Tips for Avoiding Smoking During the Holidays
The holiday season is just around the corner. It can be a magical time to spend with your friends and family. But if you have recently stopped smoking, it can be a bit of a stressful time. The last thing you want to worry about is how to keep your mind off smoking and fighting those urges to smoke!
In this article, we will run through some tips to avoid smoking during the Holidays which could help deal with those withdrawal symptoms and to help keep you smoke free well into the new year!
REASONS WHY HOLIDAYS MAY CAUSE A SMOKING RELAPSE
The festive season can be full of great times with your family and your friends, with lots of work Christmas parties, crazy nights at the local pub with your mates and the feasting on Christmas day! But there are a lot of reasons why the holidays can cause a relapse for a reformed smoker.
Some of the top 5 reasons that may cause a smoking relapse during the holidays are:
Dealing with the In-Laws - for many of us, when we met our significant other, meeting their family and trying to maintain a level of civility at family gatherings could drive even the most strong-willed of us back to smoking! Whether it’s the crazy uncle who drives you mental or having a houseful of guests who eat you out of house and home, try to remember it only comes around once a year!
Balancing the Finances - the holidays are one of the most expensive times of the year! Putting on a traditional Christmas dinner for the family can cost a packet! Getting all of the presents on your kid’s Christmas lists may require you to remortgage the house! And getting the perfect outfit for the office party could max out that credit card. All of that extra spending can launch your cigarette cravings into overdrive! The Bank of England suggests that the average household spends 29% more during December compared to other months in the year!
Cocktails, Snowballs and Bubbles - much of the festive season can revolve around raising a cheer and knocking back more than usual amounts of the festive spirits! And drinking and smoking seem to go hand in hand! A study by DrinkAware found that 2/3 of people admit to overindulging during the holidays. So the endless rounds of Snowballs and champagne can have you reaching for a cigarette out of habit and may add a few extra pounds!
Falling Out Of Health Habits - whether you are a gym junkie, a spin head or a yoga guru, during the holidays, many of our good habits tend to go out the window. And when you stop doing the things that make you feel good like regular exercise or only eating healthy snacks, the holidays can get you out of those good habits you spent all year developing! This can open up the door for bad habits like overeating or smoking to rear their ugly heads again. And maybe you can justify that “having just one” or “it’s ok to buy a pack ‘cause it’s the holidays”, but a relapse during the holidays can be an issue.
Catching Up With Mates - as adults, we hope we have grown out of the years of peer pressure. But during the holidays when you catch up with mates you may not have seen in a while, it can spark old memories and reignite old habits. Many of us will find ourselves joining that friend who still smokes outside the pub and we may be tempted to accept the offer of a “cheeky” ciggie! But even just having that one “cheeky” puff can start you back on the smoking habit again!
TIPS TO AVOID SMOKING DURING THE HOLIDAYS
Here are some great tips to help you avoid starting to smoke again during the holidays.
Treating yourself - you work hard all year and it’s ok to let your hair down and treat yourself during the holidays. I mean - should Santa bring you some treats as well? You’ve been a good girl or boy all year long…. Why not treat yourself! Get yourself a new set of golf clubs or that pair of shoes you have been looking at for months. Sometimes getting yourself something nice can reconfirm what an amazing job you have been doing staying off the cigarettes!
Remind yourself of why you quit - if the urge to reach for a cigarette does arise, take a few deep breaths and remind yourself why you quit smoking in the first place. You have beat the nicotine withdrawal symptoms in the past and you don’t want to go through that again. Remember how much money you are saving by not smoking! Remember how good you feel! Pick 3 or 4 of these powerful little reminders and use those as your mantra during the holidays so you don’t smoke!
Avoiding triggers - this might be a hard one, but trying to avoid certain triggers that used to make you smoke in the past can help you stay smoke free during the holidays. Balancing the big binge drinking session by trying to drink water every other round or swapping out the take-away for a healthier home cooked meal might help you fight the evil urges to light up! We know it’s hard to do as we love having a few too many bevvies ourselves, but if you are going to partake in the holiday spirits or wine or beer, maybe having a nicotine replacement therapy product like patches, nicotine gum or an e-cigarette will give you a healthier safety net if the triggers get too much!
Switch to vaping - if you are smoking or have recently gone cold turkey, treating yourself to an e-cigarette or vape device could be a great way to stay off the cigarettes over Christmas. They are designed to mimic the sensation of smoking without the tar or 2nd-hand smoke or 4,000 chemicals that are found in traditional cigarettes. E-Cigarettes are now recognized by Public Health England as being “at least 95% less harmful” than normal cigarettes and are one of the most effective smoking cessation methods around. So if you are trying to stay smoke-free or looking to kick the habit for good, switching to vaping is one of the best ways to keep your hands busy and to fight the cravings!
Get help from friends and family - staying smoke free during the holidays can be easier if you enlist help and support from your friends and family. These are your peeps! They are the ones who give you support when you need it most. Tell them you are trying to quit or that you want to try an e-cigarette to help you quit. More than likely, your family will welcome the change and will help you to stay healthy and smoke free!
Don’t give up - quitting smoking is hard. We know, we’ve been there and done that a number of times. Staying off the cigarettes is a battle that you need to fight one day at a time. Using an e-cigarette can help you to break the habit of smoking as it has for millions of people around the world. If you find that you have fallen off the smoke-free wagon, don’t quit quitting!! Wake up the next day, bin the pack of ciggies and reach for your e-cigarette instead. You will thank yourself for it in the long run!
TIPS FOR AVOIDING SMOKING DURING THE HOLIDAYS CONCLUSION
So with the holidays just around the corner, quitting smoking or staying smoke free might be stressing you out. This article covered many of the reasons that we relapse during the festive season and outlined some great tips to help you stay off the cigges!
Enjoy the holidays and may Santa bring you all you wished for!