Practical Tricks That Helped Me Quit

woman practicing yoga in ocean
Jeremy Wilson/ Cultura Exclusive/Getty Images

From Jenny:

Today, I am so proud of having quit smoking for ONE YEAR. Yahoo baby!

Here are some techniques that I used to help me get through the tough days in the beginning and not-so-beginning of my quit.

In no particular order...

1.) I started a yoga class on the second day of cessation. I knew that by the time the class ended, I would be three months quit. For some reason, this motivation worked for me.

I knew that I could stick with it for three months while I was in the class. Then, after the class ended, I took another yoga class for another two months. By this time, I was five months quit. Yoga helped a lot!

2.) I carried an empty milk carton (one gallon) to keep filled with water. By drinking plenty of water, I continued to filter the nicotine out of my system. Also, by drinking so much, I spent a lot of time (every 15 minutes some days!) in the bathroom. It helped to break up my day, i.e. “I only have three more hours of work left or 12 more bathroom trips!” This really helped a lot on the days I was crawling out of my skin.

3.) I slept! Some nights (actually, many many nights), I got more than 12 hours of sleep per night. When I was too depressed or too freaked out by quitting that I couldn’t bear to stay awake, I just went to bed.

My son understood that I needed a lot of extra time for myself during the first part of my quit program. He was very patient with me. The house didn’t get cleaned and meals didn’t get cooked, but I did get a lot of sleep. In fact, this got me into the habit of getting as much sleep as I feel my body needs.

I still do that now. I have learned to let my body lead me.

4.) I started competitive running. I have run three 5K races since I quit smoking. Prior to that, I had never run, despite being pretty active and regular at my gym. Now, I am a passionate runner, trying to work on my time and hit my new goal of the CRIM 10 mile race in August 2007!

5.) Every month, on my planner, I highlighted my quit date (the 16th) in a BRIGHT, LOUD COLOR. I only highlighted ONE following month, knowing that I could make it at least one more month. This worked really well and around the 9th month, I stopped doing it because I knew I could make it another month.

6.) I visited the forum regularly. I still do the morning pledge every day. This reinforces my quit for me. My quit bro, Kevin, and quit sis, Patty, have been here since the start. We did it! We did it!

7.) I prepare for difficult situations beforehand (i.e. holidays, family gatherings, situations with alcohol, etc.).

This allows me to stay in control if triggers to smoke come up.

8.) Orbit sugarless gum. I chew a lot of gum!

9.) My quit meter. It’s still loaded on my computer. I love to see my own progress and brag to myself about how far I’ve come. I remember when one month sounded impossible. Now, one year is my reality.

10.) I kept the names of some forum members in my wallet, who – one night while I was feeling really down in my quit – came to my rescue. They are: Mama Sue, Ree, Luisa, & Dave. Well, these are the folks who responded the quickest and brought me back to myself. Thank you. Your names are still in my wallet:)

I am so proud!

One year, 9 hours, 39 minutes and 45 seconds. 9135 cigarettes not smoked, saving $2,443.63. Life saved: 4 weeks, 3 days, 17 hours, 15 minutes.

~Jenny, smoke-free & beautiful~

Continue Reading