You've decided to quit smoking? Good for you! You're making the right decision. Now all you have to do is take up the challenge and stick to it- which can be easier said than done. Here are my tips to help you quit once and for all.
1. Find the reasons why you smoke
Whether you smoke to relax, to take a break, to stay concentrated, after meals, with a drink or during your break at work, start by recognizing the moments when you feel the urge to help you face the situation head on.
2. Make an action plan
Set a date to quit for good (if possible within a fairly short time span like two or three weeks). Tell everyone around you and ask for their support. Try to identify obstacles your might encounter in advance and find ways to face them. Ask a health professional, like your pharmacist, for help setting up your strategy.
3. Limit temptations
Empty all your drawers of cigarettes and get rid of all your smoking paraphernalia-ashtrays, lighters, matches... Also, try to avoid situations when you know the temptation to smoke will be stronger. Ask people who smoke not to smoke around you or entice you into smoking.
4. Use a smoking cessation aid
There are several products on the market that can help you quit (patches, gum, lozenges, inhalers, vaporisers or oral medications). These can help reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings, and by using them you can really increase your chances of success in the long term. If you think you might need an aid to quit, your pharmacist can help you find the one that's right for you.
5. Get moving
Exercise will help release endorphins, the hormones that increase our sense of well-being and appeasement, the same effects associated with smoking. And exercise has so many other great benefits, like better sleep, regulating mood swings and reconnecting with healthy pleasures.
6. Keep your hands busy
As a smoker you're used to moving something in your mouth, a gesture you repeat many times a day. Try to keep your hands as busy as possible (especially the one you smoked with). If you were in the habit of smoking while talking on the phone, hold your phone in the hand you smoked with, play with a pencil or a paper clip at the office, get a stress ball, etc.
7. Think positive
As soon as you feel the urge to smoke, think positive thoughts, like your next vacation, your plans for the weekend, etc.
8. Remember why you're quitting
Bad smells in the house and in the car, the constraints imposed by bans on public smoking, family or financial considerations, to have beautiful skin, to prevent wrinkles... All good reasons to encourage you to take up the challenge and succeed!
9. Treat yourself to small pleasures
Many smokers feel that smoking is the greatest pleasure there is. Try to get rid of this kind of thinking by indulging in small pleasures each day. Explore new passions and reconnect with things you used to love to do- go to the movies, garden, go see a show or an exhibit, etc. Staying busy helps you keep your mind off smoking and the pleasure you'll get out of these activities will soon replace the need to smoke.
10. Find new ways to relax
If smoking relaxed and calmed you, you must now find other ways to achieve the same results. Rest often, stretch and breathe deeply, practice relaxation techniques or take up yoga. It's time to think of you!
11. Reward yourself
Quitting smoking is a huge challenge with many obstacles along the way. Celebrate your successes by rewarding yourself with the money you save. Treat yourself to dinner at a nice restaurant, put the money aside for the trip of your dreams... whatever makes you happy! For more tips to help you quit smoking successfully, don't hesitate to talk to your pharmacist.