Quitting smoking can be one of the most challenging things you’ll ever do. Nicotine is a highly addictive substance, and stopping taking it can trigger a range of physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms. But quitting is also one of the most important things you can do for your health. According to the CDC, quitting smoking can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer, among other health problems.
Fortunately, there are many things you can do to make quitting smoking easier. Here are some tips to help you along the way:
Set A Quit Date
Setting a quit date can help you prepare mentally and emotionally for quitting smoking. Choose a date that is in the near future but gives you enough time to prepare. Once you’ve set your quit date, mark it on your calendar and start making plans to help you quit.
Determine A Plan
Having a plan can help you stay focused and motivated when quitting smoking. Your plan should include strategies for dealing with cravings and withdrawal symptoms and ways to stay busy and distracted. Some things you might include in your plan are:
- Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) – using nicotine gum, patches, lozenges, or a disposable e cig from Vapoholic to help manage cravings.
- Prescription medications – such as bupropion or varenicline, can help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
- Behavioural therapy – working with a counsellor or therapist to develop strategies for managing stress, dealing with triggers, and avoiding relapse can help you significantly.
- Support groups – joining a support group can provide you with a sense of community and accountability as you work to quit smoking.
Triggers are situations, places, or people that make you want to smoke. Examples might include drinking alcohol, being around other smokers, or feeling stressed or anxious. Avoiding triggers as much as possible can help you avoid relapse. If you cannot avoid a trigger, try to develop coping strategies. For example, if you tend to smoke when you’re stressed, try practising relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation.
Stay Busy & Distracted
Keeping yourself busy and distracted can help take your mind off smoking. Find activities you enjoy and keep your hands and mind occupied. Some examples might include the following:
- Exercise – physical activity can help reduce stress and improve your mood.
- Hobbies – such as reading, knitting, or painting.
- Socialising – spending time with friends or family members can help take your mind off of smoking.
Quitting smoking is a big accomplishment, so rewarding yourself for your progress is important. Choose rewards that are meaningful to you, and that will help motivate you to keep going. Some examples might include the following:
- Buying yourself a new outfit or gadget.
- Going out for a nice meal or a movie.
- Treating yourself to a massage or spa day.
Finally, staying positive and optimistic as you work to quit smoking is important. Remember that quitting is a process, and making mistakes along the way is okay. If you slip up and smoke a cigarette, do not beat yourself up. Instead, remind yourself of all your progress so far, and get back on track as soon as possible.
Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. But it’s also one of the most challenging. Setting a quit date, planning, avoiding triggers, staying busy and distracted, rewarding yourself, and staying positive can make quitting smoking easier and more manageable. Remember, quitting is a process, and taking it one day at a time is okay. You can become smoke-free and enjoy a healthier, happier life with the right support and strategies.