Freedom Fridays, Tools for the Journey (New Series): HALT

I had a blog post started for today but decided to simplify it. Various events lately have reminded me that sometimes, we just need to keep things simple. So today’s post will be the beginning of another series within Freedom Friday called “Tools for the Journey”. Yes, I will continue to finish the “Learning to Walk in Freedom” after this brief diversion 🙂

How do we keep recovery simple? What small things can I keep in my toolbox as I learn to walk in freedom?

I’ll start off the “Tools for the Journey” series by talking about a number of things we can do when we have a “Moment of Maybe” as described in “Act like a Free Person, Part 2“, those moments where we are tempted:
To sin
To see ourselves in any other way than how God sees us
To believe the lies and fall back into old patterns, tempted to take our unhealthy/unhelpful thoughts and run with them
To fall into despair and hopelessness

In those Moments of Maybe, we need to stop and do some evaluation & self-care. So the first thing I want to share about is HALT.

We need to practice HALT.

In recovery, HALT stands for:
Hungry
Angry
Lonely
Tired

In evaluating HALT, we ask if our most basic needs are being met. Our need for food and sleep, as well as our need for relationships and true expression of feelings.

My older son has food sensitivities (can’t eat wheat, dairy or soy). And we discovered not long into his little life that if he doesn’t get adequate protein in his diet, it manifests itself in his behavior.

So every morning, he starts off the day with protein. He has to eat his protein before he gets anything else. Protein helps regulate blood sugar, and drastic blood sugar drops cause mood swings. 3 year olds are moody enough without adding blood sugar issues to the mix, so we make sure he gets plenty of healthy protein.

The reality is people who feel bad act bad. We can’t use our physical or emotional feelings as an excuse to behave poorly, but we can use those feelings as an opportunity to evaluate:

Am I hungry? Am I angry? Am I lonely? Am I tired?

If we find one of those things to be true, then we can take care of it. With my son, he sometimes doesn’t know that he needs a snack; thus, asking, “Are you hungry?” in the middle of a tantrum isn’t all that productive. Instead, I put a drink and a protein-rich snack in front of him, and as a general rule, he’ll devour it.

Since I’m a grown-up, I can get myself a small snack and then re-evaluate how I’m feeling. I can think about whether or not I’m getting enough sleep. I can look at the recent weeks and see how much time I’ve spent developing my relationships. And I can stop for a minute and consider whether or not I am angry or upset & unsettled about something.

The next time you’re in a Moment of Maybe, stop and practice HALT.

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