I had a major-meltdown yesterday and I’m not especially proud of it. I like to think I’m in control most of the time, and the mantra I use to keep a check on my natural warrior-like tendencies is, ‘I am calm, confident, and in control’. This works pretty well most of the time.
If I feel the need to shout at other drivers it’s always with the window closed, and I keep a beady eye on my moods to make sure they’re not going to impact others in a negative way.
Aren’t I good? Well, not so much. Yesterday the stars conspired against me; I lost my cool and exploded over a small but ill-advised remark made by my hapless husband.
I spent the rest of the day feeling guilty and that I had let myself down. What had happened?
First World Problems
Get the hankies out.
OK so my car started breaking down on the way to a doctor’s appointment for which I was already late, I was in a hurry and forgot to eat, I couldn’t find a parking place and had to run, was late, and then the doctor wanted me to come back later, and despite rapidly lowering blood sugar I didn’t stop to pick up lunch on the way home because, you know, car trouble, and someone else was waiting for me there, and once home I tried to order food from my favorite delivery service, and the line wasn’t working, and then I tried ordering from a not so favorite pizza delivery and they weren’t answering, and I couldn’t prepare anything because my kitchen is currently being torn apart for remodeling.
Enter husband who makes unhelpful suggestion when I’m in a state of enhanced agitation and low blood sugar. Bless his heart. Bet he wished he had rephrased it.
Not one of these #firstworldproblems on its own would normally even make me blink, but when they all came at once I found I couldn’t cope. Stress! Where were my personal development resources when I needed them?
Rescue Remedy delivered via a book
This morning, still smarting from my failure to behave as an enlightened human being, I read something in a book by Michael Neill, super coach extraordinaire, which totally explained my lapse of civility. He helpfully suggested what I can do in the future to avoid it happening again. I want to share.
Neill says that in recovery there is an acronym called H.A.L.T., which stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. When you notice yourself experiencing any one of these feelings, then HALT what you’re doing and take care of yourself.
I was feeling ALL of them yesterday when I lashed out. Hungry—yep, angry—yep, lonely—yep, in that I didn’t feel supported, and tired—tick, tick, tick, tick. Now I’m not one to scrimp on self-care, but this just got all out of hand before I knew I was in dangerous territory.
Neill says that when you notice any of these symptoms of stress to simply stop and take stock. Whatever you’re doing isn’t going to go well when you’re in any of these states.
So the simple advice is to be aware of what is going on in your body before it’s too late. What do you need? How can you take care of yourself? Do it now. Tame that hungry lion into a peaceful kitty.
Have you had a meltdown due to hunger, anger, loneliness, or fatigue?
Try H.A.L.T. next time and let me know how it works.