If you look back on your greatest achievements, support from key people was likely an important factor in your success. Quitting smoking is no different. Overcoming the addiction to cigarettes can be challenging: tobacco addiction is a three-link chain of physical, social and mental components. Having a support squad can be an important factor in your ability to quit smoking.
You may be wondering: what does this support look like? Here is a quick guide to the points along your quit journey where support may be helpful.
Before you quit
- Talk to your healthcare provider. If you haven’t already, this is a good time to enlist the help of a healthcare provider in creating a quit plan. Support from a healthcare provider, which includes counseling and medication, can double your chances of successfully quitting.
- Tell your family and friends. Many former smokers say support from family and friends was important during their quit attempt. When you’re getting ready to quit, start letting family and friends know so they can be ready to support you. Surround yourself with people you trust, those you feel comfortable being open with who won’t judge or criticize you. This could be a spouse, an old college buddy who quit smoking, a friend or a co-worker. Think about the people in your life who are positive, and consider stepping away from people or situations who are not supportive of your quit smoking attempt. You should also ask people in your life who continue to smoke to not light up around you as you are going through your quit journey. Invite your supporters to download the Quitter’s Circle app, so they can stay connected during your quit journey.
When you’re feeling an urge to smoke
- Reach out to a friend. During the first few days and weeks of your quit journey, have a trusted friend or two you can call or text when you need extra support. Urges to smoke pass in three to five minutes whether you light up or not. Calling or texting a friend can be a useful coping skill to help get you through these urges.
If you have a slip-up
- When some people have slip-ups, they get shy or embarrassed about telling their supporters. Don’t become isolated during this time. Reach out to a trusted friend who can help you make a plan for dealing with whatever tripped you up and get you back on your journey to a smokefree life.
When you’re having a bad day
- During your quit journey, expect to have some challenging days. Leaning on family and friends can help ease some of this stress. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, pick up the phone and reach out to a supporter to let them know how you’re feeling. Suggest going for a walk, seeing a movie or going shopping.
To focus on staying healthy
- A major part of quitting smoking is learning how to live as a non-smoker. Friends can ease this transition and help manage the challenges.
- Look for new recipes with a friend that likes to cook healthy meals! Ask them about their meal routines and to share any favorite recipes, and then plan a dinner party that you can throw together.
- Find an exercise partner. Having a workout buddy can help you stay accountable as you reach your fitness goals. You may want to join a walking club or sports league.
- Surround yourself with friends who can help you embrace your new smokefree life. Organize a trip to the beach, a hiking trail or a picnic in the park.
As you prepare for your quit journey, what other ways do you think support can be helpful? Visit our Facebook page to let us know about your support squad and how they’ve assisted you.