I got three separate emails yesterday from some really nice people just starting out on Chantix that found my blog, and I found myself repeating some of my favorite pet strategies that worked for me. Everyone is different, and I can't say what will work for anyone else, but these worked for me.
My Top 13 Favorite Quit Smoking Tips
- One Day at a Time. I do have a long-term goal of staying quit, but my focus is always on just right this moment because it still freaks me out to think too much further out. I do know that I can just not smoke until I go to bed tonight. So I keep doing that.
- Water. Whenever I had a craving, urge or tugging, water helped.
- Deep breaths. This works. It just does, even as recently as this week.
- Keeping in mind that no craving really lasts much longer than 5 minutes, even if another may follow shortly thereafter (though with time they get fewer and further between).
- Making a list of reasons I quit and reading it as often as needed. Of all the excellent and more serious reasons on my long list, the one that usually worked in my case was being able to laugh with all my heart without coughing.
- Chantix. Much of this blog has been about my experience on this quit smoking drug, and I am delighted that it worked for me as intended and with only minor side effects. As with any medicine, under the care of a real live medical doctor is the way to go.
- Realizing that this would be hard, even with Chantix but staying with it no matter how tough. There is no magic miracle pill that makes quitting smoking easy. At least not for me.
- Keeping in touch with others who are doing the same thing, and in my case, I did that by reading others' blogs (like the ones in my Linky Loos) and commenting, too.
- Writing my own experiences almost daily here on my blog because writing makes me think things through and helps me to sort things out.
- Being honest with myself about my limitations. I don't do well around alcohol when cigarettes are also available, even now, so I limit how often I am in those situations.
- Small rewards along the way. I don't have to go nuts or spend a bunch of money, but I do enjoy treating myself once in awhile.
- Walking. I started walking with the work ladies twice a day around two of the times when I would have been taking smoke breaks, and it was a healthy way to take a break. Once I quit smoking, I wanted to start being healthier in general.
- Whatever other little things seemed like they might work at any time. This ranged from walking around the store to working puzzles to drinking coffee (opposite effect for some, I know), kissing Tom, brushing my teeth, wearing good smelling lotion, taking a shower, smelling my non-smoky hair, laundering any clothes that smelled smoky, getting my car clean and deodorized, eating celery, trying different fruits like pluots and about 8 million others. The point is whatever works, even if that might be different for each person.
Today is smoke-free day 375, and I'm still counting.