September is National Recovery Month. Did you know we offer residential alcohol and drug addiction treatment through our Hope Haven program?
When in recovery, people can be susceptible self-destructive behavior. Here are a few tips called H.A.L.T to help guide those in recovery when they feel their behavior starting to change.
It’s easy to miss the H.A.L.T signs of trouble: Hunger, Anger, Loneliness, Tired.
Being aware of how you feel is an important step in taking care of yourself. Here’s an idea, set a timer on your mobile phone to ring a few times a day and ask yourself, “How do I feel?” This may be an easy way to prevent self-destructive behavior, including relapse. In time, it may become a beneficial habit.
Preparing for these HALT situations is key to avoiding the risks they pose. Here are a few ideas that can help you prepare:
Hunger and after work snacks.
Did you know, the most vulnerable time for feeling hungry, angry, and tired is after work? If you’ve been under stress, haven’t had a chance to eat or take a break, minor irritations can feel like a big deal. A quick way to solve the problem is to drink water and get something to eat.
What you eat can boost your long-term energy and make you feel less tired. So, pack an after work snack that takes the edge off. Fresh fruit (apples, bananas, grapes, etc.), crunchy vegetables (carrots or broccoli), nuts (cashews and almonds), a peanut butter sandwich on whole grain bread, dark chocolate, or popcorn all cut hunger and provide extended energy.
Avoid foods with lots of sugar (sorry Snickers), energy drinks and other caffeinated drinks they may boost energy, but it fades quickly.
Anger is a mental process and it’s dangerous when left unchecked. But like an atomic reaction, if anger is harnessed, it can be used in a positive way. When the active brain is distracted new ideas, creativity and relaxation may emerge from the subconscious.
If you’re angry, do something:
• Physical activity. Some people use their anger to push themselves in a physical activity like an intense aerobic exercise, power lifting, or running.
• Thoughts. Use meditation, yoga, or take a mindfulness walk to calm down.
• Creativity. The emotions and physical reaction of anger may be released through creativity, like painting, playing an instrument, or cooking.
• Talking. For some, talking it out with another person or writing out their thoughts, opens new insight into what created the anger.
• Reframe. Reframing what made you angry from an irritant to something unimportant, is sometimes the easiest, but takes practice. For example, if you get upset when people cut you off in traffic, you can think how that person must be having some kind of problem, but it’s not your problem and you’re not going to adopt it.
If you find it difficult to resolve anger, talk to others and learn what works for them. Or, do something new and see how it feels.
Tired? You need to sleep. Your body and mind are both healing, that takes a lot of energy and can make you tired, especially during early recovery.
Not everyone can take the recommended 8 hours of sleep each night, but when your body tells you it’s tired, listen to it. Take a short nap (10 to 30 minutes) and you’ll feel a lot better. Besides making you feel more alert, napping also has
a way of helping us solve problems and releases creativity.
There are many area AA, NA, and other group meetings you can attend. If you are a Hope Haven alum, that means you have people at North Bay Lodge and Chris Farley House to turn to. Give us a call.