If you haven't read my first post post "What Motivated Me to Quit Smoking", please do. You can click here to find it. In a nutshell, I smoked for 36 years. It was a love-hate relationship. And, obviously, not a very healthy one! finally, I decided, ENOUGH! I want to emphasize that unless you have health issues or are pregnant and time is of the essence, you should wait until you reach that "enough" stage. It will go much easier for you. For me, the first step was convincing myself that I would be okay without my cigarettes. I'm not going to lie, that was pretty difficult and I'm not sure that I was fully convinced of that when I actually started! That being said, once I had made the decision, I decided to make a plan. These are my suggestions to get you started:
- Pick a date
- Pick a method
- Decide on a support system
Some people like to pick a specific date because it has meaning to them. Others will pick an arbitrary date. I recommend picking a date that works with your schedule and activities. Quitting is challenge enough, you have the ability to ensure an easier path by setting the stage.
Picking a method is critical. There are so many different aids to quitting smoking from over-the-counter aids,prescription medications, hypnotists, cold turkey, etc. Before you quit, think about what will work best for you? Do some research. Talk to your doctor. Talk to others who have successfully quit. Visit a site like this one, Breathing Happy.
Some people prefer the buddy system. Others like to be in groups. Some people enjoy giving daily or weekly updates on their facebook status. And some people prefer to keep it to themselves. It's all a matter of preference. Every individual should choose what they think would work best for themselves.
When I decided to finally kick the habit, I did a bit of research. Because of health reasons, I did not want to use any oral medications or patches. It was my inclination to go cold turkey, but I was afraid of the weight gain and decided to go to a hypnotist that also did a weight loss session. It was easy to pick a date after that because it had to coincide when one of the sessions was being held. My decision for a support system was very simple. I didn't tell anyone except my daughter. And I only told her because she lived with me. I didn't want people asking me how I was doing. I didn't want to be reminded about it if I had forgotten and, most of all, I didn't want anyone to see me fail if I failed. I know, that's not very positive, but there was a part of me that felt like I was giving up a very dear friend or lover and even if it was an abusive one, I still didn't want to say Good Bye.
Stayetuned for the "gory details" and more tips and ideas to help you quit and stay smoke free!