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The 3 Best Ways To Keep Your Quit Through The Holiday Season


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The time of the year from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day is loaded with triggers to smoke. A successful quit depends on your ability to remain focused on your goal of a smoke-free life. This is no easy task, especially for the newly quit. The holiday distractions and being with people in places where you used to smoke can lure you back into old habits and lifestyle. Be prepared and get your game plan in place before the festivities begin.

Keep Your Stress Levels In Check

Holiday travel, traffic, shopping, finances, and family issues can pile on the stress and trigger strong cravings to smoke. Do your holiday shopping early and stay within your budget to prevent debt-incurred stress. Homemade gifts or planning a family draw for a gift exchange will keep the costs down but still express the sentiment. Plan your trips, give yourself plenty of time, and avoid travel during busy traffic hours. Exercise is one of the best stress reducers, so get moving daily to boost your mood, relieve tension and any urges to smoke.

Family members grow, move away, pass away, and sometimes hold grievances against one another. Try to be accepting and understanding. If you find yourself getting stressed at a holiday gathering, just step aside and take a breather by going for a walk and getting fresh air. Or simply take in a few deep breaths, hold, and slowly release.  Make sure you take some alone time if the holiday cooking, cleaning, and entertaining are getting to you. A hot relaxing bath or listening to soothing music may be all you need to quiet your mind, focus inward, and calm down.

Don't Overindulge In Food Or Drink

Food often seems to play the biggest role in holiday celebrations. Tables are laden with family members' favorite recipes. Expect the temptations to be looking you square in the eye and make the decision beforehand to enjoy in moderation. If you let yourself go hog wild, it may be easier to give in to other temptations or find yourself craving a cigarette to squelch the over-stuffed feeling in your stomach.

Stay away from or limit drinking alcohol. Your resolve not to smoke dissolves the more you drink, making it easier to slip back to smoking without thinking. Alcohol is a smoking trigger for many, so stick to juices, club soda with a splash of cranberry juice, apple cider or water with lemon. Have a plan in place on how you will navigate your way around the table and bar. Promise yourself a reward for getting through the holiday event smoke-free. By not overindulging in food and alcohol you will remain in control, able to make wise decisions and stay strong in your quit.

Seek Out Support

Going to gatherings or parties where others are smoking can be challenging when you are quitting. It's beneficial to let your friends and family know ahead of time you have quit smoking and ask for their support by not smoking around you. Keep your distance. Watching others smoke can trigger strong cravings to light up. Move away from smoking situations and socialize with nonsmokers.  Go outside for fresh air at times when there's no avoiding the smoke. If possible bring a nonsmoking friend or support buddy with you to the holiday event. There's no need to quit alone; with a Smartphone you can always find online quit smoking support in our QuitNet forums or chat rooms. Getting through the holiday season with your quit intact is absolutely do-able with careful planning and support!

Happy Holidays, and KTQ!


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I let myself down once again. I had set my quit date for 11\21\13, the National Smoke Out Day. I didn't see it through and I don't know what my trigger was. My daughter called me from TN and just had gotten engaged, but I was smoking before that. How smart would it be to stop around the holidays? Anybody??
Posted @ Thursday, November 28, 2013 7:07 PM by carwhisperer2
At least you are trying. i think no matter when you quit it is hard. Holiday or not. If you quit now think of the extra $ you will have for the holiday.
Posted @ Friday, November 29, 2013 1:03 PM by zema22
Haven't laid them down yet, again, but this has to be the day it happens.
Posted @ Friday, November 29, 2013 1:58 PM by catwhisperer2
I quit six year ago and started smoking again last year when things were a bit tough. I have set my new quit date at Nov 30th. I need help and support to be able to make it through this temptative holiday season..
Posted @ Sunday, November 30, 2014 2:03 AM by Vinno1
This the first day I'm quitting. I quit 2 months ago and smoke briefly and now I"m quitting again. I want to quit for good and nervous that I will go back. I know I have to be positive but that is so hard to do. I just hope I can make it through the Holidays. Merry Christmas everyone.
Posted @ Wednesday, December 17, 2014 8:17 PM by NJgirl62
How smart would it be to stop smoking around the holidays? I think the more important question is: how dumb would I be to have one more cigarette? I'm 6 was and 1 day in on my committed quit - I've chosen not to drink alcohol to aide my success. I made it through Thanksgiving - and so far, I've made it through today. You know what's worked for me? I've admitted to my higher power that I am powerless to cigarettes - every day I've prayed to be smoke free and each day that I have been successful, I give thanks ... I know I haven't done this alone ... and the grace and help extended to me have made THIS quit the easiest by far.
Posted @ Thursday, December 18, 2014 2:09 PM by Pat
i am approaching my 6 month quit date and wanted to share!!! i never thought this would be possible and i am so happy and feel so blessed that i held on because this was i hardest thing i ever did in my life. i smoked for 35 years!! i will always remember 2014. i wasn't sure i would make it through the holidays some challenages like most of my family still smokes but i did it for me!
Posted @ Wednesday, January 07, 2015 12:32 PM by nancy fickenscher
I quit smoking on September 1st last year and have not had a cigarette since. The trigger to quit was that my company announced that smokers would be charged an extra 50 dollars a month for insurance. Having said all that, I think quitting in fall is hardest - pretty soon, days get shorter and makes it more difficult to get out to exercise and affect people's moods,and there are a boatload of holidays to get through. When you quit smoking, you have to make lifestyle changes and I think there are more opportunities when you can get outside and exercise, work or play. 
Posted @ Monday, March 30, 2015 8:55 AM by KathyS
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