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Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
April 1, 2013
If you have recently joined the Freedom From Smoking® Online program, or just recently quit smoking, you probably still feel “new” to the smokefree lifestyle. It may take a while before you’ll think of yourself as a nonsmoker. It’s sort of like the changing of the seasons. Spring has sprung in many parts of the country, but that doesn’t mean that everything blooms at once. First, the crocus flowers come up, then the daffodils, and then the trees bloom. It doesn’t happen overnight – and it doesn’t happen just because the calendar says it’s spring. Becoming a nonsmoker and fully integrating a smokefree lifestyle also takes time, especially if you’ve tried to quit before.
Give yourself time to get used to the smokefree lifestyle. Just as you associated old behaviors with smoking (what are referred to as triggers in FFS Online) it will take time to develop new behaviors. You probably feel as though you have time on your hands that you didn’t have before. Instead of taking a break to do you-know-what, you’re now doing something else. What is that something else? Knowing how to fill that spare time with other activities to keep you from going back to old behaviors is an important part of remaining smokefree. Maybe there’s an old hobby that you might want to start up again. Maybe you want to try something new, now that you find you have the time to try.
You may also be feeling as though you have an extra hand. What once held something burning is now free. How are you keeping your hands busy? Do you have a puzzle, crossword, or a favorite app on your mobile device that you like to work on when you have free time? Is it always handy?
You will know when your personal season has changed and you feel like a nonsmoker. Some of the signs of this change: Urges will become less frequent and less intense, you’ll find yourself enjoying being smokefree and you may even find yourself feeling sorry for smokers. When you recognize yourself as a nonsmoker, be sure to celebrate your new lifestyle and reward yourself for moving through that season!
As you work on your plan either to become smokefree or to stay smokefree this week, do these things:
- Think about hobbies you used to enjoy, or those you’d like to begin. As you save money that used to buy tobacco, use that to buy supplies for your hobby.
- Keep your hands busy! Find a new puzzle to work on, or a new game to keep your hands and your mind occupied.
- Reflect on the benefits of quitting.
- Celebrate the victories, big and small.
- Get outside and get moving—ride a bike, roller blade, walk or play catch.
- Allow yourself to go to bed 15 minutes early every night for a week.
- Give and receive support on the Message Boards.
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.