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Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
February 14, 2011
Freedom From Smoking Online Anniversary
Happy Valentine’s Day! Isn’t it great to know that this Valentine’s Day you’re doing the best possible thing you can do to protect your health and that of your sweetheart? On this day that we celebrate love, you are demonstrating love for yourself and for those close to you by making the commitment to become or to stay smokefree. That is something to celebrate.
Something else to celebrate today is the anniversary of Freedom From Smoking Online. It was on this day, ten years ago, that we first launched FFS Online as an independent site on the Web. Since that Valentine’s Day in 2001, hundreds of thousands of people have found the website and participated in the program. Participants have come from all 50 states and at least 37 other countries outside of the U.S. Today, the American Lung Association honors all those who have walked this path, diligently read the lessons in each Module, posted to the Message Boards., responded to fellow participants with help and encouragement, and worked so hard to find and keep their freedom. Thank you for making FFS Online so successful for all who enter the program!
This year we have seen a winter like we haven’t seen in a long time. If you are coping with cabin fever because of the snow, or you tend toward depression in the middle of the winter, be sure to talk to a health care professional about it. One of the most common recovery symptoms from quitting smoking is depression. That coupled with other circumstances this winter may make you feel like you’re spiraling downward. If you’re feeling “flat” or sad, if you have no energy or you find yourself putting one foot in front of the other with no joy in your life, you may be depressed. Review the Grief Cycle lesson in Module 5. Get some help. Post your feelings on the Message Boards. Find out if you are a good candidate for one of the FDA-approved quit-smoking medications. or something else. You can call our Lung HelpLine to talk with a registered nurse or respiratory therapist to find out more information. This service is free of charge, and available Monday–Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m., Eastern Time: 1-800-LUNG USA (586-4872).
Besides medication, physical activity helps with depression. You may feel like you have no energy at all, but getting yourself moving will actually help you with that. Think about what you used to do when you were a child to get moving. Perhaps you used to enjoy playing basketball, or swimming, riding a bicycle or skating. When was the last time you did something fun to get your heart pumping? Working in just 30 minutes per day, even in 10 minute increments, will help. Review the first two lessons in Module 7 for some good strategies to increase your physical activity.
This week, I remind and encourage you to follow the three “rules” of the program:
- Read all of the lessons in all of the Modules—even after your Quit Day. Don’t cheat yourself by only participating in the Message Boards. There’s more good information for you in those later Modules to keep you on track.
- Try every activity that is suggested in the program.
- Give and receive support on the Message Boards.
Now exercise your lungs and sing “Happy Birthday” to FFS Online!
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.