Quitting smoking is no easy feat, and stress is often one of the biggest obstacles people face after they quit. For many, smoking was a primary way to handle stress, so finding healthy alternative coping strategies is key to remaining smoke-free.
How Quitting Affects You
After you quit, your body goes through physical withdrawal symptoms that can be difficult to cope with. Add that to everyday stresses and take away your primary stress reliever, and it’s no wonder quitting can
be so difficult.
Healthy Coping Strategies
There are many ways to deal with stress without smoking. In fact, you will likely find that some strategies are much more effective than smoking.
Take care of yourself. Eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of water will help flush the toxins from smoking out of your system. If you don’t already, take a daily multivitamin.
Limit caffeine. After you quit, caffeine may make you feel jittery and anxious, or make sleeping at night difficult. Reduce your intake for now, though you can likely reintroduce it into your diet later.
Get some exercise. Physical activity can be a great stress reducer by helping relieve tense muscles and improving your mood.
Get enough sleep. Quitting smoking can feel exhausting, both for your body and mind. Get enough sleep to help yourself recover and soon your energy will return.
Relax. Find time in your day to do something relaxing. This could be reading, listening to soothing music, getting a massage, yoga, walking the dog, meditation or taking a warm bath.
Take deep breaths. If you find yourself stressed or edgy at any point, engage in slow, deep breathing for a few minutes. It can help you clear your mind and relieve tension in your body.
Reach out to someone. This is a tough time, and you shouldn’t have to endure it alone. Talk about how you’re feeling with family, friends, a counselor or support group.
Take it one day at a time. Focus on being smoke-free today. Don’t overwhelm yourself by focusing on tomorrow or next week or next year. If you’re having a bad day, find a way besides smoking to pamper or treat yourself, or engage in one of the above activities.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. For further information, please consult a medical professional.