Conquering a habit like smoking takes a lot of guts, plenty of determination, and some very hard days when the cravings threaten to derail your progress. Don’t beat yourself up, though. Nicotine addiction is a powerful enemy, and cigarettes are designed to keep you hooked for life if possible. If you’re a woman in today’s world, you’ve already faced plenty of challenges, and this will just be another obstacle you overcome.
Quitting smoking is much easier today than it was a few decades ago. The internet has provided us with a plethora of resources and support. You can find support groups, tips, articles like this one, and even apps to help you quit online. Here, we’ll cover five important tips for you ladies just starting out on your cessation journey.
1. Stay Away From Smokers
Wouldn’t you know it? Hanging out with smokers only increases your cravings for cigarettes even more, and the social pressure can be enough to make you break. Your smoker friends aren’t always supportive of your decision to quit. Some people even get jealous when other people start to improve their lives. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true. The best thing to do here is just to avoid people who aren’t giving up the habit.
That doesn’t mean cut all of your friends out of your life, but you’ll find more setbacks and less support from those who are still smoking. Just the smell of one cigarette can be enough to make you want to relapse. This might mean you have to stay home during girl’s night or avoid the parking lot on break time, but these small sacrifices are worth it in the end.
2. Start With Small Steps
The most challenging way to ditch the smoking habit is to give it all up at once cold turkey. Some find success this way, but truthfully, most people who quit all at once go back to smoking. It’s better to start with small steps. You can start by replacing your cigarette ritual with a tobacco alternative (Black Buffalo tobaccoless dip is a great choice) or smoke 1-2 fewer cigarettes each day.
Slowly removing the habit from your daily ritual will help you get used to the idea of not smoking, and help slowly get your body accustomed to having less nicotine. When you quit cold turkey, you’re exposing your brain and body to the full wrath of nicotine withdrawal, which can cause irritability, mood swings, appetite changes, cold sweats, and more. It’s an unpleasant experience, so minimizing it is a priority.
3. Keep Your Mental Health In Mind
Often, habits like smoking and excessive drinking are linked to conditions like chronic anxiety, depression, and more. During the quitting process, certain issues might come to light in ways they never have before. You’re not getting your fix, and whatever you were suffering from comes to light. Now what?
Exposing an underlying mental health condition can be upsetting and make you want to jump back to your old habit. Take a breath, step back, and get ahold of the situation. So, you have to face this issue now. How are you going to do it?
Create a plan. Analyze the situation. The first step to solving any problem is recognizing that there is a problem. There are plenty of resources available to help, and your support group is behind you. It’s time to take control of your life.
4. Recognize What You’re Doing
Sometimes, the only motivation you need is the bare facts about smoking. Smoking claims the lives of about 500,000 people on a yearly basis. It’s been linked to hundreds of conditions and cancers, and can destroy property as well as your body. The bottom line? Smoking is a destructive habit, and ditching it is about much more than saving money.
You’ll be taking a stand against your addiction and holding yourself to a higher standard. You’ll be showing your loved ones and yourself that you value health, life, and your time here on Earth. That’s a pretty powerful statement, don’t you think?
5. Nicotine Gum/Patches
While some people are using alternatives like CBD or tobaccoless dip, others choose a route that doesn’t involve ditching nicotine altogether at first. Nicotine patches and gum are a great way to remove the habit of smoking from your daily life without exposing your mind to the harmful effects of withdrawal.
What’s awesome about these options is that they work. You’ll slowly get used to not smoking and only getting a small amount of nicotine, and eventually, you’ll be able to get rid of the addiction altogether. There are plenty of varieties of gum and patches to choose from!
You’re making a very important decision by giving up smoking. Stay the course, avoid smokers, and keep your head up. You’re already doing a great job, now see it through to the finish line! You got this!