The first two weeks of quitting can be the toughest, but the cravings for a cigarette will pass. In the meantime, you’ll cope better if you’re equipped with strategies to help you deal with your urges to smoke and with ‘trigger’ situations — like having a drink or a work break — where you’d normally light up.
Read on for some tips on how to keep saying no to nicotine.
It’s normal to feel stressed and irritable at first. Being prepared with strategies to handle this will help you stay smoke-free — especially if you’re under extra pressure or having a bad day. Decide what works best for you — a relaxation technique, getting some fresh air or doing something calming like listening to music.
Until it gets easier to control your urges to smoke, it can be best to avoid places — or people — that make it harder for you to resist cigarettes. These may include:
If you decide to go to social events where others will smoke or drink, take a friend along to help support you not to smoke. Be prepared to leave early if you’re craving a cigarette.
It can help to keep your hands busy — text a friend, knit or use a stress ball.
More research needs to be done to know whether these treatments help. They may or may not work, but are unlikely to do any harm.
It’s best to reduce your caffeine intake. As your body eliminates nicotine it absorbs more caffeine, so your normal levels of caffeine from coffee, tea, cola and chocolate may contribute to feeling jittery or sleepless.
If you slip up and have one cigarette, it doesn’t mean you have to go back to smoking and undo all the progress you’ve made so far. Keep trying — your body has started to recover and each day without a cigarette is good news for your health.
If you need some help getting back on track to make sure you don’t go back to smoking, consider the following:
Remember, quitting smoking is a process. Keep it one day at a time, and don’t give up just because of a slip.
If you’ve starting smoking again, don’t give up. Most people take a few goes to quit for good. A relapse isn’t a failure. What’s important is finding out what you learned from this attempt to quit — what helped you and what worked against you. This information will give you a better chance of staying smoke-free the next time you try. And once you’re ready, set another date for quitting — and try again!
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