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Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
September 3, 2010
Labor Day traditionally marks the end of summer. It also marks a time of year when we become more focused on work or school. Our routines change from having more leisure time to being more scheduled and the coming months will bring cooler weather. What effect does this holiday have on your work to become or stay smokefree?
You may be facing one last “hurrah” by attending a party or family gathering over the long weekend. How will you react if faced with a strong urge to smoke? The best way to cope with such a situation is to plan for it. Think of possible scenarios that may come up for you and plan for at least three ways you will face that temptation and come through it, smokefree. Remember the labor it has taken you to get to this point in the program. You have worked so hard to gain your freedom—nothing is worth jeopardizing that and relapsing.
Does Labor Day find you coping with additional stress? Perhaps you are tapped out of spending money for school clothes and supplies, or maybe you know that a busy season is coming up at work. Focus on what you have achieved in your new-found freedom. Don’t trade your freedom from smoking as a way to cope with a stressful situation. Find a healthier way to cope with stress. The same things that helped you become smokefree will also help you cope with stress. Get more physical activity, get some extra rest, practice your relaxation exercises and eat healthy foods. Talk about your feelings with a buddy, or blog about them in the FFS Online community. Reach out to someone with help on the Message Boards.
How are you planning to keep your level of physical activity raised with the cooler temperatures on the way? If you generally get your exercise outside, what can you do inside when the weather is bad? If you walk to increase your activity and it’s raining outside, you might want to try walking inside your local mall, early before the stores open up, or climbing stairs. Did you know that climbing stairs for 15 minutes is equal to jogging one mile? Many Lung Associations across the country are gearing up for fall events, including stair climbs. To find out if a climb event is happening in your area, put your zip code in the space provided on our website’s home page. You’ll be directed to your local office. Or you can call 1-800-LUNG USA and press option 1.
Make Labor Day a holiday that celebrates the labor of love that you have given to yourself and your loved ones by becoming and staying smokefree. You have worked really hard to get to this point and done the best possible thing you can to protect your health. Reflect on how good that feels and reward yourself! Let me know what reward you are planning on the Message Boards.
Take some time this Labor Day and do the following:
- Make a plan for any parties or gatherings you may attend this weekend by thinking of at least three things you’ll do if tempted to smoke.
- Practice the relaxation exercises at least 4 times this week.
- Think of at least 2 alternative ways you can increase your physical activity indoors when the weather is stormy or too cold outside.
- Reward yourself for the labor you have done to become smokefree.
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.