Think about the time you spend smoking. You might only use up a few minutes for each cigarette you smoke, but what does that add up to over a week, a year, a lifetime?
When you quit a lot of that time will be free. The last thing you want to do is spend it thinking about smoking. That’s why it makes sense to think of fun and useful activities to replace the time you would have spent smoking. Then, whenever you find yourself with free time, instead of obsessing about cigarettes you’ll always have a long list of better things to do. Here are some ideas
ExercisingWhen you quit smoking you’ll start reaping the rewards of better health. What better way of enjoying the new you than joining a gym or trying a new sport? Getting better at sport or exercise will be a strong incentive for staying smoke-free. It will also give you something positive to do when temptation strikes.
Using your spare timeIf you’re like most people, you always have a long list of things you’ve been meaning to do but haven’t quite got around to. Now that you have the time you aren’t spending buying and smoking cigarettes, you can start tackling that list. Try making an actual list and keeping it with you. When you feel the desire to smoke, look at your list, pick an item and deal with it there and then.
Do things differentlyQuitting smoking is a big change in your life. Let it inspire you to make other changes. You might find a few small changes to your surroundings – rearranging your personal work area or the furniture in your home – helps you adjust to a life without cigarettes. You can get the same benefit from changing your routine. If you walk or cycle, try taking different routes. Take your breaks at different times of the day. Try eating in different places and trying foods you wouldn’t normally eat.
Deep BreathingDeep breathing can help you relax when temptation hits. Sit upright with your feet flat on the floor and your arms and hands in a relaxed position. Breathe in deeply through your nose as you count to five. Now breathe out through your mouth as you count to five. Continue to breathe like this for one minute. Use this exercise whenever you feel the need to smoke.
MeditationIf you find that deep breathing works well for you, why not take it one step further and try meditation? Meditation isn’t difficult to learn and a lot of people find it really helps them to make sense of life. The great thing about meditation is that you can do it anywhere: on a bus or train, seated at your desk at work, or at home.
Spending your savingsHere’s a really fun and satisfying thing to do instead of smoking: planning how to spend the money you have saved. It could be small things, such as a CD you want or going out to the cinema with a friend, or a bigger thing – a dream holiday or something for your home. If you keep track of how much you have saved by not buying cigarettes, seeing your savings get ever closer to your goal is a good incentive to stay smoke-free.