It seems that many people smoke, not only to manage stress, but also to fill time. We often hear about how much more time people have once they stop smoking. Usually this is seen as a positive and good part of becoming tobacco free. However, some folks have difficulty when they are faced with open time. So, this may be a golden opportunity for you not only to become physically healthier, but to get in touch with what is really important to you and make the most of your newly found time.
In today's busy world it is very easy to find things that eat up our time. One of the things that devour a significant chunk of many peoples’ days is watching television. There is always something on, and numerous channels from which to choose. A person might watch a television show even though there is no interest in it.
As you stop smoking you have a new opportunity to identify what things are truly important to you in your life and to find ways to make them become more of a reality for you. As you prepare for your quit day, take a pad of paper and a pen to a quiet space and write down the things that you would like to have as a regular part of your life. Each person’s list might be different so focus upon the things that are important to you. Your list might include taking more walks, spending more quality time with love ones, learning to play an instrument, learning a new language, connecting with old friends, joining a hobby group, learning to dance, taking classes through community education, learning to cook a new dish, and a multitude of other options.
Finding ways to use your newfound time in a manner that is motivating and positive for you can be a powerful way to reward yourself for stopping smoking.
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 more than 50,000 patients for tobacco dependence. Send your questions directly to Dr. Hurt at AskTheExpert@becomeanex.org