Many people manage stress by occasionally smoking, but a new study shows that people who smoke even a few cigarettes a day or even a week are at a higher risk of early death compared to people who don’t smoke at all.
With this new information and previous research that has shown alarmingly high rates of smoking inpopulations with anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses, it is even more important for people to survive the holidays smoke-free. The holidays are typically a time when people feel the need to pick up smoking again, but with these 7 tips, you can manage stress and stay smoke free throughout even the most stressful family get-togethers.
Try some deep breathing exercises, practice meditation, or try a new form of exercise- but most importantly, schedule in some you-time.
Get to know your triggers & make a plan.
Triggers are things that make you want to smoke, there are 4 different types: emotional, pattern, social, and withdrawal. Get to know your triggers and how to deal with them before the holiday stress kicks in. Making a quitplan can often help stay on track and overcome stress.
Count Your Blessings.
Reflect on all the things you are grateful for about quitting and make a list of the reasons why you quit. When you get stressed or anxious, re-read your list.
Don’t do it alone.
The holidays are a time to spend with friends & family- Tell your friends and family if you are struggling. There is no shame in asking support systems for help or delegating tasks that may bring about stress among these systems.
Practice forgiveness & patience.
Don’t be too hard on yourself, smoking is hard and the holidays can be stressful. Often we associate smoking with the activities in our lives and this must be gradually changed. Do something you enjoy this holiday season to begin a healthy association with the holidays.
Acknowledge Your Grief.
If you get the holiday blues, take steps to acknowledge and manage your feelings. Denial only makes holiday depression worse.