Holidays and Stress

Blog Post created by dr_hurt on Dec 5, 2008
The holidays can be a difficult time for people who are trying to stop using tobacco. Holidays are typically busy with family commitments, financial stress, and the many commitments that put pressure on people. It's important that you put some thought into how you're going to manage the holiday stressors without using tobacco.

Surround yourself with the people who offer you the most support for your new healthy lifestyle. Limit your time as much as possible with people who smoke. Plan in advance about how you will be able to slip away into a smoke-free room or outside environment for those times and places where you know relatives and loved ones will be smoking.

Think about substitutes (toothpicks, mints, stress balls) and other ways to cope with urges to smoke. Be sure you bring your tools and coping skills with you to parties and other holiday events especially where alcohol is being served. Drinking can be a very vulnerable time and can lead you to think about "just having one". Click here for a drinking separation exercise. http://becomeanex.org/#relearn_habit/separate/3

You need to put some time and effort into taking care of yourself during this busy time of year, but if you are trying to stop smoking you'll need to be especially attentive to taking extra steps to maintain good physical and emotional health.

Dr. Richard D. Hurt is an internationally recognized expert on tobacco dependence. A native of Murray, Kentucky, he joined Mayo Clinic in 1976 and is now a Professor of Medicine at its College of Medicine. In 1988, he founded the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center and since then its staff has treated over 33,000 patients for tobacco dependence. Send your questions directly to Dr. Hurt at AskTheExpert@becomeanex.org