‘Tis the season for partying! While you may have embarked on your plan to quit smoking, others might be waiting until the New Year to quit. This means you may encounter some tricky situations that could trigger you to light up. Before you head to your next gathering, use this Monday to prepare yourself to stay quit this holiday season.
There are many triggers for former smokers during the holiday season. And you might feel as though you’re the only quitter in the room. It will be great to see so many loved ones and friends, but these gatherings can also make it easier to get distracted from your quit plan. Quitting smoking takes willpower and focus – and that may prove to be tough at parties. But there are plenty of ways to stay on track and still have a good time.
Sit down and make a checklist this Monday of all the things that will need a bit of extra attention at your next soirée:
Find something to keep your hands and mouth occupied. Even if , keeping a glass in your hand throughout the night, maybe with some juice or soda, could keep you from becoming fidgety. You can also keep a healthy snack plate handy to distract yourself. If you do drink, keep in mind that alcohol may be a trigger to smoking. Try to limit yourself to one drink or stick to non-alcoholic beverages.
Recruit a non-smoking or quit buddy for the evening. Think of this person as your “wingman” or “wingwoman” – someone whom you can stand by in case you get a craving. They can introduce you to someone new or keep you occupied themselves. Most importantly, they can keep you from smoking by steering you away from people who may trigger you. If you know someone else who is quitting, you can support each other!
Come up with “slogans” to remind you why you’re quitting. Think about the benefits of being able to attend a party without having to leave to smoke. You can taste the food better. You can smell the candles better. You won’t have to step out of conversations. You can stay inside where it’s warm instead of sneaking a cigarette on the porch in the cold. It may help to write your ideas down and keep them handy to remind you. Think of them as mantras that will help you focus on your goal to quit.
If the situation becomes too much for you, find a new situation. You don’t have to leave the party, but if you find yourself having a conversation that makes you want to smoke, simply excuse yourself politely and head in another direction. Talk to your wing-person to distract you, have a non-alcoholic drink, or get some fresh air. Take a moment to breathe, regroup, and head back into the crowd with a clear head and an optimistic attitude.
The holidays are meant to celebrate, so this Monday, be prepared for any hazards and commit to your plan to quit!