As we head into the holiday season, I'm going to post a series of "survival" tips. You are probably very familiar with the stress-reduction suggestions that usually appear everywhere this time of year. But hopefully, these will serve as a reminder.
So what is H.A.L.T.?
HALT is an acronym that serves as a relapse-prevention tool people in early recovery from alcohol and drug addiction have in their repertoire. It's a handy reminder of behaviors/states of minds/situations that are triggers to relapse. But it doesn't just apply to addiction, it can work for all of us.
H - Don't Get Too Hungry
Hunger can be a trigger to drink or use. But how many of us starve ourselves in anticipation of a holiday event and then binge when we get there?
A - Don't Get Angry
When we aren't in control of our emotions, it can lead to unhealthy and/or nonproductive behaviors.
L - Be Careful of Being Lonely
Isolation and social withdrawal is often a precursor to relapse. It is also a symptom of depression and some types of anxiety. Spend time with people who support you.
T - Don't Be Too Tired
Be careful of wearing yourself out. Most of us can make bad decisions when we are overly tired.
HALT is a simple tool, but an easy way to remember some very effective means of self-care during the holidays.
Nancy L., LISW, LICDC
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