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Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
July 23, 2012
Summer is the time that many folks head out for a little vacation. Perhaps you have a plan for going to the beach, camping in a state park or just taking a few days off to relax and tackle some projects around the house. Whatever you do to take a break, be sure that making a plan to stay smokefree is part of your vacation preparation.
Changing the routine and daily pace of life can recharge our batteries. It gets us out of the daily grind and into a place of few or no responsibilities. It can be relaxing but at the same time, it can be stressful. For example, when you completed the Pack Track activity in Module 2, you may have discovered that you smoked the most when you were bored. Your vacation plan will then need to include what you will do if you find yourself feeling bored in a different setting or out of your daily routine. If the book you chose to read while on vacation turns out to be too dull to finish, what will you do to prevent boredom? The Pack Tracks activity also could have shown that you smoked the most when you were happy. What will you do on vacation if you're having a great time with friends or family and suddenly feel tempted? Maybe you'll see some friends or relatives who used to smoke with you. What will you say when they approach you? Having a plan is half the battle—it gives you tools that you can use if you find yourself in a weak moment. Don't let these situations turn into excuses to slip back and smoke.
Some questions to consider in making your smokefree vacation plan:
- Are you driving somewhere? Do you have directions printed out? A map? A GPS that is up to date?
- Does that family reunion include coping with the irritations of "Uncle Bob"? Are you traveling with some less-than-entertaining family members or friends? If so, what "alone time" do you have planned for yourself?
- What will you do if your plans are interrupted and you find yourself frustrated?
- If you're flying somewhere, do you have plenty of ways to keep yourself occupied in case of delays? Do you know what you'll do if your luggage is lost or you forget to pack something?
- If the weather isn't cooperating with the yard work you'd planned or you finish your housecleaning ahead of schedule, what will you do with your free time?
Making a plan now will help you get through temptation later. You can have a great vacation and remain committed to your new smokefree life.
- Delay. The urge will pass, whether you smoke or not.
- Deep breathe. Listen to a relaxation exercise.
- Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated, especially if you live in a part of the country that is undergoing a heat wave (eight, 8-oz. glasses a day).
- Do something else—get up and actually do something to distract yourself.
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.