It’s straightforward and free, but to quit smoking cold turkey is to embark on a real test of your wills. While it’s possible to effectively and successfully quit and stay quit after going cold turkey, remember that it’s not the only option before deciding on a quit plan. But if you want to give quitting cold turkey a go this Monday, here’s what you need to be prepared for:
Withdrawal symptoms. Quitting nicotine means nicotine withdrawal. You may experience several symptoms over your first week as the nicotine works its way out of your system, but they won’t last forever. Physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach upset, and fatigue are not uncommon and are generally not considered severe. After the first week of quitting – the hardest week – those symptoms should subside.
Cravings. Withdrawal also includes cravings for nicotine after you stop smoking. The good news is that cravings only last a few minutes and can be beaten! There are plenty of ways to distract yourself while riding out a craving. If you’re truly set on going cold turkey instead of gradually cutting down on cigarettes, line up a few things that you can do instead of smoking like eating healthy snacks, squeezing a stress ball, sipping water or tea, or taking a short walk.
Strengthening your willpower. Quitting cold turkey is hard but it’s not impossible. If you can withstand the cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and mood swings for the first week, there may be a good chance that you’ll quit and stay quit. But it’s up to you to put mind over matter and power through your so-called “nic fits.” Repeat affirmations to yourself like “I’m doing this for my health” and “I am strong enough to beat this craving.” And stick to your plan – be your own drill sergeant!
Overcoming slip-ups. If you do happen to slip up and smoke, don’t be too hard on yourself. Smokers who are in the process of quitting still smoke from time to time. If cold turkey doesn’t work for you, it might not have been the best way for you to go about your quit. You can always try again but you can also try other methods.
If you’re planning on going cold turkey on Monday, good luck! It could be a tough journey, but you don’t have to quit smoking alone. You can reach out to counselors for immediate help by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW.