Here’s my favorite hack for figuring out why you don’t feel good. Now, this is a short term, in-the-moment hack, and it’s not meant to replace therapy or medication or any kind of longer-term plan. But if you’re having a day where you just do not feel like yourself, you feel terrible, this acronym can help you hopefully get some relief:
H - hungry
A - angry
L - lonely
T - tired
T - thirsty
This is something I learned pre-therapy career when I was teaching preschool. When a little kid would have a meltdown, it was 100% of the time because of one of these five things, and I have found it very much apply to adults as well. When we are hungry, angry, lonely, tired, or thirsty, we don’t feel good.
If it’s one of those things, you can often do something. You can do something about hungry. Anger: you can at least make space for the anger, you can talk about the anger, you can get support around the anger. Lonely: you can reach out to someone, you can try and make connections, which sometimes doesn’t cure more overarching loneliness, but in the moment you can find someone to talk to. Tired: sometimes we’re not able to, but sometimes we have the option to take a nap or to rest. And then thirsty: this is probably the easiest fix. Our bodies tend to start to feel really terrible when we’re thirsty; our organs kind of slow down and we get exhausted, we feel achy, and drinking water is a very easy way [to fix that.]
While this is perhaps overly simplistic and definitely not meant to replace deeper and more sustained treatment for mental health issues, it can be a really great stopgap measure to remember. And if you have a small child or a spouse or sibling or coworker who’s having a meltdown, you can check in about these five things and see if there’s room for intervention there.
If you are wanting to work with a therapist, you can schedule a free consult on our website and we’ll chat with you and see if we can match you with one of our therapists and hopefully get you some long-term relief.
Laurel Therapy Collective
offers online therapy to California residents for anxiety, transitions, and trauma.