But smoking is what I do…all my friends are smokers…I smoke all the time and everywhere.
These are some of the thoughts smokers have that keep them from seriously considering or committing to stop smoking.
Well, don’t let those thoughts stop you from making an attempt to stop smoking. You don’t have to give up your family, friends, and all of the activities that you enjoy to stop smoking. In fact, when you stop smoking you may regain the ability to do all the things you want without having to interrupt them to satisfy your urge for a cigarette.
However, early on you may need to change some things until you feel confident in your ability to not smoke. As your confidence builds you can ease yourself back into your relationships and your activities. During the first few months of not smoking you might want to take particular care around or even avoid these situations.
Alcohol is a big trigger to smoke for many people. Initially you might want to have fewer drinks and drink less often. Some people stop drinking completely for a while until they feel confident in their ability to drink alcohol and not smoke.
Being around family and friends who smoke – Talk to your family and friends ahead of time and let them know that you plan to stop smoking. Ask for their support. Ask them not to offer you a cigarette and to not smoke around you. Make sure not to come across like you are telling them that they need to stop smoking. If they feel pressure from you they will be less able to be supportive of you. Once they realize that this is about you they may surprise you with their support. If you have friends who are not supportive you may want to take a break from them for a while.
Self-care – Take good care of yourself in general. Keep track of how you are feeling, how you are resting, and how well you are eating. Remember HALT, if you are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired you might benefit from taking a nap, eating a healthy meal or snack, and contacting a support person.
It’s important to take care of yourself when stopping smoking. For the short-term, avoid slippery places when possible, and have a plan in place to manage the situations you cannot avoid. In the long run you will be able to more fully enjoy what you do and who you do it with.