Everyone knows that smoking is bad for you, so why not make 2018 the year that you kick the habit for good using these helpful tips.
Identify your motivation
Giving up smoking because everyone says you should isn’t terribly motivating, so sit down and work out why YOU want to give up. Maybe you want to feel healthier, you want your kids to grow up in a smoke free environment, or you want to save money. Whatever your reason, write it down on a piece of paper and keep it somewhere safe so that you can remind yourself why you are quitting whenever your resolve wavers.
Get a support network
Achieving any goal is easier if you have people encouraging you to go the extra mile. Make sure you have at least one person who you can talk to. If you don’t feel able to speak to friends or family, or if you need more support you can contact your local NHS stop smoking service.
Identify when your “Danger” times are
People often have cigarettes as part of a routine, perhaps midmorning with a cup of tea, or after dinner. For a week before you give up, write down every cigarette you smoke, after a few days you should see a pattern emerging. Once you identify when your “danger” times are, you can plan to be very busy doing other things.
Hang out with non-smokers
Spend as much time as possible around people who don’t smoke. Humans are usually social creatures who like being in the company of people who share the same values. As a result, you will find it easier to quit if you’re in the company of people who don’t like smoking.
Reduce your alcohol intake
Drinking alcohol will weaken your resolve, making it more likely that you will smoke. So, if you reduce your alcohol intake when you first give up, you will be more likely to succeed.
Save your cigarette money
Many people stop smoking because of the crippling cost of cigarettes. To increase your motivation, place money in a jar every time you would have normally bought cigarettes. After 30 days take the money out and treat yourself and your family with the money you have saved by quitting.
The average UK smoker smokes around 10 a day which would result in savings of around £150.
Keep your hands busy
Smoking is called a habit for a reason and some people struggle with the urge to hold something in their hands or complete the smoking action. If this is you, try electronic cigarettes. While it’s always best to give up completely, vaping can provide a bridge to get you where you want to go, and it is supported by the NHS as a way to quit smoking.
If you don’t know how to vape, you can consider a starter kit to get you going.
Use nicotine replacements
When you give up smoking you will be fighting the urge to smoke on two fronts, the habit and the chemical dependence. Using nicotine replacement patches, gum, or losings can help ease the chemical dependence while you concentrate on breaking the habit.
Banish the smoke smell
Whether you smoke in your home or not, it’s likelihood that your fabrics and soft furnishings have picked up an odour of stale smoke and once you are smoke free you will slowly begin to smell this. You may find that the smell makes you want a cigarette, or it might repulse you, but either way it’s a good idea to wash curtains, fabrics and carpets as soon as you quit.
Don’t take on too much
Around the start of the year most people pile pressure on themselves to do too much. Quit smoking, lose weight, sort out your finances… These are all common new year goals. But if you are determine to quit smoking forget about any other goals as the extra pressure will make you more likely to fail.
Giving up smoking is hard and most people slip-up from time to time. If you do have a sneaky cigarette, remember to forgive yourself and start over. Repeatedly berating yourself will only make you stressed and more likely to slip-up again.
Take care of yourself
For many people smoking is a way to relax or deal with stress. Removing that crutch can leave you feeling on edge and prone to mood swings. Do your best to remove stress from your life and dedicate some time to pampering yourself and relaxing.
Speak to your GP
Your GP will be more than happy to offer you help and support. This may be in the form of advice, referral to stop smoking services, or medication. If you think you might need additional help this is an excellent place to start.
Giving up cigarettes is not an easy thing to do, but with support and a few small life changes, you can beat the habit and live a healthier and richer life for yourself and your family.
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