When you successfully quit smoking, you'll notice that there's an emptiness in your routine. What ones used to be the time for the cigarette break is now an unoccupied time to think about your craving. Cravings can make your days harder physically and mentally. Instead of searching for triggers and surrendering to cravings, you need to develop new, healthy habits.
Once you fill out your day with various activities, you won’t even notice that you miss cigarettes and unhealthy habits. New activities form new habits and lead to the healthier and more satisfied you. Not sure how to get there? Here are a couple of tips that can help you ditch the old habits and replace them with new ones.
Embrace new routines
Smoking is a type of addiction. Besides being physically addicted to nicotine, you’re psychologically addicted to activities that included smoking. To break out of that bad habit, you need to create new activities and routines that have nothing to do with smoking. How can you do that?
The first step is noticing when your cravings are the highest. For example, most people crave a cigarette while drinking their morning coffee or before and after a meal. To get rid of that uncomfortable feeling and bad habit, try replacing those behaviours with something you enjoy. For example, read a book while you drink your morning coffee. That’s how you’ll trick the brain into thinking about something else than a cigarette.
Keep your hands busy
Having a mental distraction is usually not enough for many ex-smokers. Considering that the cigarettes are interactive, this obstacle might be the hardest one to tackle. So, it might be an ideal time to take up a new hobby. It doesn’t have to be a long-term commitment. It’s something to keep you peaceful and busy during the stressful times when you want to reach for a cigarette.
Depending on what inspires you, you can create different forms of art. Photography, writing, painting or DIY projects are great for keeping your mind and hands busy. You can even take these on another level and do them in nature, with friends or with a group of people who are going through a similar situation.
One of many nicotine withdrawal symptoms includes social isolation, tension, insomnia, anxiety and depression. If you're prone to feeling them, you're more likely to start smoking again if you don't fight it. Who else can help you fight sadness and anxiety better than good social support?
It doesn’t matter if you surround yourself with friends, family, colleagues or your therapy group, having social support is crucial for overcoming bad habits. Being social has numerous benefits for your physical and mental health. Encourage new activities. Instead of going to the club where you’re more likely to smoke, try hiking or fun outdoor activities. You could also watch a film, if possible, or play board games. Occupy your mind with conversation and interesting activities to fight the triggers and symptoms.
Having something that will bust your cravings is essential. You can use the trick of a 5-minute craving buster. It’s an activity that doesn’t require preparation, too much time or effort, however, it’s more than enough to break you out of cigarette craving mindset.
Many ex-smokers find it helpful to keep their mouth busy as well. Try chewing a piece of minty gum, fresh fruits or veggies, drink a glass of water or brush your teeth. You can also replace smoking cigarettes with its much healthier option- vaping. Instead of opting for a low-quality, cheap e-cigarette, go for the cost-effective vape mod. Vape mods are high-end e-cigarettes in terms of experience, capacity and capability. Their battery lasts longer which provides a better daily vaping experience. Once you switch to the vape mods, you’ll feel healthier and going back to cigarettes wouldn’t even be an option.
One of the most hated side-effects of nicotine withdrawal is usually a weight gain. To prevent that from happening, consider introducing exercising or working out in your routine. You don't have to go to the gym to be physically active. You can do the exercises at home.
You need to pay attention to your lungs and breathing while you workout. Getting back in shape after you quit smoking can be quite challenging considering that your lungs haven't fully recovered from all the cigarettes you've smoked. So, start slow and gradually increase the tempo. You’ll see the progress in no time.
Quitting smoking can be hard especially if you don't have the behaviour or activity that will replace it. Being determined to quit is one of the most important steps. However, without replacing the unhealthy habits with healthy ones, your idea may not go according to the plan. Healthier life leads to healthier you.