Everyone knows that quitting cigarettes is hard, but for those who haven’t been through it before, they can’t really understand the cravings or how whole personal affectations like how you stand or what you do when you’re stressed have been shaped by smoking. Leaving behind a habit that has become a major part of your life isn’t easy, but it is something you can tackle one day at a time. Just like you’d figure out how to live if you lost a finger, you’ll figure out how to live without cigarettes and all your digits intact. We understand the temptation to un-quit can be pretty intense, so here are a few helpful quit-tips to quit smoking tricking yourself and get you through out the year.
1) Clean the House
Your house probably smells more like cigarettes when you realise so no matter what season you quit it; it’s time for a big ‘Spring Cleaning’. Wash and wipe down everything and if you find signs of nicotine, wash it two or three times just to be sure. By getting rid of the smell of cigarettes in your carpet, and on your walls, furniture, and ceiling will help you relax and mentally move past the cravings at home. You may want to steam clean both your carpets and your car to fully purge the items from your life and, of course, don’t forget to clear out all your backup packs.
2) Keep An Emergency Cigarette
Many successful quit stories involve one emergency cigarette hidden somewhere out of sight. Knowing it’s there will help you deal with the concept of ‘not having any’ cigarettes available, and you may even take a puff or two, but eventually, that old cigarette will get pretty stale and often where you hide it will collect dust as well. One inveterate smoking grandma succeeded by placing the cigarette on her oven hood. You can bet she stopped reaching for a puff when it got covered in evaporated and congealed cooking grease.
3) Make a Bet
If you’ve got a competitive personality, as many ambitious smokers do, then a bet could be the perfect motivation to help you quit and stay quit. Make a bet that you can quit smoking for a year if a friend can also do something they’ve been putting off like going on a diet, starting a workout routine, or learning a skill. Whoever gives in first has to pay the bet and if you both succeed for a year, celebrate.
4) Quit With Someone You Care About
One of the most frequently heard success stories are people who can’t quit until they want someone they care about to quit. This is often a story told by parents, grandparents, and older siblings who see their younger relatives picking up the habit. If there’s someone in your life like a child or significant other you’d like to quid and they’re willing to quit with you, the shared solidarity can create the motivation you need to resist cravings and temptation along the way.
5) Pay Yourself to Quit
If you haven’t done the calculations yet on how much you spend on cigarettes a week, do so now. You could have that money back for things that are more rewarding and good for you than smoking is, but don’t just spend the money. Put your cigarette money aside in a jar, or savings account until there’s enough for something you really want like a nice dinner, a trip to the spa, a new appliance, a smart-home starter kit, or even just a pizza after a hard day at work. This is your quit-allowance, and by not smoking, you’ve earned a little extra luxury.
6) Pick Up a New (Very Distracting) Hobby
The urge to smoke most often comes over people when they’re a combination of bored, stressed, and/or dissatisfied. A new interesting and engaging hobby can eliminate all of these risky feelings simply by absorbing all the attention you would normally spend on wanting to smoke. Teach yourself a new skill, build something in the backyard, or join an evening activity group that does something really interesting to take your mind off the quit.
7) ‘Smoke’ a Drink Straw
If your primary problem with quitting is how many of your mannerisms are shaped around holding and breathing through a cigarette or if you tend to use them to calm down in stressful moments, a simple drinking straw clipped to cigarette length has been found by many to be incredibly helpful. Simply hold the straw and breathe through it as if you were smoking and try to forget that you’re holding it. After a while, the double-craving for the habit and the substance will fade and so will your need for the straw.
8) Crank it Back
The idea of smoking less and less over time is always an iffy one. It has definitely worked for some people while others need to go cold-turkey or they won’t be able to manage the quit. If you’re trying your first quit or don’t think you need to quit all at once, consider slowly cranking back the number of cigarettes you smoke. Make a rule like only in the evenings, then only on weekends, then only on Sunday night, until finally, you don’t need them anymore.
9) Keep a Smoking Log
Another slow departure method is to start keeping a log of the cigarettes you smoke. Most people are vaguely aware of their intake on a by-pack basis but don’t really realise how many cigarettes they pull out and smoke each day. Keep a small card or a schedule app to make a note of every time you smoke for the last week or so before you plan on quitting. It may be surprisingly helpful in reducing the number of cigarettes you even want to smoke.
10) Smile Like a Maniac
Finally, quitting any addictive chemical substance is hell on your internal chemical balance with has a profound effect on your mood. The reason why withdrawals tend to cause crankiness and weird moodiness in most people. One way to counteract the inevitable mood consequences is to smile on purpose. Give the world a mad defiant grin or at least a shy smirk. The simple act of even a small smile begins to produce happiness chemicals in your brain, helping to lift your mood and make your quit easier to handle.
Check out the QSN Stop Smoking Program here.