Stoptober 2017 has come to an end and we hope you’re one of the thousands of people who managed to kick the habit this year!
Whether you managed to avoid cigarettes for the whole month, or you found yourself slipping back into your old ways, today is a brand new day to continue your journey towards being smoke-free.
We’ve asked ex-smokers for their top lifestyle tips that will help you resist the temptation to light up.
Keep your hands busy!
If you find yourself craving a cigarette while you are out with friends, try and trick your mind into kicking the craving by holding something in the hand that normally holds your cigarette. E-cigs are great for this but a drinking straw can also help if you’re stuck!
As well as your hands, you need to keep your mouth busy. A pack of nicotine gum, lozenges or a spray will help quell the nicotine craving and ensure you’re on the path to success.
Create a ‘Stop Smoking’ Calendar
Although Stoptober has finished, the holiday season has just begun and this can be a tricky time to avoid picking up a cigarette. Create a calendar with all of the key events that are coming up marked clearly on it. This could be a work party, Christmas drinks or a NYE get together. Once you have identified your possible trigger events you have plenty of time to prepare your ‘no smoking’ kit to have close by at all times. By mentally preparing for these situations you have a greater chance of winning the battle.
Change your diet
Did you know that cigarettes can impact the flavour of certain foods? Try switching up your menu to see if packing in the cigs has affected your taste buds. If you’re one of many people who enjoy a cigarette after a meal, a change to your usual diet could help stop you heading out of the door as soon as you have finished your meal.
The same logic applies to drinks. If you find yourself reaching for a cigarette when you’re having a coffee or a glass of wine, switch your drinks to include more water or fresh juice to see if this quells the cravings. Alcohol is one of the major triggers in the battle to stop smoking but you don’t have to go cold turkey, try switching your drink of choice to a vodka and tomato juice or a gin and tonic.
Surround yourself with support
There’s nothing worse than feeling like you’re doing this alone, so try and form a support group of other people that want to quit. You’re four times more likely to quit if you have expert help and guidance so, take a look at local stop smoking services near you.
The internet is a great place to find additional support, head to social media to find groups or Twitter conversations about quitting, once you join in you may find the help you need to keep going!
This may sound like a cliche, but it’s important to always remember why you want to stop smoking and the positive impact it will have on your life. Keep a list in your wallet or purse of the reasons why you have started out on this journey. Whether it’s to improve your health or to save money for something special, everyone needs a little reminder to give them a much-needed boost!
Stoptober may have come to an end, but you can still make the most of our great resources to help you quit.