Holiday Depression and Quitting SmokingIf you get the holiday blues, you're not alone. Many of us experience unhappy emotions and associations this time of year, and those feelings may in turn trigger the urge to smoke.
Use the suggestions below to put together a personal game plan to help you manage the stresses of the holiday season smoke free. While this may not be your favorite time of year, surviving the holidays with your quit program intact will reward you a sense of strength, accomplishment and control over the challenges that life can sometimes place in our path.
SupportThis is a key ingredient for a successful quit and is even more critical when you're feeling low. Reach out, even if it's difficult to do. Talking your feelings through with like-minded people can be worth its weight in gold.
About.com has several active support forums to help you successfully manage the holidays:
Write it OutUse your quit journal to let your feelings out in a safe way. It can be therapeutic and enlightening. Be sure to look back through your journal and reflect on how far you've come with your quit program too, if thoughts of smoking are intruding into your thoughts. Don't forget that bad moods do eventually pass.
Review Your Reasons for QuittingThe reasons you quit smoking have just as much meaning today as they did the day you quit. If you were to go back to smoking, chances are nearly 100 percent you'd want to quit again - probably soon.
If you're having trouble getting in touch with your reasons for quitting, try answering these questions:
- Why did I quit smoking?
- How long did I smoke and how long have I been smoke free?
- How long do I think it should take to be free of this habit?
- If I go back to smoking, will I want to quit again? And how long will it be before I do? A week...a month...a year? When illness strikes?
- Will quitting be any easier the next time around?
- What benefit do I think smoking now will give me...and is it worth giving up the progress I've worked so hard for?
Distract and DecipherPay attention to what you're thinking and don't let faulty thoughts get the best of you. As soon as you identify a self-defeating thought, work on redirecting it in a way that will help you. And don't forget the value of distraction. Sometimes the absolute best thing we can do for ourselves is to simply step back and get out of our own way!
Use Gratitude as a ToolWe all have reasons to be thankful. Make the conscious effort to acknowledge the good that exists around you every day. You may be surprised to find that you have more positives in your life than you thought.
"For today and it's blessings, I owe the world an attitude of gratitude." ~Clarence E. Hodges~