Friday, April 1

Antidote to Stress: Not Being in HALT 4/1/11

       Good evening everyone,

How are you?  Please check in. Communicating with friends, hearing what's going on with your lives meets a need for connecting and fellowship.

      It may surprise you: I'm NOT pollyannaish at all; I'm realistic.  I am lucky.  Gods loves me more than I love myself.  I know this on the cellular, emotional, experiential level.  It isn't something I know just cognitively.  I'm fortunate, having an amazing supportive network. They care for me. This includes many of you, whom I call my Balcony People.

      Feeling better is its own best reward.  Such is the case for me.  The past two days I was beat.  I am in the middle of a crazy schedule.  Even so, I made time to nurture me.

      Continually running at 6,000 rpms isn't healthy for anybody, including me.  Part of my personal growth is being aware.  Especially during stressful times.  I need to do LESS than I am capable of doing.  I'm thrilled with what I've learned while investing in myself this week.

      My quiet time is early in the morning. I maintain this practice despite pressures to give in to the urgencies of life.  Even if they scream for my attention like a starving infant craving for its bottle.  These demands prod me to neglect my mental, emotional and spiritual needs.  But, donning armor---through quiet time---is critical, if I'm to successfully endure the daunting battles of the day.

      A mental loafer I don't care to be.  Studying combats senility.  Good idea.  I don't own a TV.  In my early hours of solitude, I read, meditate and pray.  These activities invigorate my spiritual self.  I find the following quote helpful.
HALTDon't get too hungry, angry, lonely or tired.  I use this reminder to help me set healthy limits for myself, which I never learned as a a child. In the past, I often believed I should be able to go for days without enough food or sleep.   I also tested the limits of my ability to handle enormous doses of stress and isolation without tending to my own emotional needs.
I've learned a gentler, simpler way of caring for myself.  I find it of great benefit to have a brief list of the most basic areas in which I neglect my own well-being: nourishment, emotional wellness, fellowship, and physical rest.  First, is my stomach rumbling?  Then I need to stop what I'm doing and eat some food.  
Am I too angry about the trivial details of my life?  If so,  I can take a break by punching a pillow or engaging in physical exercise [or process these issues with a trusted, emotionally healthy friend].  Am I lonely?  I could get together with friends or call someone.   Finally, am I so tired that I can't keep my eyes open?   Then it's time to lie down for a nap or a good night's sleep.
When stressed, I'll stop to check whether my basic needs are being met.  We can watch for the need to HALT and give ourselves special attention when we are feeling Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired.
        We can't have a liveliness, an excitement for life, if we neglect ourselves.  When we do what it takes to fortify ourselves, we enjoy life more.  Included with that is a growing Attitude of Gratitude.  Remember, we are the average of the five people we hang out with.  For me, I'm glad when I spend time with positive, happy, humorous, people, who are gracious and loving.

How About You? 
What are signs that let you know you need to HALT?
What do you do, to unwind and nurture your spirit and unfrazzle frazzled emotions?


jpkennerk said...

Here is my 4th try at posting my gratitudes. Seeing that big, red stop sign reminds me that I need to take care of me, something you know I'm not that good at. My gratitudes for today would be:
1. I am grateful for such a beautiful day...God's canvas has such color and clarity today.
2. I'm grateful for you my is always good to read your encouraging and enlightening thoughts.
3. I will be grateful if and when this post goes patience is running thin. It's time for HALT.

Paul NorthernCal said...

My Dear Phyllis,
It's always great hearing from you, my coastal colleague. I'm glad you, several other former members and I continue enjoying each other's company, here. This place is in its infancy---less than three weeks old. Others will drop by, I'm sure, to say hello. Many visit already: 800 so far, the stats reflect a good portion come from the SSS url.
I know this inn will become a home away from home, like inns are supposed to be. SSS lives on when we fellowship together. Each of us who participated, carry a bit of it with us. When former members gather at different alternative venues, we bask in the fellowship kindled there.
Happy to see you once again.

Paul NorthernCal said...

Phyllis, I'm so sorry you've had a difficult time posting here. I'm sorry I'll not be able to read what was lost.
It looks like the kinks are being resolved. I'm crossing my fingers. I'm happy you persisted. Thanks also for your honesty.
Grateful to know you..

Thag Jones said...

Yes, this is very true. I am grateful that I am learning to take care of myself, something I've not been very good at in the past (and still fail at, but less often). Small victories. ;)

Paul NorthernCal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.