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Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
December 17, 2010
For many people the holidays are a time of joyful gatherings of family and friends. For others, the holidays can be one of the more stressful times of the year. As a friend recently remarked to me, “The family feud has begun—it must be the holidays!” Although this comment was made tongue in cheek, it rings true for some of us.
You may be facing the holidays without a loved one for the first time; you may be dreading a visit to the in-laws or seeing an obnoxious family member. Maybe you’re looking forward to seeing an old friend, but it’s someone that you used to smoke with. Whatever the situation you find yourself in this year, what’s your plan to get through the holidays smokefree?
Without a plan, you leave yourself vulnerable to a slip, and relapse always begins with the first slip. No matter how long you may have been smokefree, a planplan will help you to stay that way now. No matter how busy you are, it’s important to take a few minutes to make your plan—it could help you in a moment of weakness, and those few minutes could turn out to be the best way you spend your time!
Make another contract with yourself to stay smokefree through the holidays. Ask your buddy to sign it. Make your time frame for the contract a relatively short one, such as a few days. You can always print out more contracts to extend the dates for as long as you need the reinforcement. Each time you make it successfully through the contract period, give yourself the gift of a reward.
Speaking of gifts, the best gift of all is good health. You’re giving yourself that gift by staying smokefree. Remind yourself of the benefits of quitting. The benefits begin very soon after you first become smokefree.
Think about these gifts that you’re giving yourself:
- That extra jingle in your pocket—the money you’re saving by being smokefree—can be spent on something else.
- Time—there’s no more scrambling to get to the store to buy you-know-what when the supply runs out.
- You now have both of your hands to help you with holiday tasks, instead of one that did all the work and the other that had something burning in it.
- You no longer smell like an ashtray!
- You have freedom to go anywhere without worrying about whether or not the area is smokefree.
You may consider giving the gift of a Freedom From Smoking Premium membership to a friend or family member. If this program has helped you, it could help someone you love.
All of us at the American Lung Association wish you a happy, healthy holiday!
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.