For some quitters it can be helpful to find new activities to do that don’t remind them of smoking. Help your quitter boost his or her chances of smokefree success by joining them in experiences that have nothing to do with smoking.
Learning new routines can be challenging for people who’ve revolved their lives around smoking for years or decades. So remember to take things day by day with your quitter. Here are some ideas to get you started:
One of the best things you can do for a loved one’s health (not to mention your own!) is get out into nature. Experiencing the outdoors—say, by going for a walk or hike amidst the trees—has been shown to reduce stress and boost our sense of well-being. Or bring nature indoors. Help your quitter decorate his or her home or office with a few plants. A number of studies show that keeping plants around can help us stay healthy. Who knew a ficus could be so powerful!
Visit a Museum
Museums are a great spot to take a friend who is quitting smoking. Not only are museums smokefree, but taking trips to galleries and participating in similar cultural experiences have been linked to lower anxiety and depression as well as greater overall life satisfaction.
Twenty-eight states and Washington, DC currently forbid smoking in restaurants, bars and worksites. If you happen to live in one of these locations, take advantage of the laws. Invite your quitter out for a celebration meal to reward him or her for reaching a smokefree milestone—whether that’s a day, a week, a month or more smokefree! If you live in an area where some eateries still allow cigarettes, help your quitter map out places to dine that independently say no to smoking. (You can find these easily via a search engine, or call the venues directly to check.)
Flip your kitchen into a (smokefree!) destination restaurant by planning an evening of cooking or baking with your friend. Cooking allows us to pick and choose the ingredients we like best, experiment with flavors and control the added sugars and oils we mix into our recipes. Even better? Studies show that cooking can make us feel calmer and more in control of our environments, as well as connected to the people we’re cooking for—all are crucial to maintaining the quit!
Work It Out
Join a gym together or just get moving at home with a new workout routine. There is a host of mental and physical benefits to working out—exercise has been shown to lower tension and stress, reduce anxiety and make our hearts, lungs and brains function better. The best part about getting fit? Keeping active has also been found to help keep some quitters from slipping up.