I cannot believe that the last time I had a cigarette was nearly nine years ago. I started smoking as a teenager and I knew I should stop way before I actually did. It was only when I took a positive pregnancy test that I decided that enough was enough. Knowing I was going to have a baby was exactly what I needed to make the change but for some people, they need more help and support. Here are my top ten tips for quitting smoking.
1 – Set a quitting date
Rather than just waking up one morning and deciding that today is the day you are going to stop smoking I found that setting a date really helped. Although mine wasn’t an actual calendar date I found that knowing that as soon as I was pregnant I would stop smoking made stopping a lot easier. When your quitting date arrives throughout everything that reminds you of smoking such as ashtrays, lighters, and cigarettes.
2 – Put all the money you are saving in a clear jar so you can see it grow
Being able to have a visual reminder on how much money you are saving really helps. I used the money to buy stuff for my first baby and watching it mount up really helped me when the cravings got bad.
3 – Keep your hands and mouth busy
Some people find that they need to keep their hands and mouth busy, I was constantly chewing pen lids when I first stopped. With the recent introduction of e cigarettes, they are the first step in the quitting process for many people. Cutting down on the habit of smoking by using e-cigarettes can definitely help long term smokers to reduce their cravings making stopping completely a lot easier.
4 – Find a healthy snack food you can carry with you
When people are cutting down or stopping smoking they tend to eat more. Carrying healthy snacks with you will prevent you gaining weight whilst going through the transition from smoker to non-smoker.
5 – Instead of a cigarette break at work, play a game of solitaire on your computer.
If you were in the habit of going for a cigarette break at work you can feel deprived and left out by not taking part in this ritual. Use the time to get up and wander around or play a game of solitaire on your computer. Anything to give you a break from your work and fill the gap that your smoking break has left,
6 – To minimize cravings, change your routine
If you know that you smoke at certain times of the day such as waiting for the bus or after dinner then look at ways you can change your routine. Maybe walk to the bus stop before the one you usually use or read a book to help distract you.
7 – Ask for Help
There is lots of help and advice available for people who want to stop smoking either online, at your doctor’s surgery or even within your peer group. Ask any ex-smokers that you know how they did it and if they have any tips.
8 – Get plenty of rest and eat healthily. Being tired can trigger you to smoke.
A good night sleep is key for being able to use your willpower. If you feel drained already then you will give in easier
9 – Get moving
Although cliché exercise really does help. The chemicals released in your body when you exercise will make you feel so much better and help to ward off cravings. A brisk walk around the block or run up and down the stairs a few times should get your heart pumping enough to help when you feel almost ready to give in.
10 – If you relapse, just start again.
There are not many people who can say that they stopped smoking the first time they tried. We all struggle to break habits and smoking can be one of the hardest habits to break. If you do relapse just draw a line under it and start again. You can do it.
So there you go. My top ten tips to stopping smoking. It would be wrong of me to say it was easy and I do still have moments where the smell of a cigarette will make me crave one but I stick to one rule to see me through. Not even a drag. I know if I have just one drag on a cigarette I could end up smoking again so as long as I can resist that very first drag then I know I will be ok.
Good luck and let me know if these tips helped you!