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Replacement Therapy

Things You Can Do Instead of Smoking

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Updated June 28, 2009

Replacement Therapy

Leslie Bainbridge

One of the Smoking Cessation forum's spunkiest and most determined quitters has got to be Kerri (aka Wonder Woman). Kerri has an outstanding quit story on our site quitsmoking.about.com, and has always been a source of inspiration for myself and many other forum members. One of the things she has been very open about, is that at around three or four months, she experienced a real wall in her process. She realized that it had to do with the extra time we have that smoking takes up, something we don't always realize from the start.

When you think about it - it took me about 7- 10 minutes to smoke a sickorette, depending on whether I was in a rush, or lounging at home writing in my journal. I smoked about a pack a day, and was getting to the point of smoking more. There were 25 sicks in a pack. Times that by 30 and thats 300 minutes, or about 5 hours a day. So let's give some leeway and say you don't smoke as much, we'll even give more time and round it down to 3.5 hours a day. Three hours a day!! Spent feeding our addictions. OH what we could do with that precious, precious time. Not to mention the incredible life force and energy the poison sucks out of us (and we think we're the ones inhaling!).

So what does one do when one quits? For Kerri, it was discovering new hobbies and interests. First it was knitting, then it was running, now she's a marathon runner. Now that's finding a constructive way to fill your time. For Maria it was cycling with her husband and getting fit at the gym, after just over a year, she has a stomach you could slice bread on.

For me unfortunately, it's been food! But as mentioned earlier, that is definitely changing. I did start to crochet earlier on, but never really could stick to it. When we were kids, we always found time to play, time to explore, time to create. We never thought about smoking or missing a crutch. Perhaps this is like a second childhood in a way, an opportunity to re-discover new things, pour our energies into something we want to build, make or discover.

In the Nicotine Withdrawal Category of About.com Smoking Cessation is a list of 101 things to do instead of smoke. It's an excellent list, and I've copied some of my favourites below. If you're about to quit, start researching things you've always wanted to do (I really want a karaoke machine - now that I can hit those notes again, I used to love to sing!), and if you've already quit, keep exploring. There's a whole huge healthy world out there with tons to do and learn, and now you've got the money to do it, and the most precious commodity of all, time.
  • Do a jigsaw puzzle, or work with clay.
  • Go for a run or a swim, or even the best excercise of all...go for a walk.
  • Write a poem, a short story, a love letter.
  • Go outside and take pictures of your favourite park, building or statue.
  • Take an exotic cooking class.
  • Learn a new language.
  • Organize your boxes of pictures, create memorable and interesting captions for them.
  • Visit the SPCA and adopt a pet, or go get a fish - aquariums are loads of fun.
  • Go to a Karaoke place and sing, sing, sing!
Find something you love. Make a list of your interests; it can even be things you wanted to do when you were a child. Anything goes, just rediscover what it was that brought you happiness and find ways to implement it into your life. Take the time you have and spend it on yourself.

It's your gift to you!

More from Leslie:
One Full Week
The Seduction
The Smokescreen
Not One Puff Ever (N.O.P.E.) - Part One
Not One Puff Ever (N.O.P.E.) - Part Two

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