Replacement Therapy for Smoking Cessation

Things You Can Do Instead of Smoking

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A member of our smoking cessation support forum, Leslie wrote this during the first months of smoking cessation. She shared plenty of useful tips that might help you manage the discomforts of nicotine withdrawal and beyond.  

Thanks for sharing, Leslie.

From Leslie:

When I think about it - it took me approximately 7- 10 minutes to smoke a "sickorette", depending on whether I was in a rush or lounging at home writing in my journal. I smoked about a pack a day and was getting to the point of smoking more. There were 25 cigarettes in a pack. Times that by 30 and that's 300 minutes, or about 5 hours a day, spent doing nothing but smoking.

So let's give some leeway and say you don't smoke as much as I did, we'll even give more time and round it down to 3.5 hours a day - or 3 hours a day! Spent feeding nicotine addiction. Oh, what we could do with that precious, precious time. Not to mention the incredible life force and energy the poison sucks out of us.

So what does one do when one quits? For some, it's discovering new hobbies and interests. Knitting, running. For others, it's cycling and getting fit at the gym.

For me, unfortunately, it's been food! But that is definitely changing. I did start to crochet earlier on, but never really could stick to it. When we were kids, we always found time to play, time to explore, time to create. We never thought about smoking or missing a crutch.

Perhaps this is like a second childhood in a way, an opportunity to re-discover new things, pour our energies into something we want to build, make or explore.

Here's a list of 101 things to do instead of smoke. It's an excellent list, and I've copied some of my favorites below. 

  • Do a jigsaw puzzle, or work with clay.
  • Go for a run or a swim, or even the best exercise of all...go for a walk.
  • Write a poem, a short story, a love letter.
  • Go outside and take pictures of your favorite park, building, or statue.
  • Take an exotic cooking class.
  • Learn a new language.
  • Organize your boxes of pictures, create memorable and interesting captions for them.
  • Visit the SPCA and adopt a pet, or go get a fish - aquariums are loads of fun.
  • Go to a Karaoke place and sing, sing, sing!

If you're about to quit smoking, start researching things you've always wanted to do (I really want a karaoke machine - now that I can hit those notes again, I used to love to sing!), and if you've already quit, keep exploring. There's a whole huge healthy world out there with tons to do and learn, and now you've got the money to do it, and the most precious commodity of all, time.

Find something you love. Make a list of your interests; it can even be things you wanted to do when you were a child. Anything goes, just rediscover what it was that brought you happiness and find ways to implement it into your life. Take the time you have and spend it on yourself.

It's your gift to you!

Leslie is right - smoking cessation is not only good for your health, it's good for your spirit too.  With the right mindset, you can succeed at booting the butts out of your life and building a new set of interests that will sustain and enrich your life.

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