By QuitNet team member Corrie Mook
When you’re getting ready to quit smoking, there are many ways to prepare. Most will advise that you get rid of your unsmoked cigarettes, ashtrays, matches, and lighters. Switching up your daily routines – like having your breakfast in a different spot if you smoked with your morning coffee – can help, too. When the cravings strike, however, many people on QuitNet will advise you to hang on and pull out your Quit Kit.
What’s in a Quit Kit?
A Quit Kit is an emergency stash of crave-busters that you put together in advance, ready to open in a time of need. Many people build their Quit Kits to address the “5 D’s” of working through a crave: delay, distract, drink water, deep breaths, and discuss. Thinking about your patterns of smoking and how you typically cope with stress may help you as you gather your supplies.
Hard candies, licorice, and gum are common favorites in a Quit Kit, as well as pictures of family and friends who are helping you stay motivated. The oral fixation from smoking a cigarette can be curbed with sunflower seeds, toothpicks, or cinnamon sticks. Keeping your hands busy with a project, like knitting, crocheting, or coloring, has helped many– and is a visual reminder of how far you’ve progressed as the days and weeks add up.
If distraction is the best way to keep your mind off a craving, there are many options. You can play a game on your phone, text a friend, or jump into the QuitNet feed and give your post a “Craving” tag. Sudoku puzzles, crosswords, or a good book can be an enjoyable way to occupy your thoughts instead of thinking about smoking, too.
Others instead choose to embrace the feeling and relax their way through. Perhaps a guide for some deep breathing exercises and a special box of tea or blanket can invite calm and rest until the craving passes. It may be helpful to write up list of reasons why you’re quitting, too, or a letter to yourself explaining how you feel when you smoke and why you want to quit. QuitNet members have even drafted contracts with themselves and included it in their Quit Kit for accountability!
Your strategy for overcoming cravings is unique to you, but there are many tricks that have helped others successfully quit tobacco. You can make one Quit Kit and keep it at your side, or make several kits to store at home, in your car, and at your workplace. Quitting smoking may not be easy, but with commitment, support, and good preparation, it can be done.