I am a stress smoker.  And that makes quitting very, very hard.  I’ve tried every tactic out there aside from the expensive patches or gum.  Every time I start thinking about all the reasons to quit smoking, I feel guilty and stress out and want a cigarette more than ever.  Then next thing I know, I’ve given into it and failed and feel even more guilty and stressed and

So, I’m changing tactics.

My new approach is to take the focus off of quitting smoking and shift it to getting healthier.  And just like ridding oneself of any bad habit, there are steps.  I’ve already admitted I have a problem, so it’s time I moved onto the rest of the steps.

Setting a deadline.

I’ll be setting a quitting deadline.  That will be the date that if I haven’t done yet, I will be tobacco free by that date.  If I quit entirely ahead of schedule, great, if not, then that will be the day I go cold turkey.  It will be a date months in the future.  It gives me time to get into an exercise routine and develop some new habits or hobbies.

Keeping score.

Each time, I resist a craving for a smoke, I’ll mark it down in a tiny notebook, I’ll be keeping with me at all times.  As a gamer, I like to think of it as going for the high score in a video game.  Every time I give into a craving, I’d take away five points.  Just like in a video game, there are level-ups with each milestone meaning that I give myself a little treat or get/make something for myself that I needed for a hobby or just something to make me feel good to have.  I’ll also be blogging my progress to keep myself accountable.  That’s just the right level of pressure for me to not so much stress about it, but to remind myself that what I do does mean affect those around me.  And even though my family is so understanding and don’t ever try to force me or shame me, I know they want me to quit once and for all.  And blogging this will help me not to turn them into enablers.  If that makes any sense.  If not, that’s okay because it makes sense to me and I know how my mind works.  I’ll get more into journaling later.   Moving on…

Exercise

I’m getting back into my yoga practice again and that in and of itself takes a good bit of self discipline by itself.  This will help me with stress and give me double points if I choose yoga over a cigarette during a really bad craving.  Not only does it put me on the right path toward becoming a yoga instructor/fitness guru but it will also put me on he path to becoming the happy, peaceful person I want to be again.

Arts and Crafts

As I’ve mentioned before, I have an Etsy shop with nothing on its digital shelves.  Choosing to draw, sew and create things that I could sell online or just for fun will be a lot more stress relieving in the long run than any cigarette could ever do.  Plus, it also give me double point during really be cravings as well.  Pretty much anything healthy and/or productive gives me double points when chosen in those high-risk moments.  Plus, it’ll make me happier to create beautiful things and the added possibility of making money doesn’t hurt either.

Singing

I love to sing.  And there are times I just get into singing moods where I just want to sing one song after another until my voice gives out.  It has the same effect on my stress levels as satisfying a cigarette with the added benefit of giving my lungs and vocal chords a good workout.

Primping

Doing my nails and hair and exfoliating in the shower really make me feel clean and healthy and happy.  Especially when I brush and floss and finish off with mouthwash.  Makes me feel so clean and fresh.  I like trying to keep that minty flavor in my mouth for as long as possible.  So, smoking a cigarette is the very. last. thing I want to do after I’ve put in all that work.  Then there’s the feeling I get when I’m nice and clean and my skin feels and smells amazing.  When I smoke a cigarette, it completely erases that feeling.  So, I tend to end up waiting for hours after a shower or facial or what have you to smoke.  So, I think doing things like this more often will help me to fight cravings.  Double points, baby!

Alright, I think this turned out to be a list describing my plan of attack more than steps.  Either which way, I’ll be blogging my entire journey.  And I really hope that if any of my readers are smokers who would like to quit that you join me on your journey to freedom and comment and tell me about how you’re doing.  Or even if any of you know someone who smokes and wants to quit, send them my way.  Let them know they’re not alone and there is support out there.  Tobacco is a legitimate addiction same as any street drug out there or even alcohol.  Some of us seriously need help because we genuinely want to quit but struggle with it because it’s not like there’s any rehab clinics out there for tobacco use.  But I’m here to tell you all that you’re not alone and you can do this.

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