A simple Google search of “safe room” brings up thousands of plans people can make to protect their family during emergency situations. These websites provide information about what supplies to have and other safety measures for creating such rooms. While we all think of ways to prepare our homes to protect our physical health (fences, locks, safe rooms, etc.) we don’t commonly think to take similar precautions with our mental and emotional health. This can be especially important to consider when stopping smoking.
One of the challenges of quitting smoking is learning to deal with the stressors of life without cigarettes. Some days will feel more manageable than others as you learn new skills to cope. Preparing a smoke-free safe room in your home can have a calming influence as it offers a peaceful reprieve from the stresses of the day. With time, more rooms in your home will feel safe as well as other areas in your life (yes, even your car!)
Here are several suggestions to consider when preparing a safe room in your life:
De-clutter – Princeton researchers (2011) have found that a disorganized room competes for our attention making it more difficult to focus on the task at hand. While you don’t have to ignore bills or the pile of laundry, it may be difficult to relax if they are spread across your safe area.
Serenity supplies – Whether it’s your e-reader, a bag of licorice, or that new pumpkin spice candle, consider gathering items that bring you peace and comfort. Your safe room should have tools available to melt away the stressors and distract you from the cravings of the day.
Location – When thinking of the perfect spot for your safe area, fill in this blank, “No matter how bad I might be craving, the last place I’d smoke in my home is _________.” Choose an area you would already be disinclined to smoke as an additional safety measure.
Boundaries – Give yourself permission to set aside moments for self-care. Investing the time to protect your recovery now will create a positive ripple effect in you and your loved one’s lives. It may be beneficial to discuss expectations with those close to you about your time; let them know the value of taking time to recharge.