Stick to the Plan
For an ex-smoker, the thought of relapsing is scary. Just one cigarette can force you back to square one.
Smoking cessation does get easier with time, but getting there will likely require some serious lifestyle changes. Keep your doctor updated on your progress, the challenges you encounter and the best ways to handle them.
Here are a few tips to help keep you on track in the days, weeks, months and even years after you commit to quit:
- Surround yourself with people who can help hold you accountable.
- Connect with others who have successfully quit smoking or are also trying to quit.
- Stay busy and active to keep your mind occupied.
- Identify a few go-to coping mechanisms to help you get through strong urges to smoke, like going for a walk or calling a friend.
- Remember all the benefits of smoking cessation – reduced risk of cancer, better overall health, higher energy and more money in your wallet.
- Avoid places where you know people will be smoking.
- Eat at least 3 daily meals. This will help keep your blood sugar and energy levels steady throughout the day and curb your urge to smoke.
- Certain foods like sugar-free gum, fresh vegetables and fruit can help control your cravings.
- Cut down on alcohol and caffeine, which can trigger urges to smoke.
- Continue setting goals, and reward yourself when you reach them.
- Adopt a lifestyle that incorporates healthy choices beyond quitting smoking, such as exercising and eating healthier.
- If you do relapse, stay positive and don’t give up on quitting. Talk with your doctor about new methods to keep you on track.