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Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
December 5, 2011
Dealing with Holiday Stress
It’s the holiday season and for many of us, that can mean added stress. There’s the financial stress of gift-giving, the schedule stress of extra social activities, and there’s the stress we often place on ourselves to make sure that the holidays will live up to our expectations.
When you’re in the process of quitting, all that stress can easily trigger a craving for a cigarette. If you feel a craving, remember your reasons for quitting and don’t be afraid to call your buddy. You can also take advantage of the American Lung Association’s Lung HelpLine. It’s available free of charge and open daily from 8 a.m. until midnight, Eastern Time. Registered nurses, respiratory therapists and smoking cessation counselors are available to answer your questions and they can even talk you through a particularly bad craving. Call 1-800-LUNG USA (586-4872) for support.
Throughout the holidays, keep moving in the direction of your new smokefree life. Take the time for yourself to reaffirm your commitment to being smokefree for good. As you work through FFS Online in the next couple of weeks, remember the 4 D’s whenever you feel an urge to smoke.
Here are ten ways to cope with a slip:
- Delay. Don't give in to your urges. Focus on your reasons for quitting and ask for support from your buddies. A craving to smoke will pass in 3–5 minutes, whether you smoke or not.
- Deep breathe. Download the Relaxation Exercise and listen to them, especially at times when you need to slow down and take a break.
- Drink water—lots of it! Most of us don’t get enough fluids and drinking eight 8-oz. glasses of water a day is recommended.
- Do something else. A change of activity will get you through an urge to smoke. Get up, take a walk, wash your hands or call a friend.
If you have already quit smoking, you know how valuable the FFS Online program can be. How about treating your family member or friend to a membership this holiday season? Helping someone else quit smoking is definitely the gift that keeps giving. Give the gift of a smokefree life!
I’ll see you on the Message Boards! :-) Mary Ella
Don’t forget: If you're in the Premium program and want help fast on the Message Boards, put "HELP NOW" in the subject line of your post. If you're looking to offer help, watch for those, "HELP NOW" posts and alert your other FFS Online buddies to offer some assistance as well.