Winter is well underway. Between frigid weather and gray skies, it’s easy to long for some warmth and sunshine. If there’s a person quitting smoking in your life, this winter might be especially difficult for them. Without cigarettes, they may feel irritable and moody – and the winter temperatures don’t help.
But just because the weather is cool doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of great winter activities to do with your quitter. Whether you’re on call to help them when urges to smoke arise, or helping them plan alternative activities that don’t remind them of smoking, you can be a source of warmth and encouragement for your quitter this winter.
1. Catch Up Over a Hot Beverage
What’s better than hot cocoa on a winter day? Offer to meet your quitter at your favorite cafe, or invite them over to your house for a hot drink. It might be wise to avoid coffee, as caffeinated beverages may be a smoking trigger for some people. Try another winter favorite – herbal peppermint tea or warm apple cider – instead. Ask them how their quitting journey is going so far, and if there is anything you can do to help.
2. Do a Winter Craft
Picking up and holding a cigarette may have become a routine for your quitter. Help them find something new to do with their hands while enjoying some winter crafts. Together, you can learn how to knit or crochet, or make paper snowflakes. Whether you end up with a warm scarf or a wintery decoration, you can enjoy spending time together while keeping your hands busy.
3. Make a Healthy Wintery Snack
Besides having urges to hold cigarettes in their hands, your quitter may also have the urge to put something in their mouth. Making a crunchy snack like a winter trail mix to take on the go may help them out with some of those urges. If your quitter is worried about weight gain that might happen, cut up some vegetables or fruit instead.
4. Share a Blanket and Have a Winter Movie Marathon
Although your quitter may occasionally get the urge to smoke, remind them that cravings usually go away after 3-5 minutes, whether they smoke or not. In that time, hop onto the couch, get under a warm blanket, and start your favorite wintertime movie. Time does fly when you’re having fun!
5. Help Others Stay Warm
When the weather gets cold, those without proper housing, heating, or warm clothes may struggle. Collecting gently used coats and boots to donate to a shelter or clothing drive, or volunteering at a soup kitchen with your quitter can give you both an especially important winter task to accomplish. Your quitter may enjoy having the opportunity to help others feel good.
Whatever you do for your quitter this winter, make sure you show them the warmth in your heart. In a survey of 146 adult smokers who were trying to quit, 80% said that support from family, friends, and coworkers is very important to successfully quit smoking. By providing a warm, supportive environment for your quitter, you could be helping them to achieve quit smoking success.