5 Minute Coffee Break - Give Yourself A Perfect Gift This Christmas
Published at 02 December, 2021.
Christmas brings it`s challenges for some people when stopping smoking. If you are still working towards your smoke free goal you may be tempted to put off starting your quit attempt until you are feeling a little less stressed
Let`s be positive and not see Christmas as a reason to put off the start of your smoke free journey. In the run up to Christmas see how much money you could save using our money bank calculator, which could all go to help buy presents, food for the big day itself or that party outfit and shoes you have had your eye on.
Make a list of your reasons to quit and keep them where you can see them every day. Stick your list on the fridge or on the back door. This is a good place if it`s where you would usually go outside from to smoke. This will help keep you focused. Reminding yourself of why you are quitting can help keep you motivated
If you are stressed as the run up to Christmas has started early, take a breath, make sure you have enough rest, and recognise your limits and take breaks. Focus on one day at a time and the rest will follow much easier.
Say to yourself each day “Smoking does not relieve my stress and it will not fix my problems”
Let us work on relieving this stress in a better way. Urges to smoke as a response to dealing with stressful situations can happen, as you may have spent years practicing this behaviour. Busy times such as Christmas may produce emotional responses which also bring on thoughts of wanting to smoke. It does not mean you need to smoke. See your response to stress as a trigger. You do not have to respond to this trigger, and you can choose other ways of managing and dealing with stress that are right for you. Let us reprogramme all those old habits and responses to stress. By changing the way you think, you can change the way you act in response to stressful situations
How can we do this?
If we remember that tobacco is not the answer to our problems as the problem is still there when we have smoked the tobacco.
It is how you react to the problem or stress that matters. Do not react to stress by reaching for the cigarettes. What else can you do instead?
Seek support from friends and family who you will be spending time with at Christmas. Tell them you are quitting, and they will be more understanding and not offer you tobacco and instead help you find other ways of coping. Take 5 minutes and go for a walk if you can or just get some fresh air. Try stocking up on some games to play. Suggest playing a family board game if you are tempted to go outside for a cigarette.
If you are using Nicotine Replacement products, keep them handy to reach for instead of any tobacco
Times of celebration can be classed as a “risky situation” and good times can put you at risk of slip up`s just as much as stressful times or times of crisis. Reduce alcohol if this is your trigger. Drink plenty of water in between. Why not plan to make some funky fruit juice mocktails. Making these will keep you busy and you`ll have lots of fun thinking up some quirky names for your creation. Being with other people you may not see for the rest of the year can bring on triggers to smoke, especially when you are in the company of other smokers. Smokers sometimes offer you cigarettes or convince you to “just have one.” Plan and be prepared to say “No, I don`t smoke.” If you are at a party, why not treat yourself to something from the buffet you would not normally eat or ask someone to dance and burn up the dance floor instead of burning tobacco.
Christmas can be a “down time” for some people, and this can also bring on the desire to smoke. Think how far you have come and do not rely on tobacco as your friend if you are feeling depressed, lonely, or bored this Christmas. Planning for the big day can help. Being ready and prepared is the key. What can you do to make this time as positive as possible?
Arrange to call a friend or relative if you can, or a visit from a neighbour. Try doing something active like taking a walk if you are able. Tell yourself how well you are doing and revisit your reasons for quitting. Think ahead to how you might comfort yourself instead of reaching for the cigarette. If you are missing relatives, or if Christmas is a particular sad time for you, think how might you look after your emotional needs instead of smoking?
If you have bought a packet of tobacco or cigarettes throw them away now. Don`t downplay your slip up by saying “I only had the odd one or two” Think about why you slipped and what you can do differently next time to avoid the next slip up. One slip does not mean it will lead to another. Learn from it, forgive yourself and move forward into the rest of the festive period, knowing you are prepared and ready to give yourself the best gift you can, being smoke free!