Winter holidays are upon us, and so too are many reminders and potential triggers to smoke. However, with some proper planning, you have the ability to navigate the holiday season and remain smoke-free. At the Nicotine Dependence Center, we are receiving and sharing great ideas from and with our patients. Here are some idea and questions for your consideration:
When preparing for the holiday festivities, take some time to consider the different situations and social circles in which you will be. Will there be smokers there? Will it be important to avoid the smokers table? If so, what is your plan? Will you tell them up front that you no longer smoke or find some other way to manage it? How might you handle alcohol-related triggers? Some people choose to not drink, while others may reduce their use. The important thing is to make an honest assessment of yourself, and plan accordingly.
Fire Escape Plan
Good home safety usually means planning for emergencies, before they happen. The same goes for planning how you will cope with high-risk smoking situations over the holidays. If offered a cigarette, what will be your response? If thoughts of smoking start taking up real estate in your head, what are your go-to coping skills to clear your mind? Cravings typically last between 3-5 minutes - the length of just one holiday song. That means you only need to keep yourself distracted until the end of Jingle Bells!
For those of you on Ex who have made it through the holidays, what suggestions might you have for staying tobacco-free during this busy time? Feel free to share your experiences and ideas below!