How to Quit Smoking: Week 2
The Complete 4-Week Quit Smoking Guide:
You’re now starting your second week as a nonsmoker - congratulations These first days can be very exciting as you discover reserves you didn’t realize you had. This week we will cover some more simple ideas to help you stay on track.
If you haven’t read my previous posts Preparing to Quit Smoking and How to Quit Smoking: Week 1, then take a moment to go through the tips in those articles. They will help you become better prepared for the days and weeks ahead.
Day 8 - Find a piggy bank so you can set aside the money you are saving by not smoking. Cigarettes cost more than ever and if you add it up, you will find that you had a lot of money going up in smoke. Save that cash in a special place and spend it on a nice gift for yourself each time you hit meaningful nonsmoking milestones.
Day 9 - You may find yourself craving more food as you learn how to get through the day without smoking. You want to be careful to pick healthy alternatives, since weight gain is rather common for many new nonsmokers. For tips regarding weight gain, see How to avoid weight gain after quitting smoking.
Day 10 - Today is a good day to go buy some more flowers for yourself - split the bouquet up and place a flower or two in every room - even one flower in a small cup can really brighten up the place. Then every time you walk by, take a deep smell and remind yourself of your vow to never smoke again.
Day 11 - Try to eat something new or special today - maybe it’s something you haven’t had in a long time or something you just never took time to try (think of things like kumquat or passion fruit). You want to explore foods that can add excitement to your meals and help you stay on a healthy track.
Day 12 - Call a friend who has encouraged you about quitting. Tell her how you’re doing (good or bad). Ask her if she’ll be there for you if you get a crazy impulse to relapse. If you can talk it through with a caring friend, sometimes that will be enough to make the craving go away.
Day 13 - How’s your stress level doing? Has anything happened to you this week that made you want to go back to old habits? Remember, no matter how bad things get, if you relapse, you will just have that to deal with, too. Think about what it was like to go through withdrawal - it’s not pleasant at all, so why put yourself through it again? You have a choice. Just take a deep breath and walk away.
Day 14 - You’ve made it through your second week! Congratulations. Today is a significant milestone - you’ve made it through half a month - that’s 1/24th of a year! Take some cash out of your piggy bank and go buy a low-fat decaf latte or perhaps see a movie (or do both!). Treat yourself and feel really good about it - you are succeeding at what could possibly be the hardest thing you’ve ever done.
And remember, if you relapsed, you’re not alone - most people go through many quit attempts before they finally succeed - just start again tomorrow!
Next week, we’ll explore more ways to build yourself up against relapse in How to Quit Smoking: Week 3.
For information about the health benefits of quitting smoking, see Better Health After Quitting.
For inspirational stories that will help you quit, consider getting a copy of Give It Up! Stop Smoking for Life.
Anne wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for COPD.