Surviving Quit Day
Okay, today's the big day. It's time to call in the reinforcements.
I can get my friends and family on board by:
- Reminding them that today I’m quitting smoking, and that I'll need their support over the next few days and weeks.
- Asking them to help out by not offering me cigarettes or inviting me out for smoke breaks.
- Talking with my Quit Buddy to discuss the week ahead and to work out a plan to get through it.
Things that can help me get through my Quit Day successfully:
These will help me beat cravings, satisfy my increased appetite, and keep me distracted:
- Sunflower seeds
- Fresh veggies
- Unbuttered popcorn
- Herbal teas
Gadgets to keep my hands busy and my mind distracted:
- A stress ball
- A rubik’s cube
- Handheld games
- Hobby supplies
- Download a new game for my phone
The patch or gum
Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRTs) will double my chances of quitting smoking successfully. I can get a free order of NRT by visiting my local pharmacy and signing a declaration form.
- The first couple of days will go by faster if I can keep busy and not second guess my decisions.
I can hit the ground running by:
- Being productive. I can knock off some errands, clean out the garage, and clean out the house.
- Being active. I can hit the gym, go for a bike ride, a run, anything that I enjoy and will energize me.
- Being social. I can hang out with friends and family - go for a long walk, go see a movie, or spend the day golfing.
In order to quit smoking, I need to shake up my daily routine. There is very little that is random about my smoking. Each cigarette is connected to specific activities or events, and is intertwined with my routine.
Ideas for switching up my daily habits:
- Instead of drinking coffee in the morning I can drink tea or fresh orange juice, or drink my coffee at a different time and place.
- Instead of driving to work, I could take the bus, a train or catch a ride to work with a friend who doesn’t smoke.
- Instead of taking my coffee breaks with smoking buddies, I can fly solo for a little while or hangout with some non-smoking friends.
- Instead of sitting around and smoking after a meal, I could get moving right away and tackle the dishes or go for a walk.
The first few days will be the hardest and when I’m most likely to cave.
Here are some tricky situations I should look out for:
Drinking & social gatherings:
Alcohol is the single biggest reason that people have slips or go back to regular smoking. I can handle it by:
- Avoiding alcohol at first. It will be easiest to simply cut out booze for the first couple of weeks until I am feeling stronger. If I do drink at social events, I should try drinking less.
- Starting small. I can ease back into the social scene by avoiding my old smoking buddies for awhile or sticking to indoor, non-smoking venues.
- Having an exit strategy. When drinking or attending big social events, I should be ready to pack it in and head home if I'm feeling too uncomfortable and ready to cave.
Being under stress
Finding new, healthy ways of coping with stress is important for my long term success. I can reduce stress by:
- Exercising. A few push ups or a quick run are great ways to burn off steam.
- Getting more sleep. Stress is always easier to deal with when I've had a good night's rest.
- Taking yoga or meditation classes. A regular routine of guided relaxation will help me develop new coping skills.
- Breathing deeply. A minute of deep breathing can do wonders to calm me down and improve my mood.