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  • Writer's pictureKhawla Shehadeh


World peace can sometimes start with a simple cheese sandwich.

When I met Mark, 5 years ago, he asked me if besides being so sweet, if I I could be difficult. You know, when you're in love and floating on a pink cloud, it is hard to imagine that your lover can be difficult. Fortunately, we were old enough to know better. I told him that when I am grumpy, it can usually be due to two things: Either I am hungry and need to eat something quickly or I am tired and need sleep. It's been exactly like that ever since. The funny thing is that in time he started to recognize it in himself as well. If he notices that he can't make a decision or is having a hard time about something, I suddenly hear him mutter inwardly, "I think I need to eat something." Hangry, in other words.

Sometimes you are out of your mind, out of sorts. You can't put your finger on it, but you don't feel good about yourself. You get impatient, you think in doomsday scenarios, you get ultra sarcastic or you start whining about anything and everything. At such times, you can call yourself a HALT.

HALT comes from addiction therapy and stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. These are the states of mind in which you feel most vulnerable and pass by almost daily. We sometimes forget to recognize and name them due to busyness, tension and hurry while they can greatly negatively affect our mood and clear outlook.

So the next time you start venting at your co-worker, your partner or your child or have just done so, apply the HALT. Stop for a moment and reflect. Take a few quiet breaths in and out and honestly ask yourself when was the last time you ate something (savory).

You may want to reconsider your position after eating something. But if it's not hunger, consider whether under the surface there are certain emotions. Perhaps you are latently angry/disappointed/irritated/uncertain about something and are now tempted to act it out.

If you don't recognize that either, see if you don't secretly feel lonely. Even though you may not be physically alone, you can still feel lonely.For example, if you experience little connection with the people around you or if you don't feel understood or accepted.

And finally, feel your body to see if you're not just tired. Usually you already know this or recognize it when you take a short moment to realize this. The latter can definitely help you if you are used to always going on and on.The question of whether you have perhaps been sleeping too few hours, exercising too intensively or have been working longer than you thought.It is also possible that something else is eating up your energy? Worries, a crisis, an imbalance at work or at home, the feeling that you are being pulled too much?All things that can have repercussions.

A simple but very effective tip is, before you let a situation escalate into conflict, ask for a time-out, agree to discuss the issue later. Take your rest or do something relaxing: Grab a book, watch an episode of your favorite show, take a nap or go to bed nice and early. Then afterwards, see if it is really as bad as you thought.

So in short, if the situation is one of HALT, then something else is going on than it seems. There is no benefit in reacting from this state of mind. It will only make your situation worse. Be patient and above all, be kind to yourself. Give yourself some slack and take care of the obvious need first and foremost. Relax for a while, take a nap, call a friend, talk about your frustration or take that cheese sandwich...

Whatever it is, don't continue what you're doing until you've taken care of yourself. Then you can congratulate yourself, because in doing so you have contributed to peace on earth, way to go!

That's it for this time.I hope you enjoyed reading it. Looking forward to seeing you (again) soon, perhaps at one of the upcoming Not Another events.

See you then!

Kind regards,


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