During a recent Quit Culture Facebook Live event, Julian Collins, Community Outreach Officer at Interact for Health, and local smoking cessation expert Jasmine Clay discussed the most common struggles smokers face when trying to quit—and some of the best ways to handle them. You can check out the full conversation on our Facebook page, but below are a few highlights to help you on your quit journey.
Make a plan
When you decide you want to make a change, having a plan in place helps increase your chances of staying tobacco-free. Start by setting a quit date, writing down your motivations for quitting and letting the people in your life know that you have decided to quit. You can learn more about building a quit plan on our Knowledge + Help page.
Find your coping skills
Stress is one of the top triggers for smoking and learning how to deal with stress without a cigarette is a big part of quitting. When the urge hits, consider swapping out a smoke for other healthy activities like mindful breathing, exercise or speaking with a friend. Stress is going to be there today, tomorrow, and even after you stop, so finding ways to deal with and reduce that stress will help.
If smoking is a part of your everyday routine, consider mixing things up so as not to fall back into old habits. Plan to avoid the places, people and activities that remind you of smoking. Everyone’s triggers are different and knowing yours is critical.
Prioritizing yourself and your self-care is a key to successfully quitting. Whether it is taking up a new hobby, finding time to listen to your favorite music or taking extra quiet time after a long day, lean into the things that bring positive and relaxing energy to your life.
Talk to your loved ones
Find a support person (or group of support people!) who you’re close with that understands quitting should be a team effort. You can work together to build a plan and to avoid triggers. It’s also important to give each other plenty of grace and leeway while you’re on your quit journey.
It sounds simple, but don’t forget to reward yourself throughout your journey! You should be proud of every step in the right direction, even if it takes longer or is more difficult than you expected.
Your quit journey may be hard. It may be easy. But every time you are able to smoke less, you are making an effort to better yourself.