By Brielle Carnight
Tobacco Project Coordinator
The holiday season can be stressful for a multitude of reasons, from travel and busy schedules to social gatherings and, for some, just being around family. For those attempting to quit smoking — and even those who’ve successfully quit — these stressors can add up and make steering clear of tobacco more of a challenge than it already is. Luckily, there are many simple steps we can take to manage stress during the holidays and avoid smoking.
One of the easiest ways to manage stress is to take care of your body and mind. Getting enough rest, eating well, reducing caffeine intake and mixing in exercise can all help you feel better physically and mentally — and when you feel good, it’s exponentially easier to manage nicotine cravings.
It’s also important to know when to step away. If holiday shopping, parties or family time feels overwhelming, find some time for yourself — watch TV, read a book or take a nap. Quiet moments can also provide space to be mindful of any tobacco cessation skills you’ve learned over time.
Another tip is to remember that nobody is perfect. People who are attempting to quit smoking know that there’s bumps along the road. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself — striving for perfection can sometimes do more harm than good, especially if you’re already feeling stressed.
Finally, don’t forget that you don’t have to go it alone — there are so many resources out there to provide support. Here in New York State, the Smokers Quitline offers coaching, tools and free cessation products. Visit nysmokefree.com to learn more or call 1-866-NY-QUITS. The Heart Network, based in Saranac Lake, facilitates North Country Nicotine Consultants and works with tobacco treatment specialists in our communities to help people quit successfully. If you have questions, get in touch: email@example.com.
Good luck and happy holidays!