How to quit smoking, and stay quit, during lockdown
31st May 2020
Quitting is a process; take it one day at a time. Withdrawal symptoms can feel unpleasant and uncomfortable, but it's important to remember that they are only temporary and are definitely not life-threatening. And most importantly, bear in mind that there’s no such thing as ‘just one cigarette’…it’s the new beginning for your smoking habit.
Tip 1 – Get support
It’s proven that getting a support from the stop smoking service gives you higher chance of success. You have an access to behavioural support from a professional adviser and also access to pharmacological treatment which can help reduce withdrawal effects. People around you are a great help too, friends and family members who you can talk to and seek ideas of how to cope with triggers. We all know an ex-smoker!
Even during the lockdown you can keep in touch – use all ways of communication you can to reduce your sense of isolation and to get support you need at the moment. Calls, texts, Whatapp/ Messanger, Facebook, Instagram…you name it but they all give you the ability to talk, to see each other and to stay connected!
Tip 2 – Addiction vs habits
Smokers continue to smoke because of the nicotine. Nicotine causes the addiction, however you can get help with overcoming cravings and other withdrawal symptoms. That’s where the stop smoking service comes in hand. However, do not underestimate the power of habit, it is enormous. Knowing your triggers can help you be prepared for the fight. Making a list of things you can try when you have the urge to smoke is a great help.
The lockdown has definitely changed people’s lives in many ways, many of our usual routines have gone already so use it as an opportunity to also change your daily smoking routines. Keep your brain busy with activities you enjoy, you’re interested in or always wanted to do but the time wasn’t there and stay occupied!
Tip 3 – Treat yourself
It’s your achievement! You need a tap on your shoulder and reward, make sure you think about ways of celebrating each mile stone however small it may seem. It can be as simple as a few minutes of meditation or ‘me time’ whatever it means to you. Stay relaxed!
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Tip 4 – Weight
Stopping smoking can contribute to a small weight gain. However, putting a lot of weight is a result of calories intake. When people stop smoking, they compensate with food usually with unhealthy snacks).
In a current lockdown situation, it’s even more important to keep a close eye on WHAT you eat and HOW MUCH you eat because many people overeat due to boredom. If you think you eat more, then just make sure that you increase your physical activity so your body has chance to burn the excess of calories off. Use YouTube to find the right type of exercise for you – yoga, bodyweight workouts, HITT training, cardio workouts or simply go walking, gardening or cycling. There’s plenty of exercises you can do on your own at home with no equipment. Exercise has been shown to be one of the best ways to cope with cigarette cravings.
Would you like our help? We offer a free Be Smoke Free programme to help you on your quitting journey