presented with another stupid mistske, I lost it. I stared crying and couldn’t stop.
    I locked up my things and walked out of the office. The next day I saw my PCP and my psychologist. Both agreed that I’d passed my limit for stress and that I needed extended time off to take care of myself. I filed for short tern disability pay which has been granted.
    The guilt I feel about taking this time away from work is tremendous and one of the main things I talk to my psych about. I am however learning that I matter and my health and happiness count.
    H.A.L.T. is a great concept and one I intend to adopt to help myself get through rough patches. Thank you for sharing.
    Debbi

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Debbi, first of all, I’m sorry for the loss of your parents.

      Being the oldest, I understand the feeling of having to have to take care of everything, and be on top of everything, I think that the universe stepped in to get you to pause, to slow down, and find some time to heal and grieve.

      I used to just go go go, never allowing myself to feel anything, I didn’t have time, or I didn’t want to feel it, but it caught up to me, like it did for you, and it brought me to my knees.

      I was gifted enough desperation to reach out and ask for help, and that set me on this path. The universe stepped in for me as well and said enough.

      Take this time to let yourself exhale, to feel, to give yourself permission to grieve, to be sad, to let it all out. And, give yourself the gift of loving yourself through that, allowing you to be whatever is coming out, and honoring that.

      As someone who has walked through to the other side I can tell you, it may be uncomfortable and uncharted waters, by you’ll learn to swim, and, you’ve got all of us here to help you float.

      I love you SLAYER.

      SLAY on.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for your words. I believe that you are right about the universe forcing me to slow down, breathe and practice self-care. With the help of my therapist I’m taking small steps. It may take a while, but I will make it. I’m tired of living the other way.
    Debbi

    Liked by 1 person

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