With the series of parties surrounding Christmas and New Year’s, temptations abound for recent ex-smokers and people who are in the process of quitting smoking. Resisting those temptations can be difficult when friends are gathering outside for a smoke or when we were used to automatically light a cigarette with a drink.
Here are some tips to help you resist the temptation:
- Identify the situations that trigger the urge to smoke and try to avoid them.
- Create an action plan to combat cravings so that when they strike, you have strategies in place to deal with them.
- Carry nicotine gum or lozenges with you in case of cravings, even if it’s been a few months since you quit.
- Every time you feel the urge to smoke, remember why you made the decision to quit in the first place. You can even write your reasons on little cards: to feel healthier, to prevent heart disease and cancer, to no longer smell like cigarettes, etc.
- Reward yourself for every week or month of abstinence with a little treat or something bought with the money you’ve saved by not buying cigarettes. When the next craving strikes, think of your next reward.
- Call a friend who supports you in your smoking cessation efforts.
- Drink a glass of water with a straw. Having a straw in your mouth can distract you, and since it’ll take a few minutes for you to drink the glass, it may be enough to get you past the urge.
- Take your mind off the craving! Take up a task that will take you 5 to 10 minutes to accomplish. Another effective technique is to go for a brisk, 10-minute walk. The endorphins released by exercise help relieve cigarette cravings.
Wishing you happy and smoke-free holiday celebrations!