October marks the start of Stoptober, a nation campaign designed to encourage people to quit smoking for good. Giving up smoking can be a long, difficult process, but the benefits you’ll enjoy as a result are more than worthwhile. Smoking has a huge negative impact on almost every organ in the body and besides saving you a lot of money, giving up will also reduce your risk of a whole host of serious illnesses. If you’re quitting as part of the Stoptober challenge, here are eight top tips to help you make the journey a little bit easier:
- Be positive
If you believe you’re going to do well right from the beginning, you’re more likely to succeed. Be confident and really believe that you’re going to quit, even when you feel like you’re struggling.
- Change your routine
When you smoke, smoking becomes a part of your daily schedule and this can be difficult to break. Try to alter this early on into the challenge to help you get out of old habits and curb the cravings. If you usually go out for a cigarette break at work, for example, find an alternative way to occupy your break, such as getting a coffee with a colleague or going for a short walk.
- Avoid other smokers
This can be difficult if a lot of your friends smoke, but during the initial stages of quitting, try to keep away from people you know who smoke. Once you’ve got used to not smoking, you’ll start to feel okay about people smoking around you.
- See your GP for advice
There is plenty of support available for smokers looking to quit. You can get advice and information about quitting aids and support groups from your GP or even your dentist.
- Keep a record of how much money you save
Every time you would normally buy a packet of cigarettes, put that money into a jar and count it up at the end of each month. With this money you could treat yourself to something new, go for a night out with friends or start saving for a holiday or new car. You’ll be surprised how much you save in even a short space of time!
- Share your quitting experience with others
Studies show that smokers are more likely to give up for good if they try to quit with other people. If you’re interested in joining a local group, search online or ask your GP for more details. Try and encourage friends who smoke to stop as well, it’ll make it easier than going it alone.
Studies show that exercise can help to keep cravings at bay and focus your mind on something else. Exercise is also a great way to deal with stress, which is a major trigger for many smokers. If you’re not a huge gym fan, there are plenty of ways to keep fit and active. These include:
- Dance class
You could even get into the great outdoors to row, climb or cycle. All of these options and more will get your pulse racing.
- Make a list
If you’re trying to quit, it’s a good idea to write down all the reasons why you’re doing it. Keep it with you at all times and if you feel tempted to light up, get out the list and have a read through. This will remind you why you started and give you pause before lighting a cigarette. Your reasons will be personal to you, but popular reasons include quitting for better health, to save money and for the sake of children or other family members.