It’s Christmas season again and thousands of smokers are working towards their quit-date which is often after New Year’s. Many more smokers who have quit are battling with staying on track this season and the age old question is can you really stay smoke-free during the holidays? It is entirely possible to stick to your goals and stay nicotine free this holiday season.
- Do not Over Indulge
There is something about the holiday season that makes us forget about set goals whether it is weight loss or staying away from alcohol. The same applies to cigarettes and the holidays are a particularly difficult time for smokers to stay nicotine-free. However, one tip that will help you stay on track is to avoid over-indulging. Indulgence on food or alcohol will pave the way to smoking one cigarette which could spiral into relapsing. It is a season to be merry, but moderation is important in anything. Exercising control over how much you partake in these indulgences will help you stay in control and avoid caving in to nicotine cravings.
- Minimize on Caffeine Intake
Caffeine is most people’s go to drink when they need an energy boost to get them started in the morning or going during the day. However, too much caffeine leaves you feeling stressed and jittery. Stress has always been thought to be one of the reasons why people smoke. Therefore, to reduce the amount of stress experienced during the holidays and avoid turning to cigarettes you should minimize on your caffeine intake.
A Duke University study on the relationship between food and nicotine cravings found that caffeine causes a neurobiological reaction which makes you crave nicotine. Beverages and treats such as colas, coffee, tea and chocolate will often make you crave nicotine.
- Maintain Your Support System
Whether you have been smoke-free for years or only a few weeks; it is important to maintain your support system. Whether it is an actual quit-smoking support group or support from family and friends; share with them about your difficulties keeping away from nicotine during the holidays. The encouragement will go a long way in helping you keep on track during the holiday season.
- Take it One Day at a Time
Just like it is important to have a plan set out for your quit journey, it helps to have a daily list to help you focus on one day at a time. In the case of the holiday season it helps to stay focused on each individual day than overwhelming yourself with what needs to be accomplished at the end of it all. Address daily challenges and outline clear ways to overcome these challenges. After all getting through each day will eventually get you to where you want to be at the end of the holiday season and looking at the bigger picture, it will help you achieve what you set out to achieve by the end of the year.
- Keep your ‘Why’ in Mind
This is another important tip to help you get through the holiday season smoke-free. In as much as you should take one day at a time, don’t lose focus of why you decided to quit in the first place. When things get stressful, take out your list of reasons to quit and re-acquaint yourself with it to help you stay on track.
The holidays should not be an excuse to fall off the bandwagon or relapse; you can quit smoking and stay smoke-free during the holiday season.