Returning Member Login
Mary Ella’s Weekly Message
July 9, 2010
Humans are creatures of habit. We have our little routines, such as having our cup of coffee while reading the paper in the morning, checking e-mail when first arriving at work, parking in the same spot, or sitting in the same seat at weekly meetings. Smoking probably started out for you as an experiment and then became an addiction and part of your routine. Participants often tell me the hardest part of quitting isn’t the physical addiction to nicotine, but letting go of the familiarity of having a cigarette with certain activities, such as talking on the phone or driving—those things that become routine.
Routines provide us with a source of comfort and security. But changing routines can also be fun. One fun way to take a break from our daily routine is to take a day trip or go on vacation. You may enjoy getting away for a day to visit local sites, or perhaps you go to an annual family reunion. Maybe you like the relaxation of going to the beach, or camping in the mountains, or the excitement of visiting a big city. Changing our routine and daily pace of life can recharge our batteries. But sometimes vacation can be stressful.
If you’re going away for the day, a week or even longer, make a plan to help you stay smokefree. Think of situations that may become temptations to smoke and decide, ahead of time, what healthy alternatives you can choose instead. Make a plan for coping with stressful situations. Stress can cause you to slip. Are you driving somewhere for that day trip? Make sure you have your directions printed out and all the maps you need. Does that family reunion include coping with a relative you don’t get along with very well? Build some “alone time” into your schedule and make sure that time doesn’t include a cigarette. What will you do if your plans are interrupted and you find yourself frustrated by that? If you’re flying, pack your carry-on with things to keep you occupied in case of delays.
Many of us will be taking time off from work for a “stay-cation.” What will you do if you find yourself with some extra time, feeling a bit bored on your stay-cation? Maybe you planned to do some yard work and the weather isn’t cooperating, or your major house cleaning is finished ahead of schedule. Make a plan to have little projects ready that can keep you busy if you have extra time on your hands.
Whatever you do, keep your reasons to quit with you. Read them often and remember why you are working so hard to stay smokefree.
I’d love to read about your stay-cation or vacation plans and how you plan to stay smokefree on the Message Boards. Remember, whether or not you go away this summer, there are healthy, good ways to cope with stress. Here are 52 Proven Stress Reducers.
Below is my Top Ten list:
- Take deep breaths
- Listen to a relaxation exercise
- Take a walk
- Count to 10, 20 or beyond
- Take a nap
- Talk to your buddy
- Toss a ball around with neighborhood kids
- Focus on words such as, calm, serenity, peace, quiet, stillness…
- Call the Lung HelpLine at 1-800-548-8252 and talk with an expert
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 friends to offer some assistance as well.