Turning on the TV is a popular way to unwind after a stressful day, but participating in creative activities is an even more powerful way to reduce stress? Getting creative taps into your mind in ways that passive activities can’t while also giving you space to express yourself. It’s a great tool for dealing with smoking urges and the everyday stress and anxiety that comes with quitting smoking. Next time you’re feeling stressed out, here are a few activities to try.
Break out a pen and paper
Writing helps to focus your thoughts in one place, which is a powerful tool for taking your mind off smoking. Some people think writing is intimidating, but there are no rules you have to follow! You can journal your feelings, tell a story, or even just write an affirmative phrase like “I will quit” over and over to free up your mind and hands for a little bit. If you’re looking for a place to start, check out Quit Culture’s free writing workshop with local Cincinnati artist Siri Imani.
Plug in your headphones
Just by listening to a song, you can reduce anxiety, improve your mood and help get in touch with your emotions. Music has been linked to several health benefits as well. It helps lower your blood pressure, improve your mood and sleep quality, strengthen your memory and more. Quit Culture has a curated Spotify playlist if you are looking for some inspirational tunes to help kick your smoking habit! Hit that play button instead of the lighter next time an urge to smoke crosses your mind.
Even if you don’t see yourself as a Picasso, diving into art projects is another easy way to express yourself. It is also a great way to prove to yourself that you can accomplish a project from beginning to end. Drawing, coloring and painting are all ways to grow your imagination and you are left with a physical result after the work is done. If you want to make it super easy, try picking up an adult coloring book or paint by numbers kit.
Read a good book
Just like writing, reading is a great way to relax that also challenges your mind. Cracking a book is proven to reduce the risk of health problems like dementia, and reading a compelling story is immersive enough to take your mind off even the most serious smoking urges. Plus: the Cincinnati Hamilton County Public Library is free to use and filled with everything from novels and self-improvement books to poems and short stories!