The path to a successful quit is not carved in stone. What works for one person may not be effective for you. To succeed, you need to get involved in the quit process, and your life! Put effort into discovering what inspires you, entertains you, rewards you, and matters to you. Be willing to try lots of different things until you find things that work for you.
Healthy lifestyle choices can help anyone feel better. Feeling better means less cravings and stress, as well as more motivation to keep your quit going strong. Here are some ways to incorporate healthier habits into your daily routine:
- Eat Smart
- Put half the serving sizes on your plate compared to normal. If you are still hungry, add second servings of protein and vegetables.
- Use smaller plates and bowls.
- Do not put serving dishes on the table. Keep extra food on the stove,counter or in refrigerator.
- Cut out one fat (ex: butter, ranch dressing, bacon) and one sugar (candy bar, jam, donut, soda, cookie) that you would normally have eaten today.
- Eat 2 extra servings of fresh fruits or vegetables today.
- Today, drink one large glass of water more than you usually do.
- Say 'no' to a snack food today, and eat something healthy & low cal instead.
- Replace a food you normally eat with a lower fat or lower sugar version.
- Get Moving
- Stretch your body before getting out of bed today.
- Go for a brisk 15 minute walk after lunch, work break, dinner.
- Park far enough away to get a good walk to and from your car.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Take your dog or family out for a walk instead of watching TV.
- Join a gym, fitness center, studio or group that interests you (bike/ski/swim/walk/dance/skate/mall walking/bowling); pick something new and give it a try!
- Buddy up. Exercise is more likely to occur when you have someone to go with you, encourage you, and count on you.
- You don't have to run a marathon! Simply strive to get moving on more days of the week than you do now, and you will enjoy a more active lifestyle!
- Have Fun
- Enjoy something every day! Pick what you plan to enjoy today!
- Wear your favorite shirt or outfit.
- Break out the 'good' whatever- cologne, perfume, candles, dishes, blanket, sheets, towels. Enjoy!
- Stop by your favorite market, cafe or coffee shop.
- Do something 'just for you' today.
- Take time for a friend or loved one. You can go to lunch, the movies, meet for coffee, sit on a park bench, walk the beach or neighborhood, go window shopping, or have an uninterrupted phone call.
- Make a new ritual. Friday night pizza, Tuesday lunch at the park, Saturday morning at the coffee shop; having something to look forward to that you enjoy adds fun to your week.
- Read a good book, rent a movie, take a long bath, journal, sing, dance, ride, play music; do something you enjoy doing every single day!
- Rest Up
- Go to bed close to the same time every night. This helps you fall asleep easier.
- Aim for the amount of sleep you function best on. Some people feel great on 7 hours, others need 9. If you need more sleep than you are getting now, commit to going to bed a half hour earlier tonight.
- Keep your sleeping room dark, cool and quiet.
- Turn off the television, computer, phone and other electronics when you go to bed.
- Get up at the same time in the morning, even on weekends. Sleeping in an hour is fine, but sleeping until noon on Sunday followed by a 5:00am alarm on Monday is a sure way to feel tried. Feeling tired adds to stress, mood swings, and cravings for both cigarettes and food.
- Avoid exercise a few hours before bed. Exercise revs up your metabolism, making it harder to fall asleep.
- Avoid a large meal before bed. It is harder to digest food when lying down, and acid reflux, heartburn and overall discomfort can keep you awake and is unhealthy.
- Add one new thing to your before bed routine that helps you relax. You could get things ready for the next day to help quiet your mind, read a book for a half hour, drink herbal tea or perhaps write in a journal.
Which of the above lifestyle changes are you willing to commit to? Select several items that appeal to you, and get started on them today. Taking just a few new actions daily can make a huge difference in your overall health, without feeling overwhelming. A healthy and smoke-free lifestyle is within your reach. Just take a few steps a day, and you will succeed!
Keep going, and KTQ :)
Master Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist